I will be back, says former HR Minister Sivakumar

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21: Right till his last day as the former Human Resources Minister, V.Sivakumar said there were concerted efforts by several “people” to oust him from his office.

“All sorts of accusations and untruths were hurled at me,” Sivakumar said during his speech at the Annual General Meeting of the Malaysia Indian Hair Dressing Saloon Owners Association (MINDAS) held here on Friday.

“It is true that I have been keeping a low profile but it has been a period of rest for me as well, and I do intend to come back,” he said, without giving full details on what that comeback would entail.

He also said as a seasoned politician, he knew who his enemies were but decided to take the high road and let matters be and continue with what he hoped to do for the community.

“It is also very important for Indians to be united and support in full whoever who has been selected to lead the community.

“The fighting and power struggle among community leaders and the backbiting to bring down who has been given the mandate to lead should stop.

“When united the community will have a great deal to gain, otherwise there will be no progress,” he added.

On another note, Sivakumar said he will be also looking into the request made by MINDAS to resolve their foreign workers intake issue.

A total of 7,500 approvals were given for the intake of foreign workers in the three subsectors of goldsmiths, textiles and barber shops but the industry members have alleged that only 300 workers have been approved so far.

“The process of approval is not limited to the Human Resources Ministry, but also involves the Home Ministry. While approvals have been cleared at the Human Resources Ministry level, they get rejected at the Home Ministry level and many are reluctant to put in fresh applications for fear of further rejections,” Sivakumar said, adding that these industry members have approached him to resolve their problem.

He had been told that the requirements were too stringent.

Sivakumar who was instrumental in getting the foreign workers quota for the three sub sectors approved by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Cabinet, said he had written to the prime minister with the hope of meeting him on the matter.

— WE