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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973

Incentives to Exploit

Incentives to Exploit

Dear Editors,

I would like to quote one statement from the Investment Incentives Act 1968 (published by the Federal Industrial Development Authority, Malaysia) which explicitly with the approval and assistance of the Malaysian Government encourages the foreign capitalists to control and exploit our national economy.

The Incentive Bill provides a variety of incentives to induce a greater flow of investment into Malaysia.

It was stated in Chapter I (from the Investment Act): ".....A pioneer status will be given to any company which under the approval of the Minister can enjoy a relief from income tax and payroll tax."

The tax relief period of a pioneer company begins on its production day and can be continued for two years under the Incentive Act, and this may be extended to four or five years. Allowances are also given to accelerate depreciation so that pioneer companies can maximise its profit without any fear of taxation.

Now the main problem is who owns the companies and factories and who enjoys the Incentive Act. And will that be any good to all Malaysians even if our GNP is growing at the rate of 7% a year as announced by the Government?

This GNP is only measured in terms of market prices which is determined by the dollar votes of consumers. But not every Malaysian has the same number of dollar votes.

The distribution of income is such that, there are families at one end of the income scale (majority) that can do no more than provide for the necessities of life, these families include the Malay fishermen, the poor Chinese peasants and Indian workers, while at the other end are these families (minority) that have no difficulty in living lavishly.

And worst of all about 70% of our economy is controlled by the foreigners and some few local capitalists who can own all these pioneer industries. Therefore, it would not be a mistake to say that this Incentive Act is an "Intensity Economic Exploitation" Act.

It may seem rather strange for some people that when some students tried to reflect these things on the stage, they were threatened with such terms as "subversion", "Chinese Chauvinism", and some other groundless attacks. It is very obvious that those who assert these types of intimidation do not want the real livelihood of the people being revealed to our NZ friends. Such persons do not represent our people and of course could not consider the exploitation of our people as a bad thing. If you understand that they are Just the lackeys of the foreign capitalists, then it is not surprising to see them jumping out of their warmed beds and giving groundless accusations immediately after the Eastern Cultural Concert. They are so timid, like the rabbits — the shooting target of NZ farmers. However they are also "paper tigers" — they can carry out inhuman crimes on the people in the dark, but when the day comes, when the three races of our people unite together and struggle for better lives arrives, it will be the last day for these lackeys. It won't be too long.


(Name Withheld)