The party’s national publicity chief Tony Pua (pic) said Barisan Nasional had turned the NEP into an instrument that produced a small, rich elite, while the majority of Bumiputeras still struggled to make a living.
This is seen in approved permits (AP) which are routinely handed out to the same individuals despite the fact that they were already rich.
“So in the end, the Bumiputeras themselves become victims as they are taught by sub-standard lecturers,” said Pua, who is also Petaling Jaya Utara MP.
He was speaking at a forum titled “What lies in our future” organised by the Centre for Reform.
Present were Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, Parti Buntar MP Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Pua added that BN’s race-based policies had alienated those from communities not considered Bumiputera or Malay even after living here for generations and who had contributed greatly to its development.
Using his family as an example, Pua said he was third-generation Chinese. His grandfather came from China but his father and him were born in Malaysia.
“My children will be fourth-generation and my grandchildren fifth-generation Malaysians.
"Yet under BN, my children will enjoy fewer rights and privileges compared with a Pakistani who comes and works in Malaysia now and receives citizenship in the next two years," said Pua.
This was because, according to Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Pakistanis, Arabs and Indian Muslims were also considered Malays.
“So where is the fairness here? We are questioning how BN uses the NEP to sideline a part of Malaysian society. As non-Bumiputeras, we have contributed to the nation.
“We work side by side our Bumiputera friends and we pay our taxes. Yet, we are not seen as full citizens.”
A fairer and more effective approach to helping poor Bumiputera, he said, was to have a needs-based policy that would help everyone regardless of ethnicity and ensure that only the most deserving received help.
At the same forum, PAS central committee member Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa said Umno was manipulating religious and ethnic issues to stoke tensions among Malaysia's diverse communities to hold on to power.
This, Mujahid said, was seen in the handling of the “Allah” issue and how its leaders sent mixed and contradicting messages to Muslims and Christians on whether the term could or could not be used by non-Muslims.
Islam, Mujahid said, did not forbid non-Muslims from using the term. But Umno has ignored this and its policy of barring non-Muslims from using the term had driven a wedge between Christians and Muslims.
In 2011 he said, the Federal Government came out with the 10-point plan for Sabah and Sarawak over the use of the word “Allah” in the two states. Among other things, the plan allowed Christians and Bibles there to use “Allah” to refer to God.
“Yet for two years, it allowed the issue to drag on in the peninsula with no solution for Christians here. Why?
"This is because a racist political party wanted to use the issue to divide the people in the peninsula.” – November 30, 2013.