Senior Amanah 1Malaysia executives need to explain the fund to the Indian community, which has been offered shares by the government

By S Ramakrishnan

AS the 14th general election is fast approaching, the Prime Minister and Umno have become very friendly and caring towards the Indian community. The latest being RM1.5 billion Amanah 1Malaysia shares sold to Indian community. The Indian community poor being offered maximum of RM3,0000 loan to purchase these shares.

MIC and SEDIC are the salesmen for these shares. I wonder why not Amanah 1Malaysia company senior executives explain to these new shareholders what are their business plan for these RM1.5 billion. Are they investing in equity shares, bonds, real estates or start their own businesses? It is basic investor relations to explain their short, medium and long term business plans. The new investors would like to see the faces of people running the show.

Besides can this Amanah 1Malaysia company also appoint senior executives from Indian community. Employment opportunity that expose them to critical and high level investment decisions are also another critical need of the Indian community. Why didn’t MIC and SEDIC request for these opportunities that are in dire need. Umno slowly and steady narrowed such opportunities for Indians but now wants to offer shares in Amanah 1Malaysia. But that is not enough. We need jobs too.

It is also being publicised that major banks offer loans and that the dividend itself can pay for these loans. That’s the selling tool for MIC and SEDIC. But the question is loan installments are monthly but dividends or returns are yearly. So how will dividends pay the repayment nor banks will wait for yearly payment.

Indians cannot afford another fiasco for RM1.5 billion. Indian poor income is low and are very vulnerable to economic conditions. They need more assurances and clarity before they commit on their loans.  Indian investors who take loan to invest should not be penalised should they default or are unable to continue with their loan repayment.

Indian community still remembers the MIC fiasco on Maika Holdings with RM100 million capital contributed by the Indian community whom many took loans to invest in 1980s which went flat before GE13.

The MIC leader who robbed the Indian community was given a “Tun” title and is still retained in government despite all his chicanery.

Vanto academy has been closed for the past 3 years. No news about TAFE college. AIMST university formed with community and government fund with land provided by Kedah state is hijacked from the MIC by these MIC leaders.  Indian community has had enough of bad investment experiences by MIC.

All these were possible because the BN model of governance outsources non-Malay affairs to the respective race based component parties of BN. Umno BN modes operandi is to outsource the non-Malay community issues and problems to the respective BN component parties to manage. The Indian community was by design left out in business, education and even sports. Today the community is beleaguered with gangsterism, single mothers, early school drop-outs, low self-esteem and economically weaker.

Under the Umno/BN regime only 3% of B40 Indians own homes compared to Malays 7% and Chinese 12%. Unemployment between age group 15-19 years are for Indians 30.2%, Malays 18.3% and Chinese 14.5%. Over 50% of Indians are employed in low income jobs in 2015.

Average unemployment rate in 2016 is 4.9% Indians, 3.8% Malays and 2.7% Chinese. Indians are the worst affected in all economic barometers under the Umno/BN rule, and yet the MIC is all praise and adoration for them. These figures are from the Malaysian Indian blueprint. MIC the Umno cheer leaders don’t seem to see beyond Umno.

What the Indian community need is dignity, pride and self-confidence to face the economic, technological and political discrimination of the BN government. No amount of handouts, shares and allocations can uplift them in the face of racial and religious discrimination of this BN government. Let’s look at the overall governance and financial management of central government and not confine to the small circle of MIC.

S Ramakrishnan is a former senator