Malaysian Indians asked to get extra skills to beat slowdown

January 14th, 2009 - 11:55 am ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 14 (IANS) Acquire skills beyond general education to be able to beat the global economic slowdown, the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) has told the country’s two million-plus Tamil population in its Pongal festival message this year.As people across the Southeast Asian nation celebrated the harvest festival Wednesday, the MIC that has traditionally spoken for the Indian community urged the members to work harder and gain more knowledge and skills in the face of the global economic slowdown.

MIC secretary-general S. Subramaniam, who is also the country’s Human Resource minister, called on Indians to equip themselves with the right skills, Bernama, the official news agency reported.

MIC leaders acknowledged that many Indians now have education, some even having a string of university degrees that would become handy if Malaysia were to fall into a recession.

MIC president S. Samy Vellu, in his Pongal message, said he was happy that the party’s move to establish the AIMST University in Kedah and the TAFE College in Negri Sembilan had helped create thousands of professionals.

He said the party would continue to give priority to education through its Maju Institute of Educational Development, which has sponsored more than 9,000 Indian students by disbursing close to RM100 million ($28 million) in study loans and grants.

He said the MIC was working closely with the government to create more business and employment opportunities for Indians, especially in the government sector.

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