Thursday 10 May 2007

UPDATE: MAYBANK Backs Down on Bumi Partnerships for Legal Firms

and Retrogressive Imagination, Creativity and Innovation

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketDatuk Amirsham A Aziz, President & CEO, MAYBANK

"The mind seeks continuous improvement to the quality of life through imagination and creativity.

When innovation stops, so does growth.

Maybank's continued growth through the years clearly reflects the importance placed on excellence in innovation." -
Datuk Amirsham A Aziz

Related articles:

Latest News Report:

The Cabinet has ordered Maybank, to withdraw its requirement that law firms must have a bumiputra partner with at least a 50% stake before they could do any business with the bank.

The Cabinet took the stand because it felt it was not a government policy and that the Finance Ministry had also not issued any such directive to banks.

The move, which generated controversy and criticism that it was discriminatory, was discussed at the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Finance Minister, chaired the Cabinet meeting.

The sources said that while the bank's decision was an internal directive, the Cabinet felt it was not a proper decision.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, when contacted, said the Cabinet discussed the issue, and felt that Maybank's decision was inappropriate and not in line with government policy.

The Housing and Local Government Minister considered the matter settled and resolved.

The Maybank decision had been criticised by various groups including the MCA, Bar Council and the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which said firms should be judged on their merit and not ethnic composition. Read here for more

In response, MAYBANK said in a statement the guidelines have been revised upon review of the issues and concerns raised by various parties. It will continue to select solicitor firms based primarily on performance, efficiency and merit, revising earlier guidelines requiring legal firms to have Bumiputera equity if they wanted to do business with the bank

"Moving forward and with immediate effect, all solicitor firms, whether with Bumiputera or non-Bumiputera equity ownership, are eligible for consideration."

"All other revised criteria for emplacement of solicitor firms pursuant to our annual review remain unchanged," Maybank, the largest bank in the country, said.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the Ambank Group said it has been practising a policy of appointing legal firms that do not have Bumiputera partners for the past 20 years. The group said it does not impose restrictions of quota of shares on the equity participation of Bumiputera partners.

It issued the statement Wednesday amid an outcry over the ruling imposed by Maybank by legal firms, chambers of commerce and some political parties, which said jobs should be given to legal firms based on merit and not on such racial quotas.

Ambank said the group has always encouraged legal firms to have Bumiputera partners to encourage Bumiputera participation in the financial services industry in respect of specialised services.

Responding to the issue earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak said in Boston on Tuesday that people must NOT misinterpret the government's policy of encouraging government-linked companies to give business to both Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera companies.

"There should not be any hard and fast rule but there should be efforts to help both," he said. Read here for more

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