Monday, December 15, 2008

Latest From Malaysiakini

Do more for Indians, MIC tells gov't

MIC wants the government to do more for the Indian community, not just to woo them back to the Barisan Nasional but also to put them on equal footing economically with the other races, said party president S Samy Vellu.

He said although the government had undertaken various initiatives to uplift their social and economic status, there was still an impression within the Indian community that more needed to be done.

"The government must be more open and transparent in helping the Indians in this country," he told reporters after opening the MIC Rebranding workshop for Selangor branch chairmen yesterday.

He said MIC would continue to hold discussions with the government to chart new initiatives for the Indian community.

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Samy Vellu said he did not want the Indians to harbour any ill-feelings towards the federal government by continuously saying that they have been marginalised.

'Nothing comes easy'

Earlier in his speech, he said MIC had to always fight for the rights of the Indian community.

"Nothing comes easy. It is always MIC which makes the requests to the government and not the other way around," he said, adding that "this must change".

However, despite some shortcomings, he said MIC was happy with the various steps taken by the government to address the problems faced by the Indian community.

He said since the last general election on March 8, the government formed a cabinet committee for Indians; allocated RM50 million for the rebuilding of Tamil schools, agreed to transform the nearly 350 partially-aided Tamil schools into fully-aided schools; set up a fund under the PNB to assist Indian to buy shares and many more.

"But there are still many things such as our request to have the percentage of Indians in the public sector workforce be increased," he said, adding that there should be al least a seven percent increase in every intake.

He said MIC has proposed various new measures to assist the Indians to be submitted to the cabinet for approval through the party’s only Indian representative, Dr S.Subramaniam who is the human resources minister and MIC secretary-general.

Asked what would be the party's proposals at the Barisan Nasional Convention next year, he said MIC was working out several proposals and would submit them to the BN soon.

However, he declined to reveal the proposals, saying it should be announced later.

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