Monday, October 20, 2014

DAP laments puny Indian share of Budget 2015

8:24AM Oct 19, 2014 Malaysiakini

By Terence Netto

DAP laments puny Indian share of Budget 2015

Budget 2015’s meagre allocation for the upliftment of the lot of Indian community has been criticised by DAP national vice chairperson M Kulasegaran.

Speaking in Parliament last Friday, the MP for Ipoh Barat compared the RM110 million allocated for specific Indian causes to the RM337 million to be streamed to 63,478 fishermen to improve the latter’s housing, equipment and other needs.

“This works out to RM5,300 for every fishermen whereas eight million Indians have to scrounge for a meagre share of a third of the overall allocation for fishermen,” said Kulasegaran (left).

“Indians would not begrudge the allocation made to fishermen but after five decades of neglect by the government of what was once a reliable vote bank for the BN,  surely they deserve of bigger share of the budgetary cake,” said the DAP leader.

Kulasegaran also said for the alleviation of the lot of Indian have-nots, it was imperative that the government keep its promise of allocation 1,500 seats in matriculation for the community.

“Education is the key to the economic advancement of any community and so this allocation of matriculation seats must be kept as there is no other recourse for the poor Indians.

“They have to obtain tertiary education or else they will languish in poverty,” said the lawyer legislator.

Word good only for elections

He said there was no hope of attainting the goal of 3 percent equity for the community, set in 2000 for achievement in 2010 and later deferred for another 10 years because of failure to achieve it.

“The equity goal, like the setting up of an Indian advancement task force, is something that is talked about in the lead-up to a general election and then conveniently forgotten afterwards,” he commented.

“Never mind, there is no need for goals that are inherently unrealisable. But promises on seats for Indian students in the education sector are attainable targets with high impact consequences.

“These targets must be met because their results are quickly obtained and their impact on livelihoods readily seen,” said Kulasegaran.

He said the government must not view Indians as a community to be lulled with promises before a general election and with neglect after the polls.

“This is a callous attitude towards a community that has contributed to the national development in areas where it took strenuous labour at low wages to build things up,” said Kulasegaran.

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