Malaysian PM approves $26 mn for Indian community’s uplift

Kuala Lumpur, June 6 (IANS) Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has approved 100 million Malaysian ringgit (about $26 million) for the uplift of the Indian community in the country.

The fund was approved to the Special Unit for Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (Sedic), Malaysia’s Bernama news agency reported.

Sedic Director N.S.Rajendran on Friday said it was an effort to create opportunities to improve the lives of 40 percent of the 2.6 million ethnic Indians in the southeast Asian nation.

He said funds would be channelled through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and skills-training institutions that were selected based on certain criteria and not to individuals or political parties.

Rajendran said Sedic has identified 11 scopes for the Indian commmunity, including Tamil schools issue, documentation, admission to universities, youths at high risk, and Indian participation in the public sector.

“Sedic will ensure that the funds are managed efficiently so that the target groups receive benefits from the government,” he said.

Over 600,000 Indians nationwide make up the bottom 40 percent in 38 districts in nine states and earning less than 2,500 Malaysian ringgit ($664) per month.

Every application made by NGOs and skills training institutions goes through three stages before it is approved by the prime minister.

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