Malaysian Prime Minister Announces RM500 Million for Indians in Lower Income Group
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced multiple schemes aimed to benefit the bottom 40 per cent of the Indian community.
An investment scheme targeted at benefiting the Indian community, especially those in the B40 or bottom 40 per cent category, will be launched at the end of February, Malaysian Prime Minister Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on Feb. 16. Razak said RM500 million would be allocated for the initiative, called the Amanah Saham 1Malaysia investment scheme.
“We will limit it to 5,000 units for each individual, so that more members of the Indian community will benefit from it,” he said, according to the Malaysian Insight.
In December, Dr NS Rajendran, the Director-General of the Socioeconomic Development of Indian Community Unit (SEDIC), said that the hardware and software is being set up for the smooth implementation of the scheme.
“All applications would be accepted through online channels and also satellite offices, which would be set up in various states,” he had said, according to New Straits Times.
Razak had also announced that an extra 1.5 billion units will be allotted under the Amanah Saham 1Malaysia Scheme (AS1M) for Malaysian Indians to increase their investment in this unit trust fund, up to 30,000 units per investor. The distribution of the units began end of January 2018.
The government has also decided to allocate RM500 million for five years under the special loan investment scheme for 100,000 Indian households in the B40 category to improve the living standards of the Indian-origin community in Malaysia.
With general elections scheduled in 2018, various political parties in Malaysia have been wooing Indian voters, numbered at around 2 million in the country.
Prior to this, the government said it was launching 10 new service centers for Indians in Malaysia. Special Implementation Taskforce on Indian Community (SITF) service centers looks into issues such as those related to identity card, birth certificate, citizenship, job opportunities, welfare, education, health, housing and loan matters of the community members.
Razak is not the only politician promising Indians facilities. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 92, who is once again in the fray, has also promised the community that their rights will be upheld if he is elected to the position in 2018. Meanwhile, the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), an Islamist political party, also met Indian civil society groups in Penang to gain their support.