PUTRAJAYA - The Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Agenda is necessary for long-term national stability, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister said the affirmative action policy was not simply a matter of economic justice.
"When you talk about being inclusive, it's not for the minority but also for the majority as well.
"Why should the marginalised support a political system if it only widens the gap between the rich and the poor?
"If the bumiputra who are made up of more than 60 per cent of the population in Malaysia is marginalised, will that lead to long-term stability?" he said in his keynote address at the Dialogue on Diversity, Diplomacy and Peace here yesterday.
The dialogue was organised by Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council (APRC) and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Isis) Malaysia.
Najib said poverty and inequality had a destabilising and corrosive effect on societies, and law and order would not amount to anything if people did not benefit from a country's economy.
Poverty, he said, had hardly become history in Asia as societies had in fact became more unequal.