PETALING JAYA: The body in charge of socio-economic development of the Indian community has set several targets.
Socioeconomic Development of Indian Community Unit (Sedic) director-general Datuk Dr N.S. Rajendran said one of it was to increase their numbers in the civil service and higher education sectors.
He said the unit, which oversees the execution of the initiatives outlined in the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB), aimed to increase the proportion of Malaysian Indians in the civil service to reach a minimum level of 7% employment.
“Together with relevant agencies, we will ensure fair representation of the Indian community in the civil service by strengthening the Public Service Department recruit pipeline with effective outreach efforts amongst the bottom 40% of Indian households,” Dr Rajendran said.
The agency, he added, also targets a minimum 7% enrolment of Indian students in higher education institutions and public universities by supporting qualified students with guidance and funding.
Entrepreneurship will also be promoted among the Malaysian Indian community as the Entrepreneur Development Centre (Tekun Nasional) has allocated RM50mil for micro-entrepreneurs under the Indian Community Entrepreneur Development Scheme (SPUMI) in collaboration with Sedic.
Dr Rajendran said under the Budget 2018, a new investment initiative would be introduced to the Malaysian Indian community, with RM1.5bil units to be allotted under the Amanah Saham 1Malaysia scheme to enable Malaysian Indians to top up their investment in the unit trust fund up to 30,000 units per investor.
A zero-interest loan of RM5,000 is also offered for qualified B40 families to encourage the participation of such families in the Amanah Saham 1Malaysia scheme.
Dr Rajendran also spoke of a nationwide pilot initiative to transform temples into community centres, with the aim of increasing the social contribution of temples and other Indian houses of worship to the community.
Commenting on the successes of Sedic so far, Dr Rajendran highlighted the Mega MyDaftar campaign which saw 1,054 Malaysian Indians receiving their citizenship in 2017.
He added that in 2017, RM50mil was also allocated towards programmes run by NGOs and skills training providers to assist Malaysian Indian vulnerable groups such as single mothers, dropouts and unemployed youths.
“These initiatives that have been ongoing certainly thrusts away all uncertainties that rose upon the launch of the MIB. Calling it a political rhetoric doesn’t hold water anymore,” he said.
Dr Rajendran also rebutted critics’ opinions that MIB is a mere study without any real-life effect.
“(The MIB) is designed to be practically executed on the ground and not just a mere academic document,” he said.