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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Najib vows to help Indians if MIC secures their vote

UPDATED @ 07:03:15 PM 30-07-2011
July 30, 2011

PUTRAJAYA, July 30 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak pledged to do all he can to bring the Indian community back into the “mainstream of development” but asked that MIC redouble efforts to secure the community’s vote.

The prime minister said there must be “quid pro quo” between Barisan Nasional (BN) component party MIC and the ruling coalition if both wished to benefit from their relationship as “loyal friends”.

“There must be an understanding. Can you all deliver for Barisan Nasional? You can deliver and we will deliver,” Najib (picture) told delegates at the 65th MIC general assembly here today.

Najib also stressed that unity within MIC at all levels was crucial for the party to be seen as the main choice for Indians come polling day.

“There cannot be factions within MIC. There must be only one MIC,” he said.

MIC president Datuk G. Palanivel had earlier called on the prime minister to reward “hardworking” Indians who toiled in rubber plantations and on railways and roads to make the nation what it is today.

Palanivel said Najib should assist Indians by increasing Budget allocations for the community, setting up a special purpose economic vehicle to improve their lot and by upping the number of seats for Indians in matriculation courses to 1,000.

“The Indian community is waiting for your good moves, sir, good announcements and good plans,” he said.

“If you can fulfill all the requirements that I have put forward... you can be rest assured that the Indian votes will automatically return to Barisan Nasional.”

The Indian community has always been a strong supporter of the ruling coalition but forsook it in Election 2008 after the government cracked down on the November 2007 Hindraf rally where 30,000 Indians marched for better opportunities.

Since then, the Najib administration has gone on a charm offensive to win back the Indian vote by making Deepavali a holiday for universities and providing vegetarian meals on campus and buses to take Hindu students to temples on Fridays.

The 2010 census showed there are 1.9 million Indians or 7.3 per cent of the 28 million population, far less than the 2.3 million foreigners in the country.

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