Indian-based business associations want the government to change the ‘Bumiputera only’ policy when awarding contracts .
KUALA LUMPUR: The recently concluded Malaysian Indian Economic Conference (MIEC) did not reach its intended aim because the gathering did not address core issues affecting the Malaysian Indian business community, two Indian-based business associations charged today.
In a joint press statement, the Malaysian Indian Business Association (MIBA) and the Malaysian Indian Entrepreneurs and Professionals Association (MIE) also want Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who is also Finance Minister, to change the government’s “Bumiputera only” policy when it came to awarding government contracts.
“Government-linked companies should also be required to give out contracts to Indian businesses. As long as these policies are not touched, the RM180 million allocation announced by Najib for Indian businesses will disappear into thin air,” MIBA president P Sivakumar and MIE president Mohana Krishnan said in the statement.
On Saturday, the Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) handed over a memorandum to Najib containing a blueprint on the problems and ways to overcome issues faced by Indian businesses. The memorandum was presented to Najib at the MIEC dinner organised by MAICCI.
MIEC was an attempt by MAICCI to collate issues and problems faced by Indian businessmen in the country.
“MIE and MIBA cannot understand how RM180 million would change the demographics of Indian equity. As of now, no GLC allowed non-Bumiputera suppliers to participate in their businesses. Will this change?” the two business organisations asked.
“If the government really wants to assist Indian businessmen, then it should give one GLC to the community. This GLC can be used as a vehicle to improve and aid the community in business. We can prove our worth and chart our course,” the statement said.
The two business associations also want the government to write off bad loans of all small and medium Indian entrepreneurs, who have been blacklisted by banks.
“This is not new to the government. They have previously written off hundreds of millions of ringgit owned by tycoons and GLCs,” the statement said.
MIBA and MIE also want the government to undertake strategic initiatives to elevate the marginalised Indian business community to mainstream economic life.
“Both MIBA and MIE have a joint membership of more than 1,500 businessmen and professionals and we can engage the government to help elevate the Malaysian Indian community,” added the statement
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