KUALA LUMPUR, 11 Sept 2008: The government has agreed to set up a mechanism to enable Malaysian Indians to purchase shares to ensure three percent Indian equity participation by 2020, MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu said today.
The assurance was given at a meeting between him and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya today, he said in a statement.
Describing the meeting as "very successful", Samy Vellu said he had requested that Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) manage a scheme that would allow Indians to own shares without going through the difficult process of getting bank loans.
"I requested the government to arrange for Indians interested in buying shares, a partial grant and the rest of the money could be obtained through easy loans from banks."
He said Najib, who chairs the Cabinet Committee on the Development of Indians, would discuss the matter with PNB to work out "an amicable and acceptable solution" to the MIC’s request.
"The Indian community is still very much dependent on the government for assistance, especially in increasing their equity participation," he said.
Samy Vellu also said that at the meeting he raised the possibility of joint ventures between Indian and bumiputera contractors to carry out government infrastructure projects.
He said this would alleviate the problem of Indian contractors who were finding it increasingly difficult to participate in government-funded projects.
"I also proposed that Indian contractors be allowed to bid for selected government projects and the deputy prime minister was receptive to the idea. He said it can be worked out," he said.
He said Najib also promised to resolve the issue of issuing licences to Indian contractors to carry out projects, especially Class F contracts. – Bernama