Poor response to Malaysian loans for Indian students

June 5th, 2008 - 4:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, June 5 (IANS) Only 10 out of the 300 Malaysian Indian students of two educational institutes have been found to utilise the business loans available to them from a government fund meant to encourage young entrepreneurs. The 2.6 million strong Indian community that forms eight percent of the Malaysian population often complains of lack of enough opportunities in employment and education.

“The remaining 290 students should also make use of the opportunity to apply for loans to branch out in business,” Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu told students who graduated from Giat Mara centres and National Entrepreneurship Institute (Insken).

The loans are disbursed by the National Foundation for Economic Fund Group (Tekun) under the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development, The Star newspaper said Thursday.

Yayasan Tekun had allocated $85,000 to be given out as business loans for graduates of the two institutions.

Young entrepreneurs participate in various fields ranging from small cottage industries to modern technological industries, food, manufacturing, and handicrafts for domestic as well as for export, and services.

MIC, which has traditionally spoken for the Indian community, pleaded that the government must not place Indians in the non-bumiputra category while granting scholarships.

The majority Malays are classified as ‘bumiputras’ or sons of the soil with higher quota in jobs and education.

Tamil Nesan newspaper reported that MIC’s information chief M. Saravanan said the government must instead fix the number of public service department (PSD) scholarships for the community.

He said that of the 2,000 PSD scholarships awarded annually, 55 percent was allocated to bumiputras and the remaining 45 percent to non-bumiputras. As a result, of the 900 PSD scholarships for non-bumiputras, Indians initially received only 34, which were later increased to 70.

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