Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Indian issues are national issues: Denison

The grievances of the 1.8 million-strong Indian Malaysian community should be viewed as a national concern and addressed in the 10th Malaysia Plan, a socio-economic expert said.

ai police commission forum 150607 denison jayasooriaDr Denison Jayasooria (left), who is the principal research fellow of the Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said there were concerns the community's problems were seen as a 'community' concern, rather than national.

"As most government agencies do not look seriously into issues pertaining to crime, violence, urban poverty, and issues pertaining to quality of life, inadequate infrastructure for Tamil school, low recruitment and promotion opportunities in both public and private sectors.

"Often, both politicians and public servants are calling on political parties and voluntary organisations to address these issues," he told Bernama.

He said, the community strongly felt that socio-economic concerns of all Malaysians should be the concern of the government. Hence, public funds should be utilised to address major concerns beyond the capacity of the voluntary sector.

He said this was one of several grievances put forth by community leaders, non-governmental organisations and political parties at a three-day discussion held late last year to receive input and feedback on the Ninth Malaysia Plan's policies and programmes.

This was aimed at providing input to the 10th Malaysia Plan, which would be tabled in Parliament in mid-year and implemented from 2011.

Urgent need

Denison said the community also wanted the government to scale up programmes for the Indian youth to ensure they reached a larger segment.

"Reaching out to young people only at the post-secondary level does not take into account the comprehensive nature of social problems at the individual, family and community levels," said the former head of MIC 'think-tank' Yayasan Strategik Sosial.

He said, there was a need for government agencies to "build into" programmes, like a mapping project which could document the impact over the next five to 10 years to capture the transformation experience or individuals and families.

"The urgent need in the 10th Malaysia Plan process is to budget for five years and provide adequate funding for operations and programmes.

"In addition, the government should establish a community consultative council to meet on a quarterly basis to review feedback on developments and highlight difficulties encountered at the grassroots, especially at the implementation level," added Denison.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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