|REACTION No. 1:
Mingguan Malaysia reported that Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin wanted the Asian Strategic and Leadership Institute (Asli) to retract its 45% bumiputra equity ownership estimation.
Muhyiddin said the report was a challenge to the Government’s integrity and described the report as irresponsible and “rubbish”.
He said the Government should take action against Asli if it failed to retract the report.
He said Asli should also admit that the report was wrong to prevent a polemic that would affect racial unity.
“The report is rubbish and cannot be used. As a Malay, I am angry and I think it was done with malice.
“The report may have an agenda that aims at forming a polemic among those who believe the report to be true. They will definitely blame the Government for revealing the wrong facts,” he said.
(Extracted from The Star Online of October 9, 2006)
|REACTION No. 2:
Asli president Mirzan Mahathir, who had earlier retracted the report, was interviewed by V. Vasudevan of Business Times:
Q: Why did it take so long for you to realise that the study was flawed? From March until now, that is quite some time.
A: I must admit I was given a copy, but I did not go through it in detail. It slipped past me. If I had, I would have queried it. Dr Lim Teck Ghee (Centre director) was convinced it was correct and it was submitted...
Q: Were you pressured into questioning the findings of the study?
A: Nobody called me up and said ‘Look, you have to back down’. We just felt that we had to look after the interests of Asli...
Q: Where did the report go wrong?
A: I feel some of the statements in the report were not substantiated. There was no flow in the report...
For example, if you say that government-linked companies are considered Bumiputera companies, there should be justification. This is a 20-page report. There is no reference as to why a GLC should be considered a Bumiputera company...
(Extracted from Business Times of October 13, 2006)
|REACTION No. 3:
"...What is most unfortunate about this incident is that the genuine attempt by the CPPS and its director, Dr Lim, to foster new research and debate on issues of crucial importance to the nation has been so thoroughly undermined.
The resignation of Dr Lim from the CPPS was a noble act, for by so doing he has refused to concede to the totally unwarranted demands that the centre retract its report and admit that it was a flawed scholarly exercise. The denunciation of a report that was aimed at helping to generate a serious review of public policies may now deter other academics from pursuing similar research for fear of inviting an adverse reaction from the government.
This incident does not augur well for the government as the CPPS report was undertaken solely in the spirit of responding to the prime minister's call to all Malaysians to speak the truth to him."
- TERENCE GOMEZ, research coordinator at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) in Geneva and associate professor of political economy at the Faculty of Economics, Universiti Malaya.
(Extracted from his analysis in Malaysiakini of October 12, 2006)
|REACTION No. 4:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Malaysia's decades-old affirmative action policy is still needed to help ethnic Malays improve economically, but the government will be fair to other races, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said Friday.
Najib said the government stood by its statistical claims that Malays control only 19 percent of Malaysia's corporate equity, despite a controversial study by an independent think tank that claimed the figure was as high as 45 percent.
The report by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute, or ASLI, sparked a furor because it suggested the government's system of privileges for Malays in areas such as government jobs, housing, bank loans and contracts may be misplaced...
On Friday, Najib denied the government pressured ASLI to withdraw the report and defended its data. "The government still maintains our figure ... these are the correct figures," he told reporters...
(Extracted from an AP report published in the International Herald Tribune of October 13, 2006)
|REACTION No. 5:
PETALING JAYA (Oct 13, 2006): The government's rejection of the report on bumiputra corporate equity published by Asli's Centre for Public Policy Studies, which challenges the official data, has sent the wrong signal that dissent is not tolerated and honest pursuit of knowledge discouraged, says state executive councillor Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon...
Toh, a University Malaya-trained economist and Gerakan central committee member, said this was a sad development and seemed at odds with the government's professed aim of wanting to make the country a more open, transparent and liberal society...
"His resignation was due to the unprincipled position taken by Asli president Datuk Mirzan Mahathir that the study done by CPPS was based on so-called 'faulty assumption' and hence its conclusions 'faulty' as well.
"Dr Lim disagreed and stood by his methodology. Being the honest scientist that he is, he took the honourable way of resigning, rather than meekly complying with the views of his president.
"His stand is a very refreshing departure from the culture of compliance and subservience that the ruling elites in our country attempt to cultivate," Toh said.
(Extracted from Sun2Surf of October 14, 2006)