KUALA LUMPUR: A new investment vehicle is in the making to uplift the economic strength of the Malaysian Indian community and is expected to hit a size of RM3bil over the next decade.
The private-run initiative, led by the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KLSICCI), aims to play a pivotal role in raising the Malaysian Indian community’s equity ownership to 3% by 2030.
Economist Manokaran Mottain, who is the initiative’s coordinator, told Starbiz that the investment vehicle will be a key element in transforming the Malaysian Indian community into a sustainable and investing community.
“Under the Malaysian Indian Economic Transformation (MIET) initiative that we have established, we aim to set up a foundation that will pave the way for the creation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV). For a start, we will take contributions from our founding members and build the fund size over time.
“Within three years, we hope to achieve RM100mil in fund size. Once we have a good track record, we will open to other Malaysian Indians from all walks of life,” he said after the second roundtable of the MIET.
The MIET initiative is supported by the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (MITRA) under the Prime Minister’s Department.
When asked how the investment vehicle proposal differs from the infamous Maika Holdings scandal, Manokaran said the fund will be professionally managed and will remain apolitical.
“We will also ensure there is a structured management, supported by good governance,” he said.
Formed by MIC in 1984, Maika Holdings was aimed to improve the Malaysian Indian equity ownership in the corporate sector and had about 66,000 investors, comprising labourers and plantation workers, among others.
However, due to mismanagement and failed investments, Maika Holdings was pushed to the brink of bankruptcy and hit an accumulated losses of RM106.7mil by end-2008.
Manokaran pointed out that the MIET initiative will also focus on entrepreneurship development, looking into issues related to financing, market access, Industry 4.0 and others.
“We also hope to tap into the RM4bil fund that the government plans to establish for the socio-economic development of the Malaysian Indian community,” he said.
Manokaran said a conference will be organised by end-July 2019 in order to finalise the proposals of the MIET initiative, upon which will be presented to the government.
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