KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has pledged no more delays in granting citizenship to Malaysian Indians born before independence.
Najib said the time had come for those who had yet to obtain citizenship to redeem their right.
“It need not be delayed any more. I am aware that there are members of the Indian community who were born before independence and have yet to obtain citizenship,” he said at MIC’s 70th anniversary celebrations last night.
“We will solve this in appreciation of the sacrifice of the Indian community which has contributed to the development of the country.”
Speaking before 7,000 members of the party, Najib said the government would also prepare hostels for the children of the rural Indian community to ensure that they would also receive opportunities for quality education.
Najib, who is also the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Indian Affairs, also reiterated his commitment that all efforts to increase the socio-economic standing of the community would continue.
He said “a lot of efforts” had been implemented. Since 2009, allocations totalling RM844.39 million were granted to 26,000 Indian entrepreneurs, and RM760 million allocated for SJKT (Tamil-medium primary schools).
“I have also approved seven more SJKTs for construction,” he said.
He said although the Indian community in the country made up only 7.3 percent of the population, it was a community of loyal friends to the Barisan Nasional.
The MIC was established on Aug 6, 1946, a product of the Malayan Indian Conference attended by representatives of various social organisations, which then joined the Alliance of Umno and MCA for the general elections to the Legislative Council in 1955.
Present at last night’s ceremony were MIC president Dr S Subramaniam, MCA president Liow Tiong Lai, former MIC president S Samy Vellu and families of the former presidents.
Dr Subramaniam described MIC as now refreshed with a new leadership after an internal crisis for about 18 months. He urged all party leaders and members to give full commitment towards advancement of the Indian community.