PUTRAJAYA: The national blueprint for the Indian community to be launched this weekend is no “election gimmick”, says MIC.
Party president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the new initiative was driven by the Prime Minister who was determined to help the community.
“It is not a political ploy or election gimmick. It’s a genuine commitment by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to help the Indian community.
“But at the end of the day, we hope it will translate to political support, so that we can continue to do more for Malaysians,” he said at a media briefing on the blueprint, which Najib will unveil at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
The action plan will span basic needs, education, commerce, housing, employment and entrepreneurship, identity and inclusiveness of the community.
A special unit under the Prime Minister’s Department headed by a director-general will implement the action plan.
Dr Subramaniam, who is also Health Minister, said Najib was “hands-on” with issues affecting Indians, and also chaired the Cabinet Committee on Indian Affairs.
“So serious is the PM in bringing changes to the community that he decided to have a more holistic approach and announced the proposal for a blueprint when he tabled the 11th Malaysia Plan,” he said.
Dr Subramaniam said the blueprint would address ways to help those in the B40, or bottom 40% of households with a monthly income of up to RM3,855.
“It will also resolve issues like education as well as business and entrepreneurship opportunities,” he added.
There are 227,600 Malaysian Indian households in the B40 income segment earning RM2,672 monthly while 57,624 households record monthly wages of below RM2,000.
An estimated 3,528 households are classified as being below the poverty line.
As of 2016, statistics showed that the number of Malaysian Indians totalled 1.99 million, which was 7% of the 31 million population.
Dr Subramaniam said the blueprint would also look at resolving other issues such as religion, documentation and citizenship.