I have listed below, what Malaysian Indians have been promised. Although, the PM had made a few guarantees, no details of how Indians would gain directly from the mid-term review were announced. Again, we are waiting for the details so that we could better understand and work our way towards achieving the desired targets. I hope that the details would be announced soon.
> To increase corporate equity ownership among ethnic Indians to 1.5 % by 2010, efforts would be continued to increase access to skills training and entrepreneurship development programmes. In addition, special assistance will be given to the ethnic Indian community to raise the level of their equity ownership through unit trust schemes.
Note: Details of this scheme is yet to be announced. Whatever it is, the scheme must be transparent and not tied down to a particular political party or corporation. It must be run by an independent body, comprising of Indian business leaders, who have experiance in the share market.
> Nevertheless, in absolute terms, ethnic Indian equity ownership increased from RM575.2 million or 9 % over the period of 2004-2007.
Note: Even with this increase Indians only account for 1.1 % of total corporate equity ownership as at 2007.
> Lower the overall poverty rate from 5.7 % in 2004 to 3.6 % in 2007, whereby incidences of absolute poverty was reduced from 1.2 % to 0.7 % in 2007; Reduce inter-ethnic, regional and urban-rural economic divides; Develop almost 68,000 new entrepreneurs as well as train more than 120,000 existing entrepreneurs through various entrepreneurial development programs;
Note: How many Indians would gain from these programmes? No details..
> In line with the Government’s aspiration of making National Schools the school of preferred choice for all races, continuous efforts will be directed toward enhancing teaching quality and facilities in National Schools. Among others, the teaching of Mandarin and Tamil languages in National Schools will be further improved.
Note: How is it going to be further improved? Is there going to be allocation to improve Tamil teaching at National Schools? If Yes, how much? How many Tamil teachers would be absorbed into National-type schools?
> Absolute poverty in Malaysia continues to be on the decline. The overall incidence of poverty among Malaysians had been reduced, from 5.7 % in 2004 to 3.6 % in 2007. The number of poor households had also declined by 33 % from 311,300 to 209,000 over the same period. This decline in the incidence and number of poor households is the result of steady economic growth as well as the implementation of various poverty-eradication programs and projects. Poverty had declined in both rural and urban areas. The incidence of urban poverty has been reduced from 2.5 % in 2004 to 2.0 % in 2007; whereas in rural areas, the incidence of poverty has been significantly reduced from 11.9 % to 7.1 %. Hardcore poverty had declined from 1.2 % in 2004 to 0.7 % in 2007. The number of hardcore poor households has declined by 43 %, from 67,300 to 38,400 over the same period. Based on this trend, the Government is confident that the Ninth Malaysia Plan target to eradicate hardcore poverty by 2010 will be achieved. All ethnic groups registered an increase in household income over this period.
In 2007, the average household income of the Bumiputera rose by 5.2 per cent to RM3,156 a month, whereas the average income of ethnic Chinese households rose by 3.0 per cent a year to RM4,853 while that of ethnic Indian households rose by 3.2 per cent to RM3,799.
The disparity between the average income of the Bumiputera community and the Chinese community continued to improve with the disparity ratio declining from 1:1.64 in 2004 to 1:1.54 in 2007. Similarly, the disparity with the Indian community also improved, from 1:1.27 to 1:1.20 over the same period.
> Measures would continue to be undertaken to encourage the private sector to employ more staff from Bumiputera, Indian and minority communities at professional and managerial levels. Furthermore, more non-Bumiputera will be encouraged to work in the public sector.
Note: How are we going to ask the private sector, largely owned by the Chinese, to take in Malays and Indians at professional and managerial levels? Are they willing? And how is the government going to encourage non-Bumis to work in the public sector? If they do join the civil service, what levels would they be employed in? Would non-bumis be given positions of Directors, Director-General and Secretary-General positions at Ministries or government agencies. What about non-bumi participation in Government-linked-companies? Would it be increased and again what positions would non-bumis be allowed to occupy?
Lots of questions to be answered by the relevant government bodies. Only time will tell.....
I don't mean to sound like a racist...but as a leader in a political party, which represents Indians, I have to ask these questions. This does not mean, that I do not care for the other Malaysians out there. Please understand that the Malaysian Indian community lags way behind the Chinese and Malays. One of my many aims as a politician is to bring them on par with the other major communities in the country.
p/s: Euro scores: Spain 3 Russia 0. It would be a good final. Germany vs Spain.