JOHOR BARU: The move to appoint two special representatives for Johor Mentri Besar to handle Indian affairs shows that the state is committed to resolving issues affecting the community.
State international trade, investment and utility committee chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said both the representatives, who would be from PKR, would assist the present Indian exco member, Dr S. Ramakrishnan.
Puah, who is also Johor deputy PKR chief, added that previously there was only one Indian special representative under the previous Mentri Besar.
“This time Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal felt the need for two representatives, ” he said after attending a Deepavali gathering in Perling.
He added that among the issues affecting the community in the state were issues such as Tamil schools, temples and also a proper place to do funeral rites for Hindus.
Asked who the two representatives are, Puah said that he would leave it to Dr Sahruddin to make the announcement.
He added in the recent budget, the state government had announced an allocation of RM3mil for the Indian community and RM3.5mil for the Chinese community.
Asked about the sum which many deemed insufficient, Puah said, “If these allocations are exhausted, we hope to get additional funds from the Mentri Besar.”
Recently, Dr Sahruddin gave his assurance that he would serve people of all races in the state fairly and no one will be left out.
During the recent Tanjung Piai by-election, among the issues raised include delays in the opening of three Tamil primary schools which were already constructed.
They are SJK(T) Tun Dr Ismail in Simpang Renggam, SJK(T) Bandar Sri Alam in Johor Baru and SJK(T) Ladang Niyor in Kluang.
There is also a delay in the RM1.4mil project to build a complex to perform the last rites for Hindus in Pasir Gudang.
On another issue, Puah said the pollution along Sungai Tebrau, which was discovered recently, was due to leakages from the Seelong Sanitary Landfill.
“Although there is no threat to our existing water sources, the relevant agencies such as the Department of Environment and the state water regulatory body (Bakaj) are investigating the matter, ” he said.
Puah said everyone should make an effort to protect the state’s water resources from pollution.
Meanwhile, Iskandar Puteri City councillor N. Kunasekaran, who organised the Deepavali gathering, was happy with the turnout among the people in his area.
“We also gave out some household items to those in need, ” he added.