Multi-cultural Malaysia can handle ethnic issues: PM (Lead)

October 27th, 2010 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Minu Jain
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 27 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday he was confident that Malaysia, a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country and home to 2.1 million people of Indian origin, had a built-in flexibility to handle its ethnic issues.

“Like India, Malaysia is multi-cultural and multi-ethnicÂ…,” the prime minister said at a joint press interaction in the administrative capital Putrajaya with his counterpart Najib Tun Razak. He added he was confident Malaysia had the “built-in flexibility” to deal with the ethnic issue.

The prime minister’s observation came in response to a question on whether the two leaders had discussed the issue of Indian origin communities in Malaysia and the perception that the community had a sense of being left out.

While Manmohan Singh was more expansive, Malaysian Prime Minister Razak was to the point.

“This is purely a domestic matter for Malaysia,” he said, stating curtly that the matter was not discussed by them in their bilateral talks.

People of Indian origin account for 2.1 million or eight percent of Malaysia’s population. Most of them are Tamils and Hindus.

(Minu Jain can be contacted at minu.jain@ians.in)

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