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Talking about Bumi empowerment does not mean denial of non-Bumi rights, says MARA chairman

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — MARA chairman Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki today defended the government’s planned Bumiputera Economic Congress scheduled for next week, amid calls to enlarge the discussion to all communities instead of just one.

Asyraf said the congress is to help the government focus its strategy for the Bumiputera, who are Malaysia’s largest demographic population, news portal Free Malaysia Today reported this morning.

“The congress should not be politicised by a few who view it cynically, as though it would deny the rights of the non-Bumiputeras or the populace at large.

“In fact, if we look at the latest statistics released by the statistics department, 70.1 per cent of Malaysians are Bumiputera,” he was quoted as saying during the Bumiputera economic congress symposium here today.

Asyraf said that invitations to the congress had been sent to all political parties, following a directive from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who had also previously said he also wants the Chinese and Indian chambers of commerce to take part in the congress.

Asyraf, who is also Umno secretary-general, was reportedly asked to comment on a claim by PAS information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari who said the Islamist party had not yet received an official invitation to the congress.

Ahmad Fadhli said that PAS wanted to see an official invitation before deciding if its leaders will attend the congress. Separately, Sinar Harian reported Asyraf saying today that he had sent out invitations to all parties, but did not receive any replies from the opposition.

“Invitation letters have been sent; but I do not have the latest information.

“However, I will make another full statement later,” he was quoted as saying.