To progress forward, the nation must identify its specific strengths and specialities that go beyond the NEP model, says its deputy DG

PETALING JAYA: The New Economic Policy (NEP) may not likely to be undone to face the challenges in light of the government’s National Transformation 2050 (TN50) plan that seeks to place Malaysia as one of the top 20 developed nations.

Deputy director general for human capital and head of TN50 special unit in the Economic Planning Unit, Johan Mahmood Merican, was evasive when the question was raised.

“When we talk about TN50, it is not close to Vision 2020, many issues require reforms. Having said that, I agree we need to move to needs-based economy.

“We have our commitment to be an open global economy. I fully agree but we cannot throw the baby out of water,” he said.

Johan said this in response to Asli CPPS chairman Ramon Navaratnam’s remarks on the NEP

“NEP and politics are the elephant in the room. TN50 will be failure if we continue,” Ramon pointed out at a talk of TN50 today.

Johan, who was among the panel members, also added that the factors that brought progress to Malaysia may not necessarily be used in the future.

“The new model wouldn’t be the same. We were successful on foreign direct investment but we can’t rely on it,” said Johan.

“We can’t rely on weakened ringgit, resource intensive model and being a technology importer.

“We have to build a model that creates technology.”

He also used the analogy of sports to stress on the need for Malaysia to choose what it can specialise on.

“Given our size of economy, we have to galvanise and pick. We all love football but can’t win World Cup. We are better in badminton.”