Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia pays special attention to its Indian community, especially in terms of education and economy, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has said.

He said the 2023 budget, which was recently tabled in Parliament, announced various initiatives for the Indian community such as RM100 million for the development of Indian entrepreneurship under the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra). , reported the Malay Mail.

“Previously, Mitra was under the Ministry of National Unity, but it has since been moved to the Prime Minister’s Department to report directly to the Prime Minister. It shows the importance of Indian development in Malaysia,” Sabri Yaakob said during a tea party with the Indian community in the Bera parliamentary constituency.

“Additionally, an allocation of RM25 million has also been given to the Development of Community Entrepreneurs Program of India (SPUMI) under the Ministry of Entrepreneurs and Cooperative Development,” he said in the Malay Mail.

Mitra, which started in 2008, is a special unit dealing with the socio-economic development aspect of the Indian community in Malaysia.

Sabri Yaakob’s comments came after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim called for forensic audits to be carried out on Mitra. He claimed that government funds intended for the Indian community had been misappropriated.

Last year, Mitra was investigated by Malaysia’s anti-corruption commission over allegations of embezzlement from 2019 to 2021.

Talking about education, the Prime Minister said allocations have also been given for the development of Tamil national style primary schools.

The government, Sabri Yaakob said, had set up various refresher and retraining training sessions which had benefited 42,544 Indian trainees as of August at a cost of nearly RM77 million.

“As for job placement, a total of 68,996 people from the Indian community were assisted in September in various skill areas and industries,” he said.

Malaysian Indians form the third largest group in Malaysia after the Malays and Chinese.

The majority of Malaysian Indians belong to the Tamil ethnicity, along with other smaller groups such as the Malayalees, Telugus, Sikhs and others.

Indians make up around 7% of the Malaysian population and the number of Indians in Malaysia in 2022 is around 22.65 lakh.

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