Thursday, May 10, 2007

Maybank’s move discriminatory and retrograde

Encourage fair competition among Malaysians

It is with deep regret that we read the report on the move by Malayan Banking Bhd.(Maybank) requiring legal firms on its panel to have a minimum of three partners, at least one of whom must be a Malay with a minimum stake of 50 percent in the firm.

This move by the largest bank in the country is not only discriminatory and non-competition, but a retrograde one as well. It comes at a time when the leaders and citizens of all races are in active pursuit of fostering racial unity.

We are about to celebrate our 50 years of independence on such a grand scale to show the world we are a strong united Malaysian race. In actual fact are we a strong united race as we project to the world?

The Prime Minister has repeatedly called for racial unity and assured that all communities have a stake in this land. He has called on all races to work together for the success of the nation. Discriminatory policies like the one being introduced by Maybank are the deterrent forces that act against these calls for unity and progress and are sure ways to self destruction in the long run.

In an era of globalisation and trade liberalisation in the world economy, Malaysians must strive to be more resilient and competitive. There should be free and fair competition based on real merit not ethnicity or favouritism.It would be foolish of us to impose restrictive laws on our own people, based on race, which would only be counter-productive to goals.

If we want to succeed we have to be capable and equipped with the latest knowledge and skills. In a country like Malaysia the diversity of the population is a real asset that provides the best source of this highly skilled workforce. Our diversity in cultures makes us unique. It offers us the source of strength that others do not possess.

The potentials of all, regardless of race must be tapped and utilized if we want to succeed against the giants in international trade and business. If we want to mount a credible challenge against these great powers we have only one option – all races must unite and pool all the resources at our disposal especially the human capital and compete as Malaysians, or face self-inflicted destruction and failure.

We hope the authorities will reconsider this retrograde move by Maybank.Being the biggest banking group in the country, it should take the lead in adhering to free market mechanism where fair and equal competition prevails and not to resort to racial orientated policies which would only be detrimental to us on the long run.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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