Panel to address problems of stateless Malaysian Indians

October 31st, 2008 - 1:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 31 (IANS) A special task force is being set up under Malaysia’s home ministry to deal with 30,000 stateless Indians who are born in the country and are without documents. The special cabinet committee to deal with Indian affairs also announced that amongst the other issues that will be addressed is streamlining procedures to bring priests from various religions and musicians from India to Malaysia — where temples are frequented by the estimated 2.6 million community, a bulk of them Tamil Hindus, who form eight percent of Malaysia’s 28 million population.

Low salaries and the need to stay vegetarian are among the factors that dissuade local Tamils from becoming priests and musicians.

The special cabinet committee to deal with Indian affairs has successfully addressed scores of problems faced by the community, Human Resources Minister S. Subramaniam told a gathering at his ministry.

“The future augurs well for us as it helps in the process of revitalising the Indian community and in giving it a healthy direction,” he was quoted as saying by The New Straits Times.

Outlining the successes of the panel, he said it had agreed on a policy to convert all partially-aided Tamil schools to fully-aided schools. Besides, the number of Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships for Indians studying in foreign universities would be hiked to 163.

The committee was set up earlier this year by Badawi to address issues pertaining to the ethnic Indians, a large number of whom are perceived to have voted against the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) in the elections in March.

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