He talked to the media after giving a lecture at Putra World Trade Center, “My good friend (Berjaya’s recently retired chairman) Tan Sri Vincent Tan became a billionaire during my time, even (Hong Kong-based) Robert Kuok became a multi-billionaire during my time, when we were implementing the NEP. I can name a lot of people who became billionaires during my time because of the NEP. If the NEP was against them, they wouldn’t become millionaires and they wouldn’t be given any chance at all.”
Dr M gave the statement in response to one of government officer’s comments on NEP that it was not introduced with the aim of giving boost to an incubated class of Malaysian capitalists but focused on poverty reduction and increase domestic participation in the economy.
In an earlier address, Dr Mahathir had said that a true and honest leader must have good understanding of all areas in order to bring about overall growth and development for his/her people.
About 500,000 Malaysians were given higher education benefits and about 9 million Bumiputeras were given shares in various companies under the NEP.
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