KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — A PKR lawmaker asked the government today to allocate funds to the rebranded Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) for it to develop a university specifically for the local Indian community.
Batu MP P. Prabakaran made the request when debating the 2020 Budget in Dewan Rakyat today, lamenting that ethnic Indian youths are often at the mercy of the quota system when applying to public universities.
He said this issue could be resolved by creating an institution similar to Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) for the Indian community.
He claimed this would also “protect the unity and harmony in the country”.
“In Mitra's efforts to strengthen the Indian community, I see it as just for Mitra to open an institution like Mara, to help the ethnic Indian youths to get education.
“I see that the Indian youths are sometimes forced to hope on the quotas from other institutions.
“I am confident and believe that when there is a Mitra version of the Mara product like UiTM, ethnic Indian children do not have to hope (for seats) from other institutions and with this move, the harmony and unity of the nation can be safeguarded,” Prabakaran added.
He also made comparisons to allocations for the National Permata Programme (Permata) under the previous government, saying this showed there was money available to develop the Indian community.
The programme started nearly a decade ago when former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak first took office. In the 2017 Budget, it received RM85 million in allocations.
The programme was the brainchild of Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.