Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Indian media grills Samy Vellu on marginalised Malaysian Indians

Indian media 'grills' Samy Vellu


NEW DELHI: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was “grilled” by the Indian media over allegations that Malaysian Indians were marginalised.

While he was speaking to the Malaysian media, the local press as well as foreign media butted in and raised questions on the Nov 25 illegal rally by Hindraf and issues such as discrimination and marginalisation of Indians.

Samy Vellu, who is also the Works Minister, patiently replied to the questions for more than 30 minutes.

Later, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2008, he said there was no demonstration or violence in the country as claimed by certain quarters.

“It was a gathering by a group calling itself Hindraf. It is not a registered body or a union,” he said.

He said the organiser of Hindraf was not in the country while the others were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Samy Vellu reiterated that the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had looked after the interests of the Indian community.

The MIC, he said, had submitted several memoranda to the Government on the issues even before the Hindraf rally.

“We don’t go to the streets to demonstrate. They (Hindraf) submitted a one-page memorandum, alleging that the Indians were marginalised, without giving any specifics,” he said.

Samy Vellu said the Government had set up a committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to look into the problems of the Indians.

“They (the Government) are giving more opportunities for Indians in civil sector employment, more funding for small businesses and other sectors,” he said.

He also said a demonstration by 10,000 people did not mean the country faced an unrest.

“Unrest means the whole community getting together and causing problems. This is not happening there,” he said, adding that the majority of the Indians were peace-loving and supported the Government.

MIC also distributed copies of a booklet entitled Malaysian Indians — Then & Now, outlining the history and development of the community in the last 140 years to the 1,500 delegates of the conference as well as the Indian media.

The colourful 20-page booklet also contains the Indian community’s representation in the government and civil service, education, Tamil schools, tertiary education and religion.


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