Malaysian minister vows to tackle Indians’ problems

March 23rd, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, March 23 (IANS) A Malaysian minister of Indian origin has vowed to use his human resource development (HRD) portfolio to tackle the problems of the country’s 2.5 million Indian community, it was reported Sunday. S. Subramanian of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) said that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s decision to allot the HRD ministry to him was aimed at helping the Malaysian Indians, many of who have been protesting in recent weeks.

The Indian community has alleged bias in the Malay-dominated country and complained about unemployment as well as lack of skills training opportunities for youths.

Badawi, Subramanian said, had explained that the HRD portfolio was given to the MIC as the ministry could resolve many problems affecting the Indian community, the Sun newspaper said.

“I feel that this is a good opportunity and I am confident that these issues can be resolved,” he said.

The pro-establishment MIC fared badly in the March 8 elections, losing 16 seats and winning only three. Subramanian was among the winner. MIC has represented the Indian interests in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) since independence in 1957.

Subramanian, who is also the MIC secretary general, admitted to being elected under “very difficult circumstances”.

Subramanian said: “The recruitment of Indians to the government sector has already been raised with the government and the prime minister has stated that the government as a whole will increase the intake of non-Malays in the civil service workforce to reflect the racial composition of the country. I see it happening already.”

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