Government Pays Great Attention In Helping Indian Community - Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 (Bernama) -- The government will pay much attention in helping the Indian community in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the Indian community had a long and important history in Malaysia in helping build the young nation as well as contributing to the diversity and variety that made Malaysia unique.

"I am proud to say that the Tamil community in Malaysia has successfully safeguarded their language and culture. Students in Malaysia have the opportunity to learn Tamil right from the pre-school level to the tertiary level," he said in his speech when opening the First World Kongu Tamilar Conference at Stadium Negara here, Saturday.

Najib said, currently, there were 524 Tamil primary schools in Malaysia which were part of the Malaysian Education system.

"Apart from this, the government has also approved the establishment of six new Tamil primary schools," he said.

Kongu Nadu is a region of India comprising the western part of Tamil Nadu and including parts of the states of Karnataka and Kerala, where the Kongu community hails.

Najib said Malaysia, Kongu Nadu and India generally had a great deal in common.

Citing the relationship between Malaysia and India, Najib said since 1998, India has been Malaysia's largest export destination in the South Asian region.

"From 2003-2015, trade increased by more than four-fold. Last year, India was Malaysia's tenth largest trading partner.

"Thousands of jobs have been created here in manufacturing projects with Indian participation, while in 2014, Malaysia's direct investments in India came to a grand total of US$1.77 billion," he said.

Najib said both countries signed the Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement in 2011, and declared an Enhanced Strategic Partnership last November, during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit.

"This reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment; to promote joint collaboration in infrastructure and the construction sector," he said.

On the conference, Najib said he was glad that Malaysia was the first host for the new world conference.

"It is a very appropriate choice, as Tamil is the most widely spoken language among Indians in Malaysia. In fact most Malayalees and Telugus speak Tamil here," he said.

He said the conference also created more business networks within the Kongu community and all Malaysians and helped to create education opportunities worldwide.

The three-day conference which started today, was organised by the Malaysian Kongu Tamilar Association and attended by 10,000 Kongu Tamilar in Malaysia including 2,000 delegates from 12 countries.

The event was also attended by myPPP president Tan Sri M. Kayveas.