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(From New Straits Times (Malaysia))
MALAYSIAN Indians can only progress if they have something like the New Economic Policy.
This observation comes from MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who feels that the time has come for a dedicated policy to take the community forward.
"The Government has to do for Indians what it did for the Bumiputeras in the early days when it consistently pushed for them to come up," he said in an interview.
"If the Government had helped the Bumiputeras once and then left them alone, I don't think they could have had the opportunities they have today." Samy Vellu cited the failure of Indians to own three per cent of total equity despite being given 10 years to do so as an example of how little could be done without a mechanism to help the community.
Indian equity ownership remains below two per cent despite efforts by both the Government and the MIC to improve the figure.
"Although there is a genuine desire, there has been no mechanism to do this. Nobody down the line will do anything to realise this." He said while the MIC worked towards establishing such a mechanism, it was asking the Government for an annual allocation of at least RM50 million to help more Indians become entrepreneurs.
Samy Vellu, who is also Works Minister, said the Government had allocated RM20 million two years ago but this was inadequate.
Asked if the change in Government in India would affect Malaysian infrastructure projects there, he said Indian authorities indicated there would be no change in policy.
On the MIC annual general assembly scheduled for July 17 and 18, he said the main item on the agenda would be ensuring good governance and transparency in the party along the lines of principles introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
"The Prime Minister has shown concern and exhibited a caring spirit for all since he took over. The MIC is of the view that this is a very good policy to adopt for itself." Asked about succession in the party following the decision not to field party deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam in the general election, he said the veteran politician …