PETALING JAYA, March 18 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak asked the Indian community today to entrust their future to him for another term, citing the success of government programmes meant to improve their lot over the past three years.
This included RM440 million allocated to Tamil schools, RM80 million to houses of worship, more places for high-achieving students in matriculation courses as well as help given to thousands of “stateless” Indians to obtain citizenship since 2009.
The prime minister told a crowd of more than 3,000 at SJK(T) Vivekananda here this afternoon that this proved he had kept his promises to give Indians in Malaysia a “fair deal”, and pledged to keep building on this success in coming years.
“If I have delivered, and the government has delivered, just imagine if we have another five years what we can do for the Indian community and the nation,” he said on the first stop of his one-day tour of Selangor.
Najib said his efforts to help the Indians were sincere and had nothing to do with the coming election as the programmes aimed at uplifting the community began three years, after he took over from Tun Abdullah Badawi.
The government will not fool the Indian community with empty promises meant to gain votes, he added, in an apparent swipe at the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact.
“I am not a politician of that nature. I am committed to the future of Malaysia. I will not do anything to compromise the future of the nation,” he said.
Najib stressed, however, that he would only be able to serve the community and the country if they “walked with him”, as he could not continue to help Indians or Malaysians on his own.
“I cannot do this alone. I cannot walk this journey alone I must walk with all of you to achieve what we set out to do...,” he said.
“I can only succeed if you join hands with me. Let us build a better future for the Indian community and for all Malaysians.”
Since taking office, Najib has gone on a charm offensive to win over the Indian vote after the usually staunch Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters forsook the ruling coalition in Election 2008.
The community’s swing to the opposition followed a government crackdown on the November 2007 Hindraf rally, where some 30,000 Indians marched for better opportunities.
Ethnic Indians constitute around seven per cent of Malaysia’s multi-racial and multicultural 28 million population