30 November 2007
MIC to set up hotline to address the problems of the community
KUALA LUMPUR: The MIC will set up a hotline as soon as possible to handle all problems faced by the Indian community, its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.
He said that after meeting the Prime Minister on Wednesday, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had also asked MIC to set up a special committee to analyse and address socio-economic problems faced by the Indian community.
“We expect calls on problems on Tamil schools and Hindu temples. Other problems can also be channelled to the hotline,” he told reporters after chairing the party’s central working committee meeting here yesterday.
Samy Vellu said the problems would be referred to party leaders according to their portfolios.
He said the telephone and contact numbers of the hotline would be published in the local newspapers as soon as it was set up.
“When there are problems which need to be brought to the attention of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, I will bring it up with them,” he said.
Samy Vellu said that he had also received hundreds of SMS on his handphone after certain quarters distributed his numbers and those of MIC leaders.
“While many were genuine, some were crank ones.”
Samy Vellu said Abdullah wanted the committee to submit a detailed report on all the demands of the Indian community so that they could be evaluated.
He stressed that the committee was a result of a report submitted by the party to Abdullah in June. The report is entitled “A New Mechanism for the Indian Community”.
Asked if all these measures were due to the Hindraf protest last Sunday, he said MIC had always submitted a report to the Prime Minister every six months.
He said Abdullah was very sympathetic to the plight of the community and the Prime Minister had promised to study the report.
Saying that Abdullah asked the special committee to come up with more proposals, Samy Vellu said among the new proposals would be to provide the number of non-bumiputras serving in the civil sector, their ranks and also the number of vacancies available at both the federal and state levels.
The Works Minister said that whenever the party did something for the Indian community, it did not seek publicity. He refused to comment on the fate of Cameron Highlands MP K. Devamany on remarks the latter made on the woes of the Indian community in the Parliament sitting on Monday.
“I do not want to comment on the issue as he is supposed to meet Barisan Nasional Chief Whip and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak to explain his remarks.”