By Sheridan Mahavera
SINGAPORE, April 6 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed tonight that he has put his political career on the line by committing to purging rent-seeking and patronage politics in Malaysia’s economy.
He said this is because those who benefit from these practices are powerful and politically connected, and he hinted that they could even exert their influence in Umno, the party of which he is president.
Najib, who has made needs-based instead of race-based affirmative action an important plank of his administration, said that his approach has put him in a “dangerous” position.
“We don’t want rent seekers and the politics of patronage in our economy. I committed to that and it is dangerous because they are politically connected.
“But we have to help the Bumiputeras who need help, the Sarawakians, the Sabahans and the Orang Asli. Not just the Malays.
“Affirmative action has to be market-based, merit-based and needs-based because we want a more equitable society,” he told the audience at the Singapore Foreign Correspondents Gala Dinner here tonight.
MORE TO COME