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Time we take the Indian community in Malaysia seriously — Charles Santiago

Publish date: Tue, 05 Jul 2022, 01:10 PM

JULY 5 — Amirudin Shari, Selangor’s Menteri Besar, has announced several commitments for the Indian community at the “Shaping a Malaysian Indian Development Narrative” workshop Sunday.

Under his chairmanship, the State will form a Selangor Indian Coordination Council to coordinate Selangor’s Indian-based business and socio-economic efforts.

Additionally, the menteri besar committed to support B40 Indian students at the Ladang Midlands hostel.

Capacity-building programmes for B40 children will commence within the next few months and by January 2023, the hostel will begin to operate and accommodate up to one hundred students.

The Selangor state will also consider increasing TVET education for B40 Indian children to decrease school dropout and provide an alternative skills carrier path with higher income potential.

One hundred participants from 65 different Selangor-based NGOs who attended the workshop also developed 25 proposals to set a new narrative for the Indian community in the next five years.

In 2017 , the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) revealed depressing socio-economic conditions of Malaysian Indians.

And the Covid-19 pandemic, December 2021 floods, and the current price increase have further impacted the Indian B40 families.

We are very pleased that the menteri besar is on board because shaping the new Indian narrative should be premised on a public-public partnership, where people and government work together in enabling the community.

On top of the pledges made by Amirudin, I have also suggested that the State and Federal governments make firm commitments to alleviate poverty amongst the Indians, by targeting 10,000 Indians within Selangor and 50,000 throughout the country.

It’s about time we take the Indian community in Malaysia seriously through the inclusion of their concerns in development and poverty-reduction processes.

And isn’t this what Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri’s Keluarga Malaysia, all about?

* Charles Santiago is the MP for Klang.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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