KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) should participate in the Indian Community Blueprint Secretariat programme.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the secretariat was tasked to deliver the development roadmap, under the 11th Malaysia plan, with the objective of boosting the standards of living for the Indian community.
“My government has always placed a priority on Malaysia’s Indian community, and we have set up many programmes to address its needs.
“The government continues to invest in the Indian community, largely coordinated by the strategic unit set up under my office – the Secretariat for Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs or SEED,” he said at the chamber’s 65th anniversary dinner here Saturday night.
To date, the SEED Secretariat, in charge of the economic front, has facilitated over RM711 million in loans through schemes such as TEKUN and Amanah Ikhtiar.
The secretariat also financed small and medium enterprises under various government agencies like the SME Bank and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd, which has benefited over 24,000 Malaysian Indian entrepreneurs, he said.
Beside SEED, Najib said the government had also established the Special Implementation Taskforce on Indian Community, the Tamil School Action Council and the Special Unit for Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community.
“If there is an Indian who is not employed, who has been discriminated against in the case of a business opportunity or has been side-lined for educational intakes – that is not a problem solely for the Indian community that should be dealt with just by the organisations that protect the rights of Indians.
“It is a Malaysian problem and has to be addressed in that context. In the long-run, what we need are mechanisms that will work for all races,” he added.
To cater for the needs of the Malaysian Indian businesses, Najib said the government has developed a two-pronged approach, including putting in place measures to assist microenterprises, bringing the community into the economic mainstream and contributing to growth.
He added that the government had a targeted approach to help innovative and high-growth companies harness their full potential and to integrate into the global market.
“We will always safeguard your customs and values just as we safeguard all Malaysians. Our diversity is our strength, and Malaysian Indians have always, and will continue to make up, a very significant part of that diversity,” he added. – BERNAMA