PETALING JAYA: Federal minister P Waythamoorthy has vowed that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s special fund for Indians will reach its intended targets.
Speaking to FMT, the Hindraf chairman said the RM4 billion over a period of 10 years would mostly come from government-linked companies (GLCs) and the private sector.
Waytha, who is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said based on PH’s manifesto, the government was committed to injecting RM100 million before raising money through GLCs and private companies.
He vowed to ensure that money meant for the socio-economic development of the Indian community would reach its intended target, claiming this wasn’t always the case with allocations given by the Barisan Nasional government.
Waytha said the fund would primarily be used to enhance the ability of the bottom 40 (B40) group to increase income through training and business opportunities.
As an example, he said the government, through its agencies or NGOs, might bring together a group of youth and train them in a skill such as automotive repair.
“Then, we can bring them together to start a workshop. We will help them obtain a loan and also teach them how to run a business, from marketing to accounting and so on.
“We won’t just teach them how to repair a motorcycle then leave them be. We will take it to the next level.”
Waytha said key to the success of this fund was monitoring the effectiveness of the programmes and initiatives paid for by the fund, which would be done by the relevant government agencies.
He said the government agencies would also intervene if needed, to ensure the B40 entrepreneurs constantly received guidance and assistance to help them grow.
Previously, Klang MP Charles Santiago said the fund, one of the 25 promises in PH’s manifesto for the Indian community, was inspired by Singapore’s Indian Development Association (Sinda) fund.
The Sinda Fund was set up in 1992 for the benefit of Singapore Indians. Working Indians contribute a portion of their monthly salaries to the fund which is managed and channelled by Sinda to those in need, particularly for education, youth aspirations and parenting.