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Friday, June 9, 2017

Success of Malaysian Indian blueprint is in the hands of the community



Indian leaders in Pakatan Harapan seem to have lost their political modality, that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and the Malaysian Indian blueprint (MIB) launched by him has become the subject of their multiple press statements lately.
Of course, the opposition will paint a picture of gloom even before it takes the first step. This is expected of them as that is their role. Such is politics. After discrediting the MIB, they have now harped on to the statement by the prime minister that the MIB will only be fully realised and achieved if the Indian community continues to support the government.
This is a fair statement but somehow the spin-masters are using this to undermine the prime minister and the government’s continuous effort to uplift the Indians.
The MIB is a longer term commitment, and if you really want to see a comprehensive achievement of the MIB targets, then obviously we need the same government to continue ruling. Not a government led by a party or coalition which has repeatedly failed to recognise the needs for special intervention to address issues in the Indian community.
Hence, I don't want to waste time analysing their arguments further or counter rant by asking the opposition what they have done for the Indians or if they have developed their own blueprint to address the multi-faceted challenges faced by the community because we all know what the answer is!
Trading barbs will not help the Indian community in the B40 category or the whole community as such.
I believe the success of the MIB will defend itself. This time around the MIB is vastly different from the policy recommendations and proposals submitted by political parties and NGOs throughout the 60 years of Malaysia’s existence.
For the Indian community to be empowered, it has to be done via a dedicated government policy. It needs political will. The government established the NEP about 40 years ago to empower the bumiputra community. It was a government policy whereby government machinery was set up and tasked to implement this policy.
The MIB has replicated a similar concept. Najib has made it a government commitment and policy to empower the Indian community:
  • He has set up dedicated government machinery, which is expanding the existing Unit for Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (SEDIC);
  • The restructured SEDIC would be a renewed push needed to resolve long-standing issues of inequality and social immobility, and to integrate the relevant interventions into mainstream, race-neutral government delivery mechanisms in the long-term;
  • This agency will be headed by a professional who has an established repertoire of serving the community, NS Rajendran as the director general. Throughout this year, 58 full-time positions would be filled within SEDIC;
  • With guidance from CCIC executive committee chaired by S. Subramaniam, Consultative & Advisory Board chaired by Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and the prime minister himself as the CCIC chairperson, I believe this new unit will achieve its intended targets.
  • Furthermore, working in partnership with the civil service to drive delivery is a pre-condition for success and this blueprint would not have materialised without their dedication and support. We welcome their continuous effort to improve delivery and seek their full support in meeting the targets set out in this blueprint
Hence, with a government machinery and good coordinating agencies in Putrajaya, the CCIC and the CCIC executive committee will not only demand delivery of all the targets but also emphasise on the implementation mechanism of the MIB so that it reaches all segments of society. For whatever that has been written on paper must materialise in reality. Hence it is to be noted that there would be a yearly report published for the public to assess.
Now, we have to move forward. For the success of this Blueprint, it cannot be done in a silo. Every Indian must join forces for the benefit of the community. Every one of you are stakeholders to this MIB and rightly so as this ultimately affects your lives in Malaysia.
Please share your suggestions and plans with us to move forward and uplift the community. Please review the MIB and provide innovative and constructive ideas to enhance the implementation mechanism, which alone is most crucial.

For the first time, we have a prime minister who has put forward a great platform to empower the Indian community. Since Najib took the helm as prime minister in 2009, it cannot be denied that he has done more for the Indian community than any of his predecessors.
Najib has placed his own reputation on the line by endorsing and committing for all targets within the MIB. So let us use this opportunity to huddle together and rise up as one and make our community a tremendous success, and demand for delivery of all the targets in the MIB.
My request to the Indian leaders in Pakatan: As a Malaysian, I will never discourage any effort by the government or the opposition for the advancement of Malaysia and Malaysians. So we are going to strive to make sure this MIB achieves all targets for the benefit of the Indian community. I request you do the same in implementing whatever programmes to empower the Indian community in the states governed by Pakatan Harapan. After all, it is our community that stands to benefit.

S VELL PAARI is treasurer-general of the Malaysian Indian Congress - Mkini

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