12th MP: More can be done to raise Indians’ equity of economic pie – Kula

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 – More specific targets should have been outlined in the 12th Malaysia Plan for Indians lagging behind economically, says Member Parliament for Ipoh Barat and former Minister of Human Resources, M. Kulasegaran.

Indians’ equity of the country’s economic pie remains at a very low 1.2 percent, which is much lower than the percentages that had been set and achieved by other communities, he said, adding that this is something the present government should address.

While the latest national policy plan mentioned in general the issue of poverty and how it will be addressed by more entrepreneurship opportunities, empowering women and training programmes for the B40, there were no specific targets set for the Indian community with specified timeframe for achieving such targets such as within two years or three years, he said.

“No proper mechanisms were spelt out. Earlier Malaysia plans also had similar targets but nothing great was set out.

“Unless there is more inclusiveness to address the issue like a Keluarga Malaysia – as the prime minister said – we cannot go very far with it.

Kula suggested that there should be more participation from more sectors, and that many of the issues related to Indians matters must be institutionalised.”

He said the ministry responsible for matters related to the community should play a pivotal role and make it clear on what targets they want to attain and put in the mechanisms to achieve the goals.

Otherwise there will not be much difference.

In the 12th Malaysia plan tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Sabri Ismail in Parliament yesterday, he said assistance will be given to a part of the Indian community that needed it, particularly those in the lower income category.

“Towards achieving an inclusive development, their well-being will continue to be given priority, in line with the Indian Community Action Plan (initiated by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak). He said the government will support them by preparing skills training programmes as well as targeted financial assistance and entrepreneurship opportunities.”

The proposed 12th Malaysia Plan tabled by the prime minister can be viewed in full at: https://rmke12.epu.gov.my/bm