NOV 8 — The Malaysian Indian blueprint is an important policy document which gives good understanding of the socio economic issues facing the Malaysian Indian community especially the B40 families. This document must become the policy framework and focus of government implementation as indicated in the 12th Malaysia Plan. 

We would like the Government to undertake the following 10 policy initiatives. 

  1. Mitra or the Malaysian Transformation Unit is an important coordinating unit and its work must be reviewed seriously. We call for it to be positioned in the Prime Minister’s Department as this has a socio economic development agenda. In this way Mitra can work closely with the EPU and ICU as well as Sepadu. Mitra must be part of the EPU Poverty circle and SDG Steering Committee.

  2. Mitra’s work now led by PTD officers is very important and must not be influenced by the political agenda of any political party and Mitra must serve all Malaysian Indians irrespective of the sub ethnic, religious as well as political convictions. 

  3. Mitra must institute good governance principles which ensures transparency and accountability. It must be disclosed who are members of the RM100 million review and approving committee. All approvals of grants and the organisations must be publically disclosed so that we know who has secured the funds, how much and for what purpose.

  4. We recommend that smaller allocations be made such as RM250, 000.00 as a ceiling for a first time NGO receiver and funds be progressively paid out based on deliverables. After the successful completion of the projects the organisation can reapply for top up funds. The sustainability of the projects is key and the assessment reports must be in public review.

  5. Mitra must play a major role in addressing the inter agency delivery of services as Mitra cannot deliver all the expectations of the community. In this context the educational, poverty, health, entrepreneurial and community concerns be delivered by the relevant line Ministries and agencies.
  6. Mitra must host regular dialogues with the community at the national, state and district level on all major government policies and draw feedback. The public awareness and educational and dialogue process is currently missing. Information on the 12th Malaysian Plan, the Shared Prosperity Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals must be widely circulated to the Malaysian Indian community. 

  7. Mitra must establish decentralised contact points especially in the 38 districts where 95 per cent of Malaysian Indians reside. The establishment of district level taskforce and information centres must be a priority as local communities must have access to the information and services provided. This is localising the serves and strengthening the outreach at the grassroots.

  8. Mitra must update on its official website all its decisions and activities. Mitra must produce an annual report for public circulation to the general public including all Members of Parliament. .

  9. Mitra could host bipartisan discussions with members of parliament on a regular basis so as to provide information on the many initiatives of Mitra and the government

  10. Mitra could possibly establish a community advisory and engagement panel of prominent members of the Malaysian Indian community. The composition could be from professional, academic and community leadership free of political affiliations. 

Society for Community Development & Continuous Learning chaired by James Raj. — Facebook/Mitra
Society for Community Development & Continuous Learning chaired by James Raj. — Facebook/Mitra

This campaign is supported by the following:

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, Datuk A Vaithilingam, Prof Datuk Denison Jayasooria, Prof Mahendhiran S. Nair, Dato Siva Subramnium, Manokaran Mottain, Pasupathi Sithamparam and Arun Doraisamy. 

The campaign is organised by the Society for Community Development & Continuous Learning chaired by James Raj.

If you agree with these 10 points, please register your name and your mobile number to indicate that you are joining us in this campaign. We will submit the campaign advisory note and our signatures to the Prime Minister of Malaysia for his action on this matter as we are members of one family of Malaysians.

Please fill this Google form and our campaign period is for a week (Dec 8 to 14, 2021). On Dec 15, 2021 we will submit the responses to the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya. 

*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.