Selangor Journal
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (centre) presenting the Dr Ambedkar 2024 Award to national badminton athlete M. Thinaah (second from right) during the Fifth International Convention and Celebration of Indian statesman Dr Ambedkar’s 133rd birthday and the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration, at the Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam on April 14, 2024. — Picture by BERNAMA

Unity govt has never neglected Indian community — PM Anwar

SHAH ALAM, April 14 — The Unity Government has never neglected the welfare of the Indian community, but rather, various programmes have been initiated to assist in the development of the community at large, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said every programme which has been or is being carried out by the government is universal in nature and tailored to the interests of the entire Indian community in the country as per their needs and aspirations, in line with the concept of the Malaysia Madani government.

Citing the success of eradicating hardcore poverty in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, and Penang, Anwar said efforts to eradicate poverty were made regardless of race, and such an initiative also included the Indian community.

“…I do not care whether they are ‘tauke’ who are Malays, Chinese, or Indians. What I care about is the majority who are not so privileged.

“That is why I say our first priority is to eradicate hardcore poverty. Though in terms of numbers, Malays are the majority, but in terms of those who benefitted under the initiative in Kuala Lumpur and Negeri Sembilan, it is the Indian community.

“I do not see the issue of poverty from the racial point of view; if they fall under the hardcore poor category, they will be assisted,” he said.

Anwar was speaking at the Fifth International Convention and Celebration of Indian statesman Dr Ambedkar’s 133rd birthday and the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration at the Ideal Convention Centre today.

Concerning education for the Indian community, he said various initiatives have been carried out, including setting up four new Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) schools in Selangor and Perak, plus two more in Negeri Sembilan, which started operations in March.

“Therefore, claims that we did not do anything for the Indian community is not true…there was also an additional RM30 million allocated for the development of SJK(T) and RM5 million for the development of education and Tamil literature, which I had announced in Universiti Malaya.

“For Asian Institute of Medical, Science, and Technology University (AIMST), I have approved RM25 million, on condition that (AIMST) submit a transparent financial account…we in the Cabinet have also agreed to offer Indian students an easy path to enrol in TVET institutions,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that as part of the efforts to uplift the community in the job market, the government held discussions with various private entities to provide training and increase the number of Indians employed in government-linked companies.

The government has similarly expanded Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia’s (AIM) functions to the Indians, originally intended for the Malays, via the RM50 million allocation to empower Indian women entrepreneurs through the Prosperity Empowerment and A New Normal for Indian Women (PENN) programme yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra), which has since been placed under the Prime Minister’s Department again, is not the only avenue for Indian communities to uplift themselves.

Anwar, therefore, urged the community to not look into everything through the prism of race and pledged that all Unity Government representatives will work hard to address issues raised by the Indian community.

“Let me remind you, is this adequate? No. Is this the final act? No. But this is the process, I do understand and appreciate the problem that we have to face in dealing with some extreme voices among the Malays that formed the majority…we have to deal with all these issues at the same time.

“Everywhere I go when I visit the Malay communities, I tell them we are here to show (other communities) a good example…I want to prove a point that if we want to lead this country, we need to be just to all of our citizens,” he said.

Meanwhile, the two-day convention, which started today, was attended by about 1,500 participants, including 250 foreign delegates from India, the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Brunei, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia.

— Bernama


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