KUCHING, Sept 26 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women’s wing has called on the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to focus on friendly economic policies that can help economic recovery and increase the median household income, instead of imposing a 51 per cent Bumiputera ownership requirement for freight forwarding companies in December next year.
Its chief Kho Teck Wan said she is certain that Minister of Finance Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, with over two decades of solid finance and investment background, understands and knows well what should be done to better reform the Malaysian economy to benefit all.
She said since the beginning of 2020, logistics companies have been suffering from an extraordinarily challenging time of this global supply chain crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They are currently facing container shortages, 10 times ocean freight price increase, air freight crisis due to reduced global flights, and shortage of front-line operation staff as the pandemic worsens globally,” she said in a statement last night.
“And now, they are facing a deadline of December 2022 to ensure their companies have a 51 per cent bumiputera ownership,” Kho said.
She told Putrajaya that no entrepreneur in the world, Bumiputera or not, wants to build a business just to sell 51 per cent ownership and become a minority shareholder, especially if the company is a family-owned business that has been built over a few generations.
Kho said the postponement of the enforcement to December next year doesn’t solve the issue faced by freight forwarding companies, it merely prolongs the execution of the requirement.
She said although former finance minister Lim Guan Eng had claimed he had rejected the Bumiputera equity requirement during his tenure, nothing was done to rectify the issue and as such the December 2021 deadline on freight forwarding was never retracted.
She reminded that the country’s economy is as strong as the purchasing power of the majority, not a selected few.
“Will 51 per cent Bumiputera equity help the country’s economy? And is the New Economy Policy still relevant in this day and age?” she asked.
On September 23, the MoF announced the postponement of the equity requirement until December 31, 2022.
Under a 2018 review, local logistic companies whose licences were registered before 1976 did not need to have a Bumiputera equity requirement, while a 30 per cent quota was imposed on those registered between 1976 and 1990.
A 51 per cent Bumiputera requirement was required for licences registered after 1990 — the year the Bumiputera equity policy was first implemented.
However, integrated international logistics service (IILS) providers do not need to have any Bumiputera equity.
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