KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has approved a RM120mil allocation for the development of the Indian community for four years following a request by the MIC.
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the RM30mil allocation each year would be used to help single mothers become self sufficient as well as for youth programmes and other programmes to help the needy.
"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave the approval recently," he told reporters Saturday after the end of the one-day MIC general assembly here.
He said that the allocation was part of the RM300mil sought from the Government in May to help poor Malaysian Indians.
The assembly went smoothly without any untoward incidents as Samy Vellu was in his element, ticking off delegates as well as cracking jokes. He also urged the branch chairmen to read the various booklets and use them as "ammunition" to answer the party's critics.
Several delegates touched on education, economy, employment and party unity while some spoke on the need for the president to continue to lead the party.
Former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam, who also spoke, called on members to forget their differences and work together towards strengthening the party.
"I am saddened with the party's loss in the elections. We have to find the weaknesses and rectify them," he said, adding that the MIC was a strong party.
Subramaniam said the party did not take heed of the activities of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) as they were deemed to be fighting for the rights of the Hindu religion.
"But they (Hindraf) were hijacked by the Opposition and they fell for it, requesting the people vote for the Opposition. This was a big disappointment to us," he said, adding that the challenge is to bring them to the MIC fold.
He also praised Samy Vellu for not giving up but continuing to work for the betterment of the Indian community.
The assembly passed five resolutions. One of the resolutions expressed support for Abdullah’s leadership as PM.
The MIC also urged the Federal Government to establish representative committees at the state and district levels to serve the people in the five Opposition-held states.
This was necessary, as MIC has no representation at the state and local governments in Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Penang and Kelantan.
In another resolution, MIC urged the Government to monitor the delivery and implementation mechanisms in order to achieve the targets within the specified time frame and to allocate sufficient funds and personnel.
The party also called on the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to set up enforcement squads to monitor the prices in rural areas and to prosecute retailers and shopkeepers found to have raised prices without approval.