Demand to rebuild Tamil schools in Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur : The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) has demanded that 60 percent of the 523 Tamil schools in the country be rebuilt by 2011 under a financial package allotted to promote better education among the two million-plus ethnic Indians.

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MIC President S. Samy Vellu urged the government to set up a committee to coordinate rebuilding and refurbishing of the schools, for which a RM 50 million ($23 million approx.) stimulus package has been planned.

The proposal would be tabled by MIC secretary-general S. Subramaniam, who is also Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister, at the next cabinet meeting.

“We want 60 percent of the Tamil schools to be rebuilt or refurbished before 2011,” Vellu said in a statement here Thursday, The Star newspaper reported.

Vellu also urged the government to expedite the implementation of the proposals submitted to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Finance Minister Najib Tun Razak to increase equity participation of the ethnic Indians.

“The proposals include the setting up of a mechanism within the Perbadanan Nasional Bhd to assist poor Indians to buy shares through a 50 percent grant and 50 percent loan from the government,” he said.

Vellu said they would ask Najib, the chairman of the Cabinet Committee for the development of Indians, to hold a meeting every three months.

The last meeting was on July 1.

He said the MIC would also request for more Indian representation in the Public Services Commission.

“We are also not satisfied that only 105 Indians of the 2,000 Indians called for interviews by the Public Services Department were selected,” Vellu said.

Tamils, who came here during the British era, form a bulk of the estimated 2.6 million ethnic Indians, constituting eight percent of Malaysia’s 28 million population.