It’s time we took Malaysia’s Indian community seriously — Charles Santiago


Tuesday, July 05, 2022 10:27 AM MYT

JULY 5 – Amirudin Shari, Menteri Besar of Selangor, announced several engagements for the Indian community on Sunday during the “Shaping a Malaysian Indian Development Narrative” workshop.

Under his chairmanship, the state will form a Selangor Indian Coordination Council to coordinate the commercial and socio-economic efforts of Selangor based in India.

Additionally, the menteri besar is committed to supporting Indian B40 students at Ladang Midlands hostel.

Capacity building programs for B40 children will start in the next few months and by January 2023 the hostel will start operating and accommodating up to one hundred students.

Selangor State will also consider increasing TVET education for Indian B40 children to reduce school dropout and provide an alternative career path with higher earning potential.

Charles Santiago (seated, fourth from left) and Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari (seated, fifth from left) pose for a group photo with participants of the workshop “Shaping an Indian Development Narrative Malaysian”. — Photo courtesy of Charles Santiago

About 100 participants from 65 different NGOs based in Selangor who attended the workshop also developed 25 proposals to define a new narrative for the Indian community over the next five years.

In 2017, the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) revealed the depressing socio-economic conditions of Malaysian Indians.

And the Covid-19 pandemic, the December 2021 floods and the current price hike have further impacted Indian B40 families.

We are very happy that the menteri besar is on board, because the shaping of the new Indian narrative should be based on a public-public partnership, where people and government work together to empower the community.

In addition to the promises made by Amirudin, I also suggested that the state and federal governments make firm commitments to reduce poverty among Indians, targeting 10,000 Indians in Selangor and 50,000 nationwide.

It is time we took the Malaysian Indian community seriously by mainstreaming their concerns into development and poverty reduction processes.

And isn’t that what Ismail Sabri’s Prime Minister Keluarga Malaysia means?

* Charles Santiago is the MP for Klang.

** This is the personal opinion of the author or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malaysian courier.

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