| Letter to Editor |Putrajaya, Malaysia | 23 May 2017 | Asia Samachar |
This article is in reply to Associate Professor Sarjit S. Gill’s article entitled “Malaysian Indian Blueprint Lacks Inclusiveness”. See here.
Our Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has steadfastly announced on 23rd April 2017 that this Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) is to be the benefit of all within the Indian community. This is a commitment on his part of the inclusivity of the document, bringing together all communities that make up the Indians in Malaysia. This includes Telugus, Malayalees, Punjabis, Gujeratis, Sindhis, Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils as well as the Tamils.
In saying this, the MIB was conceptualized with the express direction to pinpoint the major issues faced by the whole community, including the Sikhs. Some of the main issues faced by Sikhs in Malaysia revolve around community perception and social inclusion. As correctly pointed out, the Punjabi language is facing challenges related to perceived lack of interest from the community and its our duty to safeguard our culture and tradition, including the Punjabi language.
Unit for Socio Economic Development of Indian Community (SEDIC), which has been assigned to implement the MIB has always been inclusive in our approach. Since 2015, we have funded various Sikh NGOs to conduct Punjabi language classes to students in pre-Schools, national primary schools & secondary schools, Sikh women empowerment programs, educational and youth programs by Gurdwaras in Malaysia and other youth, social and sports related programs.
It also has to be noted that since 2009 and before SEDIC was formed, the Prime Minister has directly funded various Sikh NGO-based activities which runs into millions of Ringgit, including the infrastructure development of the Gurdwaras in Malaysia.
The MIB has been launched after extensive consultation from various stakeholders in the community. Consultation with the stakeholders is only one of the many sources of data collected for the purpose of drawing up this blueprint. Relevant literature on the Malaysian Indian community covering all sub-ethnic groups were reviewed, special inputs from special interest groups were also solicited, high ranking government officials in the relevant government ministries and agencies too gave their inputs. Besides this, MIC President Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam organized two town-hall meetings with prominent NGOs from the Indian community covering all ethnic groups.
Now that the MIB has been launched by the Prime Minister and he has given the assurance that the MIB will be implemented by the Government, it is time that the Indian community gives its fullest support to achieve the targets set forth in the document. There is a serious need to have a partnership between the Government and the Indian community to help realize the objectives of the blueprint. There is always room to address the gaps objectively and provide inputs to help shape the way forward. The Government, more specifically the SEDIC which is the implementation entity of the MIB, will continue to adopt a very inclusive approach in the implementing the blueprint. So, let us all come together for this noble cause.
Prof Datuk Dr N. S. Rajendran,
SEDIC, Prime Minister’s Department
* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
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