KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is working on a plan to better the lives of Indians under the 11th Malaysia Plan.
“We are formulating a development roadmap for the community under the 11th Malaysia Plan to boost standards of living,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
Speaking at the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (MAICCI) 65th anniversary dinner, he said many problems that Indians faced were not limited to them alone.
He called on MAICCI, which represents over 50,000 members, to take part in the Government’s Indian Community Blueprint Secretariat programme, which will be carried out by year-end.
More than 3,000 Indians attended the dinner which was also graced by Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan.
Najib said that he was aware of Indian-centric problems such as employment and university intakes, and these are issues which should not be handled by Indian interest groups only.
“It is a Malaysian problem and has to be addressed in that context. In the long run, what we need are mechanisms that will work for all races,” he said.
Najib said the Government has assisted Indians, adding that 167,500 of the community’s poor got entrepreneurship and skills-training under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
He said many special Indian-based units, including the Secretariat for Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs (SEED), have been set up.
He said SEED has handled over RM711mil in loans which benefited over 24,000 Indian entrepreneurs so far.
Earlier, MAICCI president Tan Sri K. K. Eswaran pledged his support to Najib.
“We must be very fair to a leader like him. Give him a chance,” he said.