BERA, Oct 16 — The government always pays special attention to the Indian community in various aspects, including in terms of education and the economy, said caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said that, for example, Budget 2023 which was tabled in Parliament on October 7 also covered various initiatives specifically for the Indian community, such as the RM100 million for Indian entrepreneurship development under the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra).
“Previously, MITRA came under the Ministry of National Unity, but it has since been moved to the Prime Minister’s Department to be placed directly under the Prime Minister. This shows the importance of the development of Indians in Malaysia.
“In addition, an allocation of RM25 million was also given to the Indian Community Entrepreneur Development Scheme (SPUMI) under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives,” he said at a tea session with the Indian community in the Bera parliamentary constituency at Dewan Kompleks Umno Bera Division here today.
Touching on the aspect of education, Ismail Sabri said although it was not specifically stated, allocations were also given for the development of Tamil national-tyle primary schools, plus an additional RM5 million to make it RM25 million in allocation for AIMST University, which is a MIC-owned private university based in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
The government, Ismail Sabri said, had implemented various upskilling and reskilling training sessions which had benefited 42,544 Indian trainees as of August at a cost of nearly RM77 million.
“As for job placement, a total of 68,996 people from the Indian community have been assisted as of September in various fields of skills and industries,” he said.
Although there is a specific allocation for the Indian community, Ismail Sabri emphasised that the government never sidelined the other communities, with various contributions given to everyone eligible as the aim is to ease the financial burden of the people, especially those in the B40 category.
For example, he referred to the early schooling aid being increased from RM100 to RM150 for all pupils from next year as well as the one-off aid of RM2,500 for households with five or more children, saying this had never been done by the previous government. — Bernama