From Malaysiakini Feb 3, 08 12:54pm
There are seven critical issues that have caused uneasiness among the Indian community and the government must immediately take steps to address them.
The seven are:
1. an equitable participation in the share market;
2. Indian intake in public universities;
3. better employment opportunities, especially in the public sector;
4. increase the number of government scholarships;
5. greater access to entrepreneurship training and micro-credit loans;
6. an effective urban poverty eradication programme; and.
7. the establishment of a dedicated mechanism to monitor and evaluate the delivery of public sector services in a just and fair manner.
MIC president S Samy Vellu, in listing out these seven grouses, urged the government to resolve these issues immediately as they have hindered the party's efforts to ensure the upward mobility of the Indians, Bernama reported.
"The Indians have very high expectations and are demanding from MIC greater inclusion, access and their rights in the socio-economic development on par with the other communities," he said at the MIC special convention for branch chairmen at the Putra World Trade Centre today.
The Works Minister, who has come under increasing criticism for the failures of the community, said that the Indians wanted just and fair treatment from the government.
The special convention was held to prepare the MIC's grassroots machinery for the upcoming general election. It was opened by Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
About 3,700 MIC branch chairmen and the party's elected representatives attended the one-day convention.
Elaborating on the seven grouses, Samy Vellu said the MIC wanted the government to ensure equitable participation in the share market through the establishment of a special mechanism such as the Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) in order to attain the three per cent equity target by 2020.
He also added that the MIC could only complement the programmes provided by the government for Indians but these initiatives were not sufficient to re-alter the socio-economic disadvantage of the community.Serving effectively
He expressed his confidence that the government would take speedy action on the seven issues which have been forwarded to the government several months ago.
"We have been continuously discussing with the government to resolve these issues and I am confident of a speedy solution," he was added.
Samy Vellu also said that the party was confident of repeating its 100 per cent victory in the last general election. In 2004, the party won all the nine parliamentary and 19 state seats it contested.
He said that the present unhappiness among the Indian community would not dampen the party's resolve to retain all the seats.
"With the people's loyalty and support to the Barisan Nasional, the MIC scored 100 per cent success in the 2004 general election. The Indians realise the Barisan government had always served the people's interests and had brought socio-economic progress to all races," he said.
He added that MIC's election machinery had been well-oiled and was in top gear to swing into action when parliament was dissolved to pave the way for the 12th general election.
On today's convention, Samy Vellu said it was to discuss ways for the party to serve the Indian community effectively.
As grassroots leaders, he said, MIC branch chairmen must maintain close ties with the people in their areas and to inform them the various opportunities extended by the government to improve their livelihood.