MIC meeting over party elections

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC will be holding its central working committee (CWC) meeting on Thursday, its first step in preparing for the party’s long-awaited presidential election.
Party vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan said CWC members would mainly discuss the setting up of an election committee.

“I understand that there have been calls from various quarters as well as those from within the party to hold the presidential election as soon as possible since it is overdue. But I would like to remind everyone that the election had been postponed only to make way for the 13th General Election.”

Saravanan, who is the new deputy youth and sports minister, said he was initially worried about the legal implications of the delayed MIC election but said the CWC meeting would put to rest any speculation on the matter.

“We are also looking into having more young leaders in the party this time around, an approach which Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu himself had taken since his leadership days.”

Saravanan said it was important for MIC to have fresh faces to connect with young voters.

“It will also be a good rebranding move for the party,” he told the New Straits Times.

Read more: MIC meeting over party elections – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/mic-meeting-over-party-elections-1.282513#ixzz2UBqsjpZg

Khairy, Saravanan pact capable of bringing sports to greater heights

KUALA LUMPUR: The strong combination of Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar and Datuk M. Saravanan in leading the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) has been deemed capable of rejuvenating the ministry and bringing the sports industry to greater heights.

National Sports Council director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong said this was because Khairy had vast experience in dealing with youths.

“Khairy has vast experience in sports and in dealing with youths. I hope he will use it to his advantage to help the council in implementing and improving sports development programmes,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian National Cycling Federation deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad said Khairy’s skills and ability would give advantage to the sports industry.

“We will support him and give our full cooperation in all programmes to be organised by the ministry,” he said.

Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said Khairy’s appointment could improve cooperation in the football arena.

“We hope Khairy will give more support to football development, especially at the grassroot level,” he said.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said the partnership between young and old blood in the ministry would spur Malaysian sports to greater heights.

National Sports Institute chief executive officer Ahmad Shapawi Ismail also opined that Khairy had various ideas that could be proposed to improve the sports industry.

Khairy, 37, who is also Umno Youth chief, was today named as the new Youth and Sports Minister, while the 45-year-old Saravanan, who is former Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister, as his deputy. — BERNAMA

Read more: Khairy, Saravanan pact capable of bringing sports to greater heights – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/khairy-saravanan-pact-capable-of-bringing-sports-to-greater-heights-1.280164#ixzz2UBrn6p5Y

MIC leaders need to be more vocal in addressing needs of community

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — MIC leaders need to change their approach by becoming more vocal in addressing the needs of the Indian community, said party vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan.

He said it was imperative the MIC leaders represent the community and its needs to address social, economic and political disparities to build an inclusive society.

“The time to rise and change has come. The future has to be more inclusive politics where we walk with our heads held high. I call upon all MIC leaders to represent the community, and not just for namesake,” he told Bernama in an interview here today

He said the party needed to gain confidence and trust from the community, especially youths.

On the party’s performance in the 13th General Election (GE13), Saravanan who retained the Tapah state seat, said it had done well as compared to the last general election in 2008.

“In 2008, there was no opposition government. But in 2013, MIC and Barisan Nasional (BN) fought a tough battle with opposition governments, where the pact was ruling in few hot states namely, Penang, Kedah and Selangor,
respectively.

“We (MIC) managed to bring a sizeable number of Indian votes to the coalition, thanks to PM Najib’s (Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s) approach in introducing various initiatives and measures aimed at bringing the community towards greater success,” he explained.

Dismissing the claim that MIC performed badly in the GE13, Saravanan said the party managed to win four parliamentary seats as compared to 2008, when it only secured three parliamentary seats.

“We are still a relevant party despite the many claims. However, the party must change its operational image to the new needs of the community,” he said.

Support BN, not Zulkifli

AN MIC vice-president yesterday openly voiced his discontentment with the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for Shah Alam, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin, and urged Indians not to give the Perkasa leader their support.

Datuk M. Saravanan said he could not forgive Zulkifli for what he had said about the Indians.

He said Zulkifli was not worthy of the Indian support.

“If I were to say something disrespectful against the Muslims and then apologise, do you think they will ever accept?” he asked.

Saravanan said he greatly respected Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s decision, but believed Zulkifli degraded BN and was a disgrace to the coalition.

“However, I strongly urge the community to give BN their undivided support in all other areas, but he (Zulkifli) does not deserve our votes,” he said.

BRICKFIELDS TRANSFORMATION – RECOGNITION FOR INDIANS

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 (Bernama) — Brickfields’ transformation into ‘Little
India’ is among the government’s efforts to ensure that Indians are not
sidelined from mainstream development.

Brickfields came to be known as ‘Little India’ on Oct 27, 2010, and it was
born out of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s vision to develop and
safeguard the community’s interests.

The declaration is a major recognition to the Indian community in thecountry and stands testament to Najib’s earnestness and commitment in improvingthe community’s socio-economic standing.

TRADERS HAVE BENEFITTED

Dubbed as the pride of the nation, Brickfields’ Little India is the driving
force for Indian traders around Bangsar, Lembah Pantai and Seputeh today and helps to generate more income for the traders there.

At the Seetha Ram Restaurant in Little India, P. Rani, 30, said the move to
transform Brickfields has helped to uplift the status of Indians there.

“In retrospect, Brickfields was ‘dull’, but after transforming into ‘Little
India’, the area has turned lively and energetic, added with the never ending
rows of arches that highlight the Indian cultural heritage,” she said to
Bernama.

Apart from that, the arch, welcoming people to the business district at the
fringes of the city, draws attention of locals and foreigners, she said.
“Many visitors, especially from New Zealand and the United States, who have stopped at the Seetha Ram Restaurant, gave their thumbs up to Malaysia,” noted Rani, who is also the cashier at the restaurant.

A TOURIST ATTRACTION

Apart from being a business district, the locations of the stalls in
Brickfields’ Little India have been rearranged and appear in alluring designs,
serving as an attraction for locals and foreigners.

According to the Minister for Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing, Datuk
M. Saravanan, Brickfields has transcended a new era, beyond a neighbourhood and a business centre for Indians.

It is now a place that attracts tourists from all over the world – a plus
point for the country.

He pointed out that the transformation provides a new perspective for
Brickfields’ development, which is not only enjoyed by Indians, but also
everyone else, in line with the concept of 1Malaysia.

“The government has given a facelift to Brickfields for the benefit of the
society and in line with the city’s development,” he explained.
Saravanan added that Brickfields’ new image is in line with the modern image of the capital city, which highlights Indian cultural elements, and complements the ‘Malaysia is Truly Asia’ slogan.

MALAYSIA-INDIA BILATERAL TIES

Brickfields’ Little India was officiated by Najib, along with Indian Prime
Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, when the latter was here on an official visit.
The ‘Little India’ project encompasses the area from Jalan Travers to Jalan
Tun Sambanthan, involving redevelopment and beautification works by the
Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB).
The project, worth RM35 million, involves the setting up of new business
premises, a parking complex and road widening works. The area will also boast the tallest water fountain in the country, reaching 7.62 meters.

LITTLE INDIA GETS APPRECIATION FROM THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT

Apart from that, Brickfields’ Little India received greater recognition
when the Indian government made known of its intent to present a replica of the ‘India Gate’ monument to be placed in Brickfields.
While speaking at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Indian Diaspora) convention
in New Delhi, India, in 2011, Dr Manmohan expressed that ‘Little India’ in Kuala Lumpur had brought back wonderful memories.

Dr Manmohan also appreciated the privilege accorded to him in launching the
Little India and added that it was the obvious testament that the role of the
Malaysian Indians in nation building is highly appreciated.

HOPE IT WILL BECOME AN UPTOWN

While showering her appreciation for Najib, a fruit vendor, S Nirmala, 41,
hoped that ‘Little India’ in Brickfields would be upgraded further, under the
‘uptown’ concept, by increasing the number of kiosks.

“This way, locals and tourists can seek better bargains here,” she said.
Nirmala, who appreciates ‘Little India’, noted that now, the stalls were
arranged in a better manner and appear more systematic, unlike before.

“Through this systematic arrangement, my business has prospered, and I’m
earning more now. The prime minister has fulfilled his promise to Indian traders here,” she said.

A florist, Satish Chandran, 23, thanked Najib for his earnest efforts to
develop Brickfields and said it was the right move.

NAJIB’S COMMITMENT TO THE INDIAN COMMUNITY

The transformation of Brickfields into a real ‘Little India’ speaks volumes
of Najib’s commitment and earnestness in ensuring Indians are not left behind from mainstream development.

And based on the principle of ‘nambikei’ (trust), Indians have placed their
trust in Najib, for looking into their woes and guiding the community towards a better socio-economic standing.

Less than 24 hours after being in office as the prime minister, Najib became
the first leader to go to Brickfields and understand the woes of the people
there.

Brickfields’ transformation has opened up more opportunities for the traders
to enhance their competitiveness and face the onslaught of globalisation.
In fact, the proprietor of the Kordumalai Pillayar Restaurant,

S.Paramasivam, has allocated a section in his shop as “Najib’s Corner”, the
place where Najib stopped to have tea and savour some Indian delicacies.
At Najib’s Corner, officiated in 2009 by Saravanan, there is a large
portrait hanging on the wall, depicting the prime minister enjoying ‘teh tarik’
and ‘thosai’ with the former Minister of the Federal Territories, Datuk Seri
Zulhasnan Rafique, the owner of the restaurant, Saravanan, and several
government officials.

According to Paramasivam, he was keen on immortalising Najib’s visit by
setting up Najib’s Corner at the restaurant.

Apart from Brickfields, known as the “Little India”, Lebuh Ampang here and
Jalan Tengku Kelana, in Klang, also record a sizeable number of Indian traders.

Special loan scheme for Indian cabbies

ABOUT 5,000 Indian taxi drivers, the largest-ever gathering held for them, were offered special financing scheme for purchasing and maintaining their taxis.

The scheme were formulated by the Special Secretariat for Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs (SEED) and TEKUN Nasional at the Murugan Temple in Batu Caves yesterday.

Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Datuk M. Saravanan addressed the crowd at an event organised with 12 Indian Taxi drivers Associations, including the Cyberjaya Indian Taxi Drivers Association, the LCCT Indian Taxi Drivers Association and KL Makkal Communications Indian Taxi Drivers Association.

Also present were TEKUN Nasional managing director and CEO Datuk Abdul Rahim Hassan and SEED director Dr. A.T. Kumararajah.

Saravanan said the scheme applied to Indian taxi drivers with their own permits, drivers with rented vehicles and also for drivers using company permits who previously could not benefit from various schemes as they owned neither the car nor a permit.

“The first issue to overcome is taxi drivers’ need for their own permits, which requires structural changes. Following an announcement to award licenses to deserving individuals, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had distributed 1,000 permits to recipients on March 24 at Putrajaya, of which 26 per cent were Indians,” he said.

“From Malaysia’s 12,500 Indian taxi drivers, approximately 2,500 currently have their own permits, while the rest use company permits through hire-purchase schemes.”

The second issue is financing, as many drivers cannot afford to purchase new taxis or pay the required deposit, ranging overall from RM6,000 to RM15,000. They also face problems undergoing major overhaul repairs and converting from petrol to NGV engines, which cost between RM5,000 to RM8,000.

“There is also a need for drivers to comply with rulings specifying that their taxi cannot be over 10 years on the road, requiring another RM6,000 to RM15,000,” he said.

A successful pilot project for this scheme started in Feb 2013, for which four different schemes had been tailored and over RM1.25 million had been raised for it by 50 taxi drivers.

Approvals will be given through these four schemes, which are: Automatic approval for a new taxi purchase by drivers with permits (20 per cent of the taxi cost as down payment); automatic approval for replacement of taxis older than 10 years (20 per cent of the taxi cost for down payment); conversion from petrol/diesel to NGV engines (approval of up to RM8,000 each); and refurbishment and repair of existing taxis (approval of up to RM5,000 each).

SEED also awarded 76 successful applicants a total of RM827,500 during yesterday’s programme. A mock check for RM557,000 was presented for 48 of them, as the applications had been approved the day before.

Opposition’s unrealistic promises will not sway voters in Tapah

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC vice president Datuk M. Saravanan is confident that voters in Tapah would not be fooled by unrealistic promises made by the opposition.

Saravanan who will be defending the Tapah state seat said unlike the opposition the Barisan Nasional (BN) has been working hard for the betterment of the people by fulfilling all promises made.

The incumbent who is also the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing deputy minister will face PKR’s Tapah (Cabang) chief Ridzuan Bani and Hindraf leader K. Vasantha Kumar in a three-cornered fight.

He added that come May 5 (polling day), the people would be able to vote wisely after evaluating which leader would be able to continue the development enjoyed by the people.

“The competition that I will face cannot dampen my spirit to continue working hard to retain the seat and ensure Barisan Nasional (BN) continue to rule,” he told reporters after launching a Special Loan Scheme for Indian Taxi Drivers in Batu Caves, Gombak, near here, today.

In the 2008 general election, Saravanan defeated PKR’s Tan Seng Toh by a 3,020-vote majority.

The Tapah constituency has 38,236 registered voters comprising 47.27 percent Malays, 31.7 percent Chinese, Indians (20.66 percent) and 0.37 percent others.– BERNAMA

NGOs told to be clear on which side they’re backing

KUALA LUMPUR: Non-governmental organisations (NGO) should not play double games but make it clear if they are supporting Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat.

MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan said there were NGOs that received aid from both sides without making it clear whom they were going to back in the polls.

“They can only vote for one, so they better quit misleading both sides and make a clear stand,” Saravanan told a press conference at the launch of Federal Territory MIC Youth’s election machinery at the party headquarters here Saturday.

Saravanan said there was no such thing as being neutral.

“So my advice to the NGOs is to stop playing games by claiming they are neutral.”

Saravanan also said the Indians have come to realise that only Barisan can help them.

“The Opposition only knows to give ceramahs and run Internet portals.

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, on the other hand, has initiated many programmes to upgrade the educational and economic status of Indians,” he said.

Saravanan said these were the only two areas that could give Indians upward social mobility in Malaysia.

He added that Indian youths who did not excel academically had to go into business as the type of jobs suited for them were all filled by foreign workers now.

“Barisan has helped these youth by giving them the necessary aid to go into business and that is why they are in support of us,” he said.