MAICC: Include Indians in more projects

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - The Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) has urged the Government to take proactive measures to help the Malaysian Indian business community.

Its president Datuk K.K. Eswaran said the measures include a 10% quota of government projects and tenders, representation in government-linked companies, and contracts and licences from federal and state agencies and local councils.

"Government-linked companies should also provide opportunities for our contractors to participate in their vendor development programmes," he said in an interview.

Eswaran said these measures were contained in a memorandum handed over to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Malaysian Indian Economic Council dinner last Saturday.

He said many Indians had "nambikei (trust)" in Najib's vision to unite the various races under his 1Malaysia vision.

"The people are for the Prime Minister but are against the party and the system which failed them in the past. Unfortunately, many leaders in the party have still not increased their work rate, met the people or resolved their problems," he said without elaborating.

Eswaran said the chamber would voice its opinion on government policies and stand against discrimination shown to Malay-sian businessmen.

He added that the Indian community was indebted to have a Prime Minister who was willing to help Indians uplift themselves economically and also be accessible to the people.

Eswaran also thanked the Government for setting aside RM180mil (S$73mil) in the form of various loans for the betterment of local Indian entrepreneurs.

Najib had said that RM150mil would be reserved through RM10mil from each of the participating 13 banks under the Budget 2012 SME Financing Fund; RM10mil in SME soft loans from MIDF; RM5mil under the Business Accelerator Programme; and RM5mil under the Enrichment and Enhancement Programme meant for business start-ups and micro-enterprises.

He said Tekun Nasional would set aside RM30mil to provide micro-credit loans to young Indian entrepreneurs under the Young Indian Entrepreneurs Development Scheme.

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