KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has never sidelined the Indian community in this country; in fact, he has further increased allocations for them, said Deputy Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk R. Ramanan.

Ramanan said that additional funds, such as RM30 million for the SPUMI Financing Scheme (SPUMI Goes Big) and a special fund of RM50 million from Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) for the Prosperity, Empowerment & New Normal for Indian Women (PENN) programme, set to benefit over 10,000 Indian women entrepreneurs, could not have been realised without the prime minister’s mandate.

Therefore, he reiterated the call to stop the accusations that the prime minister has sidelined the Indian community while governing the country.

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“Those who claim that the prime minister has marginalised the Indian community should go to Tanjung Rambutan to check their mental capacity.

“These are all jealousies, intended to provoke the anger of the Indian community. Stop it,” he told reporters after opening the Koperasi Pengusaha Restoran India Malaysia Berhad (Koprimas) 11th Annual General Meeting at the Royal Selangor Club here today.

In the ‘Soal Jawab Perdana Menteri’ programme with four local television channels on Wednesday, the prime minister said the Madani government has never sidelined the Indian community in the country and has implemented various initiatives to empower them.

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Earlier in his speech, Ramanan announced the approval of a grant worth RM100,000 to Koprimas.

He said the grant, provided through the Cooperative Strengthening Programme under the Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia (SKM), would serve as a catalyst for business growth and ultimately benefit Koprimas members.

“Koprimas has the potential to expand its business by establishing raw material distribution warehouses, especially for restaurant entrepreneurs throughout Malaysia,” he said.

Ramanan also urged the Indian cooperative movement to take advantage of various government assistance programmes to advance their businesses, noting that only 25 out of the total 419 Indian cooperatives in the country have utilised the Revolving Capital Fund provided by the government through SKM. — Bernama