MARA: Stop being an albatross around Malay Entrepreneurs


February 17, 2017

MARA: Stop being an albatross around Malay Entrepreneurs

“…there is something wrong with Mara. From business to education, it seems to be making all the wrong moves. It needs to have more faith in bumiputeras. Bumiputeras cannot flourish or advance themselves in spaces closed off to other races and cultures. Mara must recognise that bumiputeras are not just competing with other Malaysians, but also the citizens of the world. It must lead, not stubbornly cling to the old ways.–Syukri Tahir

Mara is one of the most important and respected institutions in Malaysia. Since its formation in 1966, it has helped countless thousands of bumiputeras succeed in business and industry. But has Mara adapted enough to remain relevant and effective today? Sadly, I don’t think so.

Image result for MARA

I say this because Mara seems more interested in protecting bumiputeras from the world than letting them compete in it. This is a recipe for stagnation and backwardness. Take the Mara Digital Mall, for example – it was set up as a bumiputera alternative to Low Yat Plaza. What exactly has it achieved?

Because it was created and promoted as a platform for bumiputera IT traders, non-bumiputera customers have largely stayed away, choosing to shop at Low Yat instead. How are bumiputera traders supposed to survive – let alone thrive – when their customers are only limited to one race?

I recently paid a visit to the Mara Digital Mall in Kuala Lumpur and found the traders to be demoralised. Many shops had stock shortages, confirming what traders told online news portal Free Malaysia Today last December. If you want to buy anything, you will have to pre-order in advance. Rather serve as a vehicle for bumiputera empowerment, the mall may well turn out to be an embarrassment to bumiputera entrepreneurs.

Image result for Minister Ismail Sabri is an idiotMinister Ismail Sabri from Pahang

Mara’s short-sightedness also extends to education. Recently, now suspended Mara chairperson Annuar Musa said that UniKL, which is wholly-owned by Mara, recognises the Chinese-education-based Unified Examinations Certificate (UEC) as an entry qualification. He correctly bases this on long-standing government policy. Because UniKL is a private institution of higher learning rather than a public one, it is allowed to recognise the UEC.

Image result for MARASuspended MARA Chairman

In recognising the UEC, Annuar saw an excellent opportunity to grow UniKL, expand the diversity of its students, and give it an international outlook. Sadly, the rest of Mara disagreed with him, including the minister who oversees the institution – Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Annuar has the right idea, but he got into trouble for speaking it. How can Mara advance the cause of bumiputeras if Mara’s leadership can’t even see or comprehend the bigger picture?

They need to realise a few things. UEC recognition will allow us to keep talented Chinese-educated students in the country instead of having them leave for places like Taiwan and Singapore. Also, it will boost race relations and national unity because campuses will have students of different races and backgrounds.

It would not make sense to reject the UEC when prestigious universities around the world – from Australia to the UK to the United States – recognise it. The UEC is accepted at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Oxford, and Cambridge. If these are considered role models in education, then why shouldn’t UniKL follow in their example?

Furthermore, UEC students will expand the revenue base of UniKL and Mara. After all, Mara only sponsors bumiputera students – non-bumiputeras will have to pay, enhancing Mara’s ability to sponsor even more bumiputera students. In the end, it is bumiputeras who benefit the most from UEC recognition.

But as you can see, there is something wrong with Mara. From business to education, it seems to be making all the wrong moves. It needs to have more faith in bumiputeras. Bumiputeras cannot flourish or advance themselves in spaces closed off to other races and cultures. Mara must recognise that bumiputeras are not just competing with other Malaysians, but also the citizens of the world. It must lead, not stubbornly cling to the old ways.

9 thoughts on “MARA: Stop being an albatross around Malay Entrepreneurs

  1. MARA have always been headed by politicians and administered by bureaucrats who neither have the background in education or entrepreneurship. Thus you have to deal with the political agenda in this case the Malay agenda and the incompetencies of bureaucrats.

    Many examples abound. The MARA entrepreneur program teaches basic book keeping subjects rather than risk evaluation, ROI, and finance and investment. Then we have MARA itself competing with the Malay businesses resulting in failure of both. What happen to MARA Express, Lori Malaysia, USMETAR and MasMara?

    On the education MARA had some success such as ITM, MRSM and Politeknik. However as the writer points out these are success of Malays against other Malays and not against other Malaysians. In sending students overseas MAra used to send students to second tier or third tier colleges instead of the Ivy League or MOst Competitive Colleges. Things are slowly changing hopefully with the program Cemerlang etc.

  2. Both Mara and Felda have become avarice of entitlement known as NEP. Countries like most of Western developed ones, Japan, Korea, Singapore have tried these extreme social engineering with better ideas and skills and failed. They simply never works even with the best of intentions and program.

    Mara and Felda has taken a lack of complete failure and let it go through their heads. The scary thing is the leaders of these over entitlement program are seeking to be next in line in power in BN, oblivious they are already failures.

    • In the eyes of the leadership it may not be failure as the objective may be to create a subservient race which should not be a berdikari race but be dependent on subsidies and be protected from competition.

  3. Quote:- “How can Mara advance the cause of bumiputeras if Mara’s leadership can’t even see or comprehend the bigger picture?”

    That is because they saw or anticipated the “smaller picture” which is if 10 non-Bumiputras were to be enrolled in any course, (other than Islamic studies), the top 10 positions, (assuming equal exam marking standards were applied to all), would be taken by non-Bumiputras every academic year, unless of course MARA Uni deliberately chose to accept non-Bumi students with the worst school academic results.

    This would only demoralize the Bumi students more. Remember a MARA Uni student protest some time ago when the then Selangor MB proposed a 10% intake of non-Bumis, which was promptly vetoed by PM Abd. Badawi?

    Just look at nature which God created. There only the best, strongest male gets to mate by competing, sometimes to the death, with other males.

    Even God encourages competition.

  4. I remember that at one time there used to be Malays language debates where participation was open to all but then as the winners were not from the desired group the solution given was restrict the debates to just one race and thus there would be no problem. Apologies if I am wrong.

    There are now parallel organizations for almost every profession and most are perceived to be race/religion based.

    In-breeding has never been healthy but may have become a policy and it may be perceived to be implemented with the objective of advancing the personal agendas of those in power.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s