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130 Malaysian Indians to attend diaspora meet


Kuala Lumpur : A 130-member Malaysian delegation will attend the 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi later this week. Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu will lead the contingent.

While Vellu and his party belong to the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), there is little likelihood of leaders of the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR) attending the conclave this year, The Star said Monday.

It noted that PR constituents, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP), attended the conclave last year.

PR has for the first time a strong presence in parliament and controls five of the 13 states that form Malaysia.

Malaysia has an estimated two million ethnic Indians, most of them Tamils, who migrated during the British era. They form nearly eight percent of the 28 million population.

Among those in the Malaysian delegation are Human Resource Minister S. Subramaniam, senior MIC leaders, representatives of non-governmental organisations, businessmen and media personnel.

Vellu is expected to address a plenary session Friday.

Indian Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi has said that the meeting would focus on nanotechnology and property, shifting from the regular investment-focused conferences.

“The nanotechnology seminar will bring together scientists, technologists, policy-makers and entrepreneurs from India and abroad on a common platform.

“The focus of the seminar will be on applications of nanotechnology in agriculture, energy and health-care,” Bernama quoted him as saying.

He said the seminar on property would discuss institutional arrangements to safeguard the properties of overseas Indians in India, as well as the modalities for credible investment avenues in the real estate sector.

The diaspora meet was first held in 2003 to create a platform for exchange of views and networking to Persons of Indian Origin who have settled all over the world on matters of common interest and concern to them.

Indian President Pratiba Patil will give away the Bharatiya Samman awards to 15 eminent people from around the world, at the close of the meeting.

Samy Vellu was among the first recipients in 2003 while executive chairman of National Land Finance Cooperative Society Tan Sri K.R. Somasundaram (2007) and Tan Sri G. Vadiveloo (2009) were the other recipients.

There would also be a web-cast in an interactive mode on the Ministry of Overseas Affairs website and the ministry’s e-magazine to enable overseas Indians to witness the proceedings and interact with the ministry to express their views.