PUTRAJAYA: The Bumiputera Economic Congress (KEB) 2024 that ended today outlined over 80 resolutions as part of the bumiputera empowerment agenda in the digital age.

The congress, that began on Thursday, served as a platform for parties from different backgrounds to exchange views and thoughts on the problems afflicting the bumiputera, and brought together over 3,000 participants including representatives from various Chambers of Commerce as well as the Orang Asli communities.

The congress focused on 10 groups defining the various aspects of the bumiputera - Education Reform and Human Capital, Technical Vocational Education and Training (Main Career Choice) and Strengthening the Halal Industry, Rural Development and Empowering the Orang Asli, Wealth Creation and Corporate Dominance, Bumiputera Industry Competitiveness, Mastering New Technology, Felda and the Federal Region, as well as the Socioeconomy of Sabah and Sarawak bumiputeras.

Throughout the three-day congress jointly organised by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry and the Economic Affairs Ministry, chairmen of 10 groups focused on various aspects of the bumiputera, comprising of industry players and other luminaries shared their findings from engagement sessions and presented suggestions that could serve as solutions to problems that were identified.

The suggestions include the setting up of a Bumiputera Development Research Centre, an idea mooted by Education Reform and Human Capital Group chairman Prof Tan Sri Noor Azlan Ghazali and solutions to the lagging pace of development in Sabah and Sarawak compared to the Peninsula, forwarded by Sabah Bumiputera Socioeconomic Group chairman Prof Madya Datuk Dr Ramzah Dambul who pointed out that gaps in basic infrastructure would stymie efforts to develop the bumiputera economy there.

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There were also suggestions by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Group that the government assign a body or organisation to manage TVET Tahfiz institutions and strengthen partnerships between TVET Tahfiz programmes with state Islamic Religious Councils.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim outlined three determinants to support the aspirations of the people - strengthening the economic pillars of the country, governance and institutions and to uphold social justice.

He also announced RM1 billion in funds to create a new generation of bumiputera entrepreneurs, the setting up of the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) MADANI Endowment Fund, with a starting grant of RM100 million and a target of collecting funds of RM1 billion within two years.

Meanwhile, MARA chairman Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said the monitoring and implementation of all the resolutions suggested was a vital matter that required attention post-KEB 2024.

“We hope it is not merely a congress and working papers but sound views we obtained during the engagement sessions and the prime minister has shown commitment to the congress for implementation by the government.

“This requires oversight and coordination and most importantly, we can assess and measure successes from time to time,” he said.

A total of RM150,00 in sale transactions were recorded from 21 booth selling products and services of entrepreneurs throughout the congress. - Bernama

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