KUALA LUMPUR: The Indian community in the country will soon be empowered over the next 10 years with the launch of the Malaysian Indian Blueprint, which is tailored specifically for them.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak officially launched the blueprint on Sunday, with specific targets and policies set in place to address the plight of Indians.
The blueprint contains solutions to several key issues affecting the community such as education, improving livelihoods and better social inclusion.
Calling it a true milestone, Najib said the blueprint took two years to prepare as the Government insisted on a bottom-up method.
"When we began, we wanted to directly impact the lives of as many needy Indians as possible.
"We achieved this by delivering positive outcomes to a million Indians throughout the country over the last eight years – that's more than half the community," he said in his speech at Dewan Merdeka here.
Najib said the blueprint was not merely vetti pecchu (political rhetoric).
"What we are doing is not syok sendiri (self-gratification) or vetti pecchu.
"What I will show to you this evening are real-life achievements in changing the lives and quality of the Indian community," he said to thunderous applause.
With the launch of the blueprint, Najib announced that the Government has set a target of at least 7% of Indian participation in the civil service in all ranks by 2026.
The Government will also do an intervention to increase the enrolment of Indian students in local higher learning institutions to at least 7%.
Other announcements include the allocation of RM500mil under Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) specifically for B40 group within the Indian community, and a special clearance system to grant citizenship to Indians who resided or were born in Malaya before 1957, to be executed by the Home Ministry.
It is estimated that up to 25,000 Indians residing in Malaysia have yet to receive their citizenship.Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai were present at the launch.