Oct 11, 2006

Asli's Dr Lim Quits, Defends Study Findings

Extracted from BERNAMA
Asli's Dr Lim Quits, Defends Study Findings

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 (Bernama) -- The director of the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI)'s Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) Dr Lim Teck Ghee will quit his post end of this month in defence of his controversial findings on Bumiputera equity.

Lim, who takes full responsibility over the findings and the other studies that were submitted by ASLI to the government on the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) last February, said he could not agree with the statement by the institute's president Mirzan Mahathir yesterday.

"And because of the need to defend the position and integrity of independent and non-partisan scholarship, I regret to inform that I will be stepping down from my position as director at the end of the month," he said in a four-paragraph statement issued here Wednesday.

Mirzan in a statement issued here yesterday, said that on re-examining the methodology and conclusions of the report, "Asli has concluded that there are shortcomings in assumption and calculation that led to conclusions that cannot be vigorously justified".

"As the 30 per cent ownership of Malaysian corporate equity by Bumiputeras is one of the key targets of the NEP (National Economic Policy), it is important to have a reliable methodology to measure the government's success in meeting the target," said Mirzan.

The centre's report that the estimated Bumiputera equity ownership in public-listed companies might be as high as 45 per cent of total equity traded on the Malaysian bourse had been disputed by many.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in commenting on the issue last Thursday, rejected the findings and regarded it as baseless and inaccurate as he said several indicators used by the centre were irrelevant.

Lim, the first director of the centre which was established in mid-2005, hoped "the public space opened up by the centre's work on the particular, as well as other important issues will be expanded on and vigorously defended by others".

"It is the fundamental right of the Malaysian public to question all government statistics and policies, more so when these are not transparent or defensible," he said.

Lim, a PhD graduate from the Australian National University in 1971, has been a professor at the Institute For Advanced Studies, Universiti Malaya, before working as the regional adviser on poverty alleviation and social integration for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific.

He also once worked as a senior social specialist with the Environment and Social Development Sector Unit of the World Bank, and has published extensively on human resources and development issues.


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