KUALA LUMPUR: An immediate allocation of RM2mil to assist hardcore poor students from the Indian community has been approved, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister announced this at the launch of the National MIC brigade at Stadium Axiata Arena here yesterday.
“I’ve agreed with a proposal made earlier by the MIC president for RM2mil for hardcore poor Indian students to be included in the coming Budget.
“But there is no need to wait for the Budget because I am announcing today the approval for the RM2mil,” he said to thunderous applause.
Ismail Sabri also announced that the Malaysian Indian Community Transformation (Mitra) Unit fund was to be placed under the Prime Minister’s Department.
“I also agreed that a Mitra Foundation be set up,” he added.
Mitra currently comes under the purview of the National Unity Ministry.
Ismail Sabri also said that the setting up of a special Cabinet committee for the development of the Indian community was in its final stages.
Among those in the committee are MIC president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran and deputy president Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, along with representatives from the Indian Consultative Council.
Ismail Sabri also assured the Indian community that they would not be left out of the nation’s development.
He said this was in line with his Keluarga Malaysia or Malaysian Family aspiration that “no one is left behind”.
He added that more announcements to benefit the Indian community would be made in Budget 2023, which is to be tabled in Parliament on Oct 7.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri expressed his confidence that the MIC brigade would be an “additional tonic” to ensure a bigger win for Barisan Nasional in the coming general election.
Earlier, in his speech, Vigneswaran urged the government to provide more allocations for socioeconomic development programmes for the Indian community.
Among his suggestions was for RM300mil to be allocated to set up the Mitra Foundation.
He also proposed RM2mil be allocated annually for hardcore poor Indian students, particularly to house them in special dormitories.
Some 15,000 youths under the MIC brigade nationwide attended the event that was launched by Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The MIC brigade was set up in 2003 by Vigneswaran, who was the MIC Youth chief, to uplift youths from the community through education, sports and economic programmes.
The event also saw a special tribute for former MIC president Tun S. Samy Vellu, 86, who passed away last Thursday.