Tekun: Additional Funds of RM700 Million Means Nothing if it is for Umno Political Interests


SHAH ALAM, 14 SEPT: Additional funds of RM700 million for the National Entrepreneurial Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional) will not achieve its objective of uplifting the proletarian Bumiputera economy if the fund continues to be an Umno political tool.

Member of Parliament for Sungai Petani, Datuk Johari Abdul said that funds like that should help all Bumiputera irrespective of political affiliation, when there have been complaints that applicants are required to become members of Umno.

The increase in funding for Tekun was announced by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday as a part of the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda. Claims that there is a requirement to be a member of Umno, he stressed, will only allow for members of Umno to benefit from the increased funding for Tekun.

“PKR does not oppose an increase of Tekun funding at all because Tekun is supposed to be for small Bumiputera entrepreneurs but the Prime Minister should implement it by being ‘colour blind’ towards political affiliations.

“This fund cannot only be chanelled to Umno members only. It is not comprehensive to Bumiputera entrepreneurs because non-Umno members also pay taxes. They cannot be excluded in enjoying benefits provided by the government,” said Johari to TVSelangor.

Johari added that the Central Government should also focus on the quality of entrepreneurs through continuous proactive strategies.

Johari added that the government’s failure to take effective measures will not only lead to the failure in the development of entrepreneurs, but Tekun also needs to deal with the issue of entrepreneurs failing to repay loans granted.

“We do not want for an entrepreneur today to produce chips traditionally and the same way in 15 years. He should be using machines to label, pack and is able to already market his products in huge supermarkets.

“Relevant agencies cannot wait at the office for an entrepreneur to visit, but they need to go down to the field to identify who should be assisted in terms of knowledge, including marketing and equipment such as machines,” added Johari.

Yesterday, when announcing the increase of RM700 million in funding for Tekun, Najib aimed for the number of Tekun entrepreneurs to increase to 270 thousan from 2013 to 370 thousand in 2015.

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