DAP wants Maybank to drop racial quota

    The DAP delegation led by SG Lim Guan Eng handed a memorandum to Bank Negara officials today, urging Maybank and Ambank to stop practicing racial quotas. The matter was raised in the Parliamenbt yesterday by DAP parliamentarians. The emergency motion tabled by DAP Kuching MP Chong Chien Jen was rejected by the Speaker. The Bar Council was also alerted about the matter which was largely seen as discrimatory and totally against the Malaysian spirit. Malaysiakini has the story…

End racial quota policy, Bank Negara told
Vikneswary Gunasagaran
May 9, 07 5:28pm
Bank Negara has been urged to put an end to the discriminatory policy of banks appointing legal firms based on racial quotas.The call was made by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng in a protest letter handed to a representative of Bank Negara governor Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz today.Lim said as the country’s sole banking industry regulator, Bank Negara must put a stop to the promotion of racial quotas in the banking profession.

According to the opposition leader, two banks which practised this policy were Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and Ambank Bhd.

In a circular dated March 29 to its panel of solicitors, Maybank had included a new rule which would require them to have at least one bumiputera partner with 50 percent ownership of the firm.

Political interference

Lim said the rule by the biggest banking group in the country was akin to political interference in what should purely be a professional affair.

“Maybank appears to be even more racist than existing government policies,” he said.

“What is offensive about Maybank’s latest edict is the implication that bumiputera legal firms are not capable and require such a quota to assist them to carry out professional work.

“Equally offensive is that the professional quality of the work done by non-bumiputera lawyers is secondary to the priority of not having bumiputera partners,” he added.

Maybank corporate communication personnel declined to comment on the protest letter.

 This is the memo presented to Bank Negara by hand today…

                                                               9 May 2007.

YBhgia Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz,

The Governor,Bank Negara
Jalan Dato’ Onn,
Kuala Lumpur.                                                    BY HAND

Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Zeti, 

Stopping Maybank And AmBank’s Unprofessional Banking Practices Promoting Quotas, Are Discriminatory And Not In The Malaysian Spirit .

We urge Bank Negara to stop Maybank and AmBank’s unprofessional banking practices that promote quotas, are discriminatory and not in the Malaysian spirit. As Malaysia’s largest bank, Maybank has a responsibility to lead the industry in good corporate practices that stresses on quality work and ability, merit, high efficiency and productivity to engender capital growth required for the country’s development. Unfortunately its latest policy requiring all law firms that conduct business with it to have at least one ethnic Malay partner with 50% equity in that partnership has underscored political interference in what should be a purely professional question.

Maybank’s head of Legal Affairs Geraldine Kamalanathan had sent a letter on March 29 2007 to its panel of solicitors informing them of the new and revised criteria to be qualified to carry out its legal work. All Maybank solicitors are given until 1st July 2007 to comply with its new requirement that there must be at least a bumi partner with 50% equity in the partnership. This 50% requirement is even higher than the 30% quota fixed by the government under the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Maybank appears more racist that the existing government policies that has not only underscored sensitivities among ethnic minorities over so-called preferential bumi social and economic privileges which has benefited only the rich at the expense of the bumi poor and hampered the county’s growth and development. Even the government realizes that such ethnic preferential policies is obsolete, stifles competition and causes efficiency loss in the form of corruption and poor delivery system as evidenced by the defects, ceiling collapse and cracks in the new expensive buildings in Putrajaya.

Realising the adverse effects of NEP on Iskandar Development Region in Johor, the government have even given exemptions from the 30 percent bumiputera-ownership requirement.  For Malaysia’s largest bank to issue such edicts setting out ethnic quotas severely undermines its ability to compete with international banking groups that focus solely on business-related issues. For a Government-linked Corporation (GLC) like Maybank, owned by Permodalan Nasional Bhd, such political edicts sacrificing quality for quotas is contrary to its goals of sustainable growth and corporate performance set out in the Key Performance Indicators. What is offensive about Maybank’s latest edicts is the implication that bumi legal firms are not capable and require such a quota imposition to assist them to carry out professional work. Equally offensive is that the professional quality of the work done by non-bumi lawyers is secondary to the priority of having bumi partners.  DAP is disappointed that Maybank is only conducting a review in face of such controversy. Maybank is obviously dishonest when they claimed that “Efficiency and performance of solicitors as well as their ability to provide the best service to the bank and its customers have always been a core requirement for the emplacement of the bank’s panel of solicitors. Equity ownership had never been the sole consideration.” If Maybank is serious about efficiency and providing the best service, then this directive should be immediately withdrawn. Maybank’s stubborn refusal to do so has greatly disturbed Malaysians, some such as the Bar Council who is considering legal action and ordinary Malaysians who are angry enough to demand a full boycott of Maybank to show their displeasure. Should Maybank persist to insist in such discriminatory policies, then calls for a boycott would be fully warranted whether in the form of withdrawing deposits or not taking any loans for Maybank We are given to understand that similar requirements are also set out by Ambank whilst there have been such tacit discrimination by other banks in refusing to parcel out work to those without the 50% bumi equity requirement. As the regulator of banking industry in Malaysia, Bank Negara is beholden to intervene and direct that such directives, whether by Maybank or AmBank as well as all other banks which practices such tacit discriminatory practices, be immediately withdrawn. No foreign investor would want to come to Malaysia if banks impose such restrictions. Focus on professional conduct that is inclusive and performance-oriented and not exclude on the colour of our skin of whether we are Malays Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans or Indians. Instead of being impelled by race and religion, the time has come for banking industry to focus on corporate practices that promotes value-added growth and competition.  Act in the Malaysian spirit. Be Malaysian First!  Yours faithfully, LIM GUAN ENG


Maybank policy ‘affects small firms’
May 8, 07 5:14pm Malaysiakini
Gerakan Youth chief Mah Siew Keong said legal firms in small towns would be badly affected by Malayan Banking Bhd’s (Maybank) new policy in selecting its panel of lawyers. “In many smaller towns, a lot of lawyers are a one-man show. If the 50 percent bumiputera equity (policy) is enforced, then it means all those lawyers operating alone will not be allowed to do any work for the bank,” he said in a statement today.His comments come in the wake of growing criticism against Maybank for its policy, which is being deemed discriminatory and anti-competition.Maybank – controlled by government-fund manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd – has sent out letters requiring firms on its panel of solicitors to have a minimum of three partners, at least one of whom must be a Malay with a minimum stake of 50 percent in the firm.The policy is supposed to take effect on July 1 for new legal firms joining the bank’s panel, while existing panels would have a year to comply.Bar Council chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan has slammed the policy as “totally discriminatory”, while the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) described the move as retrogressive in a New Straits Times report today.

The DAP youth wing has threatened to boycott the bank if it does not withdraw the decision within two weeks. 

Don’t stifle competition

Mah said efficiency and performance of lawyers are paramount in serving clients, not the ethnic composition of the partners.

“The impact of globalisation and trade liberalisation in the world economy underscores the need for Malaysian companies to become more resilient and competitive.

“Being the largest banking group in Malaysia, Maybank should adhere to the free market mechanism and take a flexible approach to encourage fair and equal competition rather than impose racial orientated policies which will have a major impact on many legal firms.”

He also called upon the government to establish guidelines similar to those for the Iskandar Development Region in Johor, in which certain companies would be exempted from the 30 percent bumiputera-ownership requirement.

Maybank has said that it would take a ‘flexible approach’ and that it did not intend to call for its existing panel of solicitors to restructure their ownership.

“We would like to assure all parties concerned that the bank has taken note of the issues highlighted and that the necessary review will be undertaken with due consideration to the feedback raised,” it said in a statement published by The Sun.

“Rest assured that efficiency and performances of lawyers as well as their ability to provide the highest standards of service to the bank and its customer have always been a core requirement for appointment onto the bank’s panel of solicitors.”


15 Responses to “DAP wants Maybank to drop racial quota”

  1. VT Says:

    Dog Party MCA has kidnapped this issue.

  2. Libra Says:

    No, Kit ran the story first on his blog.

  3. KSTAN Says:

    Close down your current account or saving account or FD in Maybank. Park your money else where.

  4. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    Could anyone confirm that all Petronas projects were awarded to Bumi contractors only (as a practice, but not in black and white)? I am not surprise if it’s true.

    At the UMNO coference last year, Najib, who called himself “menteri Felda”, ‘proudly’ told all delegates that majority of the Felda contracts were given to Bumi contractors; only a fraction were awarded to Non-bumi companies.

  5. vt Says:

    Everything is racist, imagine, dog party vice president so and so, in paper, got furious that cigarettes, is lowering price rampantly…… hahahahaha, I say he dog lah, my friends shop, chinese, cannot get cheap supply 1 month back, my kampong’s malay shop still has fresh supply of cheap cigarettes. dog party.

  6. vt Says:

    “No, Kit ran the story first on his blog.” – Libra Says:

    Chinese paper ran the issue first, Kit ran in his blog first, but dog party, as usual has hijacked the issue from KIT again, since as they control the dog media.

  7. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    It’s not just Maybank
    CH Ong
    May 9, 07 2:33pm Adjust font size:

    Maybank’s policy that legal firms must have at least 50 percent bumiputera equity in order to qualify for appointment to it’s panel of lawyers is similar to that being practised by other GLCs over the years.

    However the other GLCs do not announce their discriminatory policies. They simply implement such policies. I have not come across Petronas service stations being operated by non-bumiputeras. I am a non-bumiputera professional in private practice without a bumiputera partner and my professional services are not welcomed by Petronas.

    Because of Petronas’ discriminatory policies I have stopped patronising Petronas service stations. If only all non-bumiputera Malaysians stopped patronising Petronas service stations, then perhaps the Petronas management will rethink their discriminatory policies.

    I used to buy petrol from BP service stations but since BP has been bought over by Boustead, I have stopped patronising them. I don’t even know what they are called now. The reason is that I found out Boustead’s property division also practised discriminatory policies when appointing consultants.

    In the early eighties, when Sime Darby’s property division was headed by a non-bumiputera (an Indian gentleman), I was appointed to provide professional services. As soon as bumiputeras took over, my services were no longer welcomed and required.

    Also in the early eighties my company was a customer to bumiputera company. This company was an associate company of Island and Peninsula. However when I approached Island and Peninsula with the intention of getting my company registered as a provider of professional services, I was told clearly that my services were not welcome because my company did not have any bumiputera partners.

    I then did some research and discovered that generally the so-called GLC property companies being run by bumiputeras practise discriminatory policies. Since then I have never considered buying any property from such companies.

    All the above are facts which I am aware of. All these GLCs may well be practising other discriminatory policies which I am not aware of and which I shall not speculate on.

    I have been a customer of Maybank, for both banking and credit card services, for more than 25 years. Since Maybank has decided to openly practise discriminatory policies, I have also decided to take steps to terminate my accounts with Maybank, and I shall definitely let them know my reason for terminating my accounts.

    I believe that if all non-bumiputeras let all these GLCs know how they feel about their discriminatory policies, by way of action and not just words, then perhaps they will not be so arrogant.

    Gerakan Youth chief Mah Siew Keong’s statement: “In many smaller towns, a lot of lawyers are a one-man show. If the 50 percent bumiputera equity (policy) is enforced, then it means all those lawyers operating alone will not be allowed to do any work for the bank,” only shows that he is weak and dare not condemn outright Maybank’s discriminatory policy.

    Is he suggesting that in big towns and cities where most legal firms are partnerships rather than one-man shows, it is then OK for Maybank to practice it’s discriminatory policy?

  8. vt Says:

    GLC should announce their discriminatory po;icies such as:

    1. 50% of the depositors should be bumi
    2. 50% of tax collected should be bumis
    3. 50% of toll users should be bumis
    4. 50% of schools should only be built for bumis
    5. 50% of the epf contributors should be bumis
    6. 50% of houses in housing estate should be bought by bumis.

    of all, 6th being the most important as most developers sucks up to BN

  9. dtlp16 Says:

    My sis in law has already closed ALL accounts in MBB! That’s why I put my money in a foreign bank.

  10. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    The cabinet has decided to direct Maybank to withdraw its bumi policy. my friend remarked that the reason for the swift decision must have something to do with the impending general elections. BN cannot afford to lose more Chinese votes in the GE. he got a point.

  11. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:


    ■日期/May 10, 2007 ■时间/06:54:39 pm
    ■新闻/家国风云 ■作者/本刊陈慧思


    数名非土著律师向《独立新闻在线》揭露,我国政府关联银行(Government-linked banks)在挑选指定律师楼时,普遍以土著股权为准绳;有银行甚至曾直接以“没有土著合伙人”为由,驳回非土著律师楼的申请。


    国内报章今天大肆报道马来亚银行撤销土著股权措施的消息。经过连日的舆论轰炸过后,马来亚银行昨日宣布撤销指定律师楼必须拥有至少50%土著股权的措施。此外,大马银行(Am Bank)也发表文告,强调它并没有限制或规定土著伙伴,必须达到一定的比率。






    经营律师楼的执业律师山卡拉(Sankara Nair,左图)指出,三个月前他申请成为大马银行(Am Bank)指定律师楼遭到拒绝;该银行开出的理由是他的律师楼没有土著参股。此外,四年前他申请成为马来亚银行指定律师楼也遭到拒绝。














    此外,他举例说:“财政部发出一个指令(perintah pekeliling),宣布灯饰装饰工程由四家土著公司垄断。灯饰装饰工程年值五亿元,过去多由140多家华裔经营的灯饰公司分得,这项新指令叫商家走投无路。”


  12. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    You see, even film directors of non-Malay films were being discriminated and marginalised in this country, thanks to the racist policy of the Umno-led Barisan Nasional Government!


    ■日期/May 11, 2007 ■时间/08:30:56 pm
    ■新闻/家国风云 ■作者/MerdekaReview.com 曾薛霏






    罗元珊认为,目前本地独立导演面对的最大问题,是无法享有政府为了保护本地电影而制定的“强制上映计划”(Skim Wajib Tayang)及娱乐税回扣的利益。


    不过,要符合这个计划的首要条件,是这部电影必须是“本地电影”(Filem Tempatan),而“本地电影”的其中一个定义,是以一部电影中的人物是否以马来语作为电影媒介语。









    他表示:“我跟雅斯敏(Yasmin Ahmad)的看法是,我们自己找钱拍戏,不要跟政府拿钱,如果我们拍出了一些成绩,那不是政府在帮助我们。我不屑你来扶我。”

    “国家电影发展机构要保护、鼓励及发展国家电影业,他们有义务推广本地电影。现在的各种政策上的偏差都是以前留下来的,显然已经过时了。他们应该要做一些东西去改变。 ”








    副文化、艺术及文物部长黄锦鸿在交流会中提到,该部会设立一个国际小组(International Division),专门处理一些将马来西亚电影外销到国际市场的事宜。


  13. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:


    Whoever believes that crime does not pay should not live in Malaysia. I consider the latest Maybank scandal an out and out criminal act. There’s no other way to describe it. But whoever committed the crime appears to be getting away scot-free.

    Okay, for those of you who’ve been sleeping or been apathetic as usual or been abroad and out of Internet reach in Siberia here’s a little background to what took place about a week ago.

    Maybank, the country’s biggest bank announced that for legal firms to do business with it the firms must have at least 3 Bumiputra partners. One of whom must own no less than 50% equity in the firm. Of course, when the announcement went public the shit hit the fan. As it should.

    Muhibbah, right? One for all and all for one, right? Racial integration, right? Fair play, right? Wrong! These are the rules. So there!

    The legal profession went berserk. Some of the Malaysian rakyat, those who weren’t sleeping or been properly trained as sheep, thought, “What the hell???!!!”

    And then the usual talking heads realised…”Eh? Somebody screwed up big time la.” Shit!” Then they all came out and made…statements. Even went up to the cabinet at a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister who wasn’t opening a restaurant or looking at kebayas that day. And they all echoed the usual, “No cannot!”

    And then some really funny stuff came forth from the mouths of some of these trained sheep. Ng Yen Yen, the deputy finance minister was reported as questioning the bank’s move as firms that provided the best professional services should be the criteria for selection. Where’s Yen Yen been living all these years? The moon?

    Hishammuddin Hussein, I’m not sure with or without the keris this time, thought he was being smart when he used another racialistic argument against a racialistic decision. He said that in multi-racial Malaysiaevery small thing could become sensitive. Hello, Hisham you’re not always going to be able to scare us with mentions or veiled references to May 13, 1969 you know. So what? So we should keep quiet and let you sweep this shit under the carpet because you scare us with this May 13 riots and bloodshed memory? This isn’t about small things becoming sensitive. This is about a major f**k up that somebody needs to answer for. Okay, I’m waiting for you or one of your cabinet colleagues to pull out the ever useful “rights enshrined in the Constitution” gambit. With bated breath.

    Hisham, I choose to believe that us Malaysians are smart enough to know that the only way we can prosper is to live and work together as one nation.

    It’s been days since the shit hit the fan but do you notice something? No names have ever been mentioned. It’s always Maybank did this Maybank shouldn’t have done that. So? So who the f**k is Maybank? Who in Maybank was responsible for making the decision to discriminate so blatantly? Was it the chairman? The board of directors? Some senior manager? Maybank made a decision which means someone signed on the dotted line knowing full well what he/she was doing. Right? So how come, the cabinet, the Prime Minister and all the assorted bunch of politicians are busy making statements and excuses but nobody has ever mentioned a name from Maybank who signed the directive?

    This makes an ordinary, tax-paying member of the rakyat like me very suspicious. Was this a government decision that went horribly wrong? Was some bigshit…sorry I meant bigshot…in Maybank trying to covertly sabotage the government’s plans? Was this discrimination something that’s been happening all along and that this was just a cat out of the bag situation? How are we going to trust each other ever again? How are we to believe the government’s plans for racial integration are even real?

    But already the coverage of this Maybank thing is losing steam in the mainstream media. The flers from BN will make some more statements. Maybe fire some fireworks in celebration of some Visit Malaysia Year biggest, longest, stupidest ‘achievement’ and soon we will all forget and go back to our apathetic lives. cc
    But today I am one really unhappy Malaysian. I am unhappy that something like this could happen. I am unhappy that so many of my friends don’t seem to think that this is a big deal. I am unhappy that I am being patronised by the very people who should be accountable to me for f**k ups like this. I am unhappy that everybody is talking and nobody is being held accountable or responsible. Not the finance minister. Not Bank Negara. Not Maybank.

    I will never use Maybank services. And I think you shouldn’t either. But then I know…aiyah! troublesome la want to change bank account. Somemore they got so many branches ma. So easy for me lor. Hiyah! Waffor want to worry la. Can’t do anything anyway what.

    Okay, you like the shit hole you’re living in you can stay in it. I’m not going to.

    posted by patrickteoh at 3:59 PM

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