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“People of all races, be it Malay, Chinese, Indian as well as those from Sabah and Sarawak, voted the new government in, so we have got to be fair to them,” former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin said during an exclusive interview with Bernama News Channel (BNC) and Bernama Economic Service (BES) on Sunday. Pic by NSTP/ASYRAF HAMZAH

KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government under the premiership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will continue to safeguard Malay and Bumiputera interests while taking care of the welfare of marginalised groups in the country.

“People of all races, be it Malay, Chinese, Indian as well as those from Sabah and Sarawak, voted the new government in, so we have got to be fair to them,” former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin said during an exclusive interview with Bernama News Channel (BNC) and Bernama Economic Service (BES) on Sunday.

“In no way will measures to address issues and reforms pertaining to economic and financial management of the country jeopardise any group as enshrined under the constitution,” said Daim, who is heading the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) set up by the government.

“The whole idea of the CEP comprising eminent persons tasked with advising government on economic and financial issues is to ensure justice for everybody. We will safeguard the constitution.”

The council was set up to advise the new PH government for the first 100 days.

It comprises Daim, former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas chief executive officer Tan Sri Hassan Marican, billionaire tycoon Tan Sri Robert Kuok and eminent economist Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram.

Daim said the issue currently was not so much of ensuring equality but rather addressing the issue of “inequality” which was prevalent under the previous administration.

“There was a lot of inequality among the Malays due to cronyism and we are not in favour of UMNO crony companies while Indians were also marginalised,” he said.

He also said it was not right to stereotype urban Chinese as rich as there were many of them who struggled to make a living due to rising costs of living.

“Once you address the inequalities, everybody will be happy,” he said, adding that the role of the government was to be fair to everybody and take care of their welfare.

“We have to take care of poor Malay, Chinese, Indian and others as well as those from Sabah and Sarawak. The rich can take care of themselves,” he said. — BERNAMA

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