Reducing income disparity for stability and development Malaysia's experience
Mohammad, Kamaruddin bin
McNab, Robert M.
Looney, Robert E.
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Malaysia, a plural nation comprising of the indigenous Malays (Bumiputeras), and the immigrant Chinese and Indians has embarked on a unique program called the "New Economic Policy" (NEP) to ensure a fairer share of wealth, income, prosperity and opportunities between the ethnic groups. The NEP aimed to promote national unity by pursuing the twin objectives of the eradication of poverty and the restructuring of society to eliminate identification of race with economic functions. The policy makers planned to reduce poverty amongst the entire population, especially the rural poor. They established policies to bring the Malays into the mainstream of business, commerce and education through redistribution of new, accrual wealth. A powerful Government, compromise and continued growth were vital factors to administer the policy. The NEP was an appropriate policy for plural Malaysia as it kept the nation prosperous, peaceful and economically successful since the 70s whereby Malaysia had enjoyed peace and prosperity with average annual growth of nearly 7%. NEP' s success, current development such as globalization, the Asian Crisis and new awareness for transparency and a more liberal democracy necessitate Malaysia to readjust its policy responses for continued peace and prosperity.
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