This is a reply to Mr. Muniandy, of HINDRAF on his recent statement that HINDRAF to go on a road show to convince Indians to vote against the BN Government. The road show is premised on the argument that the Government did not carry out a single initiative for the Indian Community, specifically the areas outlined in the HINDRAF Memorandum of 2013.
This is a clear case of misinformation and falsehood being propagated by opposition agents against the Government, as one might realise the impending GE14 being a catalyst for such ludicrous statements.
Here Mr. Muniandy has purposely painted a false picture of the initiatives already being implemented by the Government for the Indian Community. Time and time again HINDRAF has made a farce of creating political roadshows dragging the Indian community through their chaotic ideals.
What the Indian community needs is essentially a clear vision and commitment of economic, educational and social upliftment as outlined in the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB). MIB is not a sudden intervention as described by many. Since 2009, the Government has made both bold commitments and significant inroads towards addressing these challenges. Policies and mechanisms have already been launched under the aegis of Cabinet Committee on Indian Participation in Government Programs and Projects (CCIC).
There were 4 new units/organisations which were set up to deal with ICBC (SITF), Business (SEED), SJKT’s (PTST) and overall socio economic empowerment (SEDIC). Recently, SEDIC has been tasked to implement the initiatives outlined in the MIB. As the first course of action, SEDIC has implemented the Mega Mydaftar campaign listed out in the MIB. If this is not an immediate action plan of the Blueprint, then I wonder what is? Rest assured that all targets listed under the MIB would be carried out diligently with a sense of urgency by this new SEDIC team.
While I agree there are a lot more needs to be done for the Indian Community but least we could do is acknowledge what the Government has done thus far. Let me clear Mr Muniandy’s gross ignorance of all Government initiatives that were carried out based on the action items listed in the HINDRAF memorandum of 2013.
1. [Uplifting Displaced Estate Workers ] – In 2011, the Government allocated a revolving fund of RM50 million for local estate workers to own homes under ‘Skim Khas Pembiayaan Rumah Pekerja Estet (SKRE). Furthermore, RM109 million was allocated under 10th Malaysia Plan for housing and basic necessities in 182 plantation areas. The Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (SEDIC) was set up in 2014 to fund wide-ranging socio-economic upliftment programs. Since its inception, a total sum of RM160 million had been given to over 400 non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) and private skills training institutes. This has helped around 300,000 Malaysian Indians, comprising single mothers, drop-outs, unemployed youths(including from the families of displaced estate workers) and groups with no access to market opportunities.
2. [Places of Worship and Burial Grounds] – Since 2009, over RM55 million was disbursed for the upgrading and expansion of more than 1,300 Hindu temples, Sikh Gurdwaras and other Indian places of worship. Additionally, the CCIC has instructed the building of 15 community halls and 15 crematoriums in highly populated Malaysian Indian locations. Up to date, 2 crematoriums and 3 halls have been completed while the rest are nearing completion in various localities.
3. [Programs to Address Statelessness] – Up to 2015, The Special Implementation Task Force (SITF), has resolved 7,049 cases of documentation issues. As you already know, the Government has recently launched a ‘Mega MyDaftar’ program to resolve once and for all the documentation issues, as part of the first initiative under the MIB.
4. [Programs to Increase educational opportunities] – One of the clear achievement thus far would be increasing the intake of Indians into Skills training institute, where it has exceed the target of 7%, and achieved 10% of the total intake for the year 2016.
5. [Allocate adequate funding to relocate, upgrade and build Tamil schools] – Action Plan for the Future of Tamil Schools Unit (PTST) was established in 2012 to ensure delivery of commitment to the Tamil schools in Malaysia. The Government since 2009 has allocated over RM800 million to improve the infrastructure of Tamil schools. The Government also approved the establishment of 6 new Tamil schools in 2012 and in favour of continuing the approach of new approvals on a case-by-case basis.
6. [Programs to increase employment and business opportunities] – Special Secretariat for Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs (SEED) has assisted 29,115 Indian entrepreneurs in securing loans amounting to RM 1.2 billion and has trained over 3,500 Indian entrepreneurs through capacity building programs.
7. [Establishing a dedicated unit for Indians under the Prime Ministers Department] – SEDIC under Prime Minister’s Department would be restructured and expanded to accommodate the implementation of MIB. A dynamic team of young and experienced personnel will be placed to steer SEDIC.
Throughout the year, 58 full time positions would be filled within SEDIC These are just examples of execution by the Government as opposed to the oblivious statement made by Mr. Muniandy.
I hope this would put to rest Governments sincere commitment to uplift the Indian Community. Of course only time will tell but at least let us come together to support the initiatives outlined in MIB.
S.Saravanan is from Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas(DHRRA). Articles written is strictly the writer’s personal opinion and it does not represent the views of Malaysian Access.