Leaving none on the sidelines


Well deserved: Anwar (left) presenting the Dr Ambedkar Award 2024 to Thinaah during the event at the Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam, Selangor. — Bernama

SHAH ALAM: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has reassured Malaysian Indians that their needs will not be overlooked or sidelined.

Delivering the keynote address at the fifth Ambedkar International Convention organised by the Dr Ambedkar Welfare Association Malaysia, Anwar said the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) is not the sole conduit to render aid to the Indian community.

“The solution to the problems is not only through Mitra as we also have Tekun, under which we have allocated RM30mil for Indians,” said Anwar at the event, which was also to commemorate the 113th birth anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.

Ambedkar was one of the architects of the Indian Constitution and India’s first law and justice minister.

Anwar said there was also Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) set up by him decades ago to help hardcore poor Malays.

“In 2024, we allocated RM50mil (to AIM) specifically for Indian families,” he said.

The Prime Minister also shot down claims by certain quarters that he has neglected the Indian community since taking over the nation’s reins.

Anwar said Indians in Kuala Lumpur and Negri Sembilan were the biggest recipients of help sanctioned for the community.

Given that his priority is to end poverty in the country, Anwar said there will not be discrimination of any race in poverty eradication efforts.

He added that the government has plans to offer the Indian community more opportunities to prosper as it is an integral part of the Malaysian society.

Earlier in his speech, Anwar said it is crucial for everyone to propagate unity and not fall prey to unnecessary instigation of racist agendas peddled by certain quarters.

He said outrage has become a norm with candid conversation descending into acrimonious debate.

“Therefore, it has become increasingly vital to nurture an environment where depth prevails over quick judgement. Intellectual discourse is needed and disagreements approached with civility,” he said.

Several awards were presented to towering Malaysians at the event and among the recipients were Datuk Ahmad Zaharil Muhaiyar, who had represented a poor single mother in court and prevented her from going to jail for stealing a pencil case for her son.

Inspired by the lawyer’s random kindness, the boy became a lawyer as well and reached out to Ahmad Zaharil in 2018.

The story was highlighted by The Star and later turned into a Hari Raya Aidilfitri commercial by RHB Bank.

Among the other recipients were national shuttler Thinaah Muralitharan and sitar maestro Samuel J Dass.

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Anwar Ibrahim , Mitra , Thinaah

   

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