Oct 19 — The abundance of opportunities in the form of scholarships, business prospects and quotas specifically for Bumiputera have gone to waste as the country’s dominant community does not have the drive to develop them, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad lamented.
The influential former prime minister said while he sympathised with the limitations and the problems faced, these should not stop the Bumiputera from succeeding.
“Most of the opportunities go to waste because Bumiputera do not have the drive to run them into something more.
“We take time to criticise the government and others, but usually fail to dig deeper into ourselves and come to terms with our own weaknesses,” he said during his keynote address at the “Wacana Memperkasa Ekonomi Melayu” yesterday.
The author of The Malay Dilemma that bore a similar tone, Dr Mahathir also said that Bumiputera usually act “based on emotions, and not fact”.
“It is very easy to play the blame game, but it would be better to succeed on your own efforts.”
The 88-year-old veteran politician, however, said it was unfair to say that Bumiputera had not succeeded despite 56 years on the country’s independence.
“This inner strength [of successful Bumiputera needs to be emulated by other Bumiputera so than we can achieve a developed nation status.
“It is also unfair to say that Bumiputera lack quality because we have move forward in so many ways and in all these years, Malaysia has been governed by Bumiputera leaders,” he said.
His comments came as the Umno divisional delegates meeting and election of leaders at the divisional and Supreme Council levels began simultaneously in all the 191 divisions at 8am today.
This is the first time that grassroots members are given a bigger voice in the Umno election following the amendment to the party constitution in 2009 to make the party more transparent, democratic as well as eliminate money politics.