- Kerk Chee Yee
Economy policies should be need-based, not race-based
It’s quite common to see wealth comparisons being made between races in Malaysia, but none of the comparisons has really been meaningful. Some perceive Malaysian Chinese as wealthy and the Malays poor. However the fact is that majority of Malaysian Chinese are working class. According to the 2016 data from the Department of Statistics, the proportion of working class amongst Malaysian Chinese and Malays are largely similar (Malaysian Chinese = 70%; Malays =72%). Disparity and uneven distribution of wealth is an issue that happens across races. Hence, it is inaccurate to conclude that any race is wealthier than another. Pakatan Harapan won big in GE14 and brought about two-party system in Malaysia for the first time. This is large attributed to various economic issues that were hurting Malaysia. Deteriorating purchasing power, increasing cost of living, and non-corresponding income levels are issues still faced by all Malaysians. Hence, we should draft and implement our economy policies not based on race, but ensure that whoever in need may benefit from them. The policy makers are supposed to understand the economic challenges faced by each class and segment of the society, and make policies that target the entire class or segment without discriminating or dividing them by race. Need-based economy policies would ensure the most vulnerable group gets help from the government. By channeling help to the needy, we can elevate the vulnerable to where we want them to be. A fair, need-based economy policy is what Malaysia needs right now.