KUALA LUMPUR – July 30, 2018: Not only he is against the proposed restructuring of Mara but Barisan Nasional lawmaker Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakub argues that any attempt to split the agency into parts is unlawful.
In so saying Ismail, the Memember of Parliament for Bera, cited Article of 3 of the Mara Act to counter the possibility of Mara being broken up to be absorbed into some ministries.
He was responding to a recent report which said the government may transfer Mara’s education, investment and entrepreneurial programmes to the Education, Economic Affairs and Entrepreneur Development Ministries.
Mara was formed in 1966 to aid, train and guide the Malays and Bumiputeras in economic and education matters.
“Article 3 (1) of the Mara Act states that Mara and its functions must exist in perpetual succession. To break down Mara simply goes against this and doing so would stunt the economic and educational growth of some Malays,” said Ismail.
The article is as follows:
“There is hereby established a body corporate by the name of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (in this Act referred to as “the Majlis”) with perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in its name and, subject to and for the purposes of this Act, may enter into contracts and may acquire, purchase, take, hold and enjoy movable and immovable property of every description and may convey, assign, surrender, yield up, charge, mortgage, demise, reassign, transfer or otherwise dispose of, or deal with, any movable or immovable property or any interest therein vested in the Majlis upon such terms as it deems fit.”
“Mind you to date Mara has produced 1.2 million graduates and almost a million entrepreneurs. The government needs to know that this plan essentially affects the interests of all Malays,” said Ismail at the parliament lobby today.
Talk of Mara’s restructuring, said to be mooted by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, surfaced last week, with Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi suspecting that it was part of Mahathir’s vindictive politics.
Zahid instead prefers the government to act rationally and safeguard public interests by safeguarding Mara.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had also spoken last week against the possible restructuring, arguing that the breaking down of Mara’s functions would make it difficult for the government to implement programmes for Malays and Bumiputeras.