Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday that Malaysian wealth must not only be given to Malays and Bumiputeras but also other minorities as well.
Highlighting racial equality in his speech at the monthly gathering in the Prime Minister’s Department last Jan. 14, he also added, “It has become our duty to determine that we distribute the wealth equally or at least to a level accepted by all the communities in the country.”
Mahathir pointed out that there is no point of being a wealthy country, pertaining to Malaysia if there are clear disparities between the rich and the poor.
Malaysia, just like its neighbouring country, Singapore, has been pushing to be part of the high-income nations in the world. Though, it is already considered as an ‘upper-middle-income’ country, with a total wealth of $1,988 billion last 2018.
The line between ultra-rich and mega poor
This fast-developing country has a total of 487 millionaires according to the Malay Mail. These individuals have a minimum wealth of $50 million and above, with a myriad of properties and assets.
Overall, Malaysia is on the 39th spot in the world with the most number of billionaires. Although it’s not included in the top 10 list, Malaysia is undeniably a rich country and belongs to Asia’s frontier wealth.
While this is good news, poverty in Malaysia is also rampant, with the ultra-rich concentrated only at particular regions. In the past, riots also happened due to the gap between the rich and the poor.
Given this bitter past, Prime Minister Mahathir wanted to end the riot as it doesn’t benefit anyone and instead, urge all races to ‘unite so the country will be peaceful.’
Bumiputeras, Malays and indigenous groups, currently account for almost 70 percent of the whole of Malaysia’s population.