In the wake of protests by ethnic Indians complaining of alleged marginalisation, a senior Malaysian leader has decided to travel across the country in a bid to solve problems faced by the community.
"I am going to go from place to place and shoot down any problems the Indians may be facing," Works Minister Samy Vellu, who is also President of Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) -- a component of the ruling coalition, told reporters on Wednesday.
Vellu said he needed to do this to counter what he said were baseless allegations against MIC levelled by the non-governmental Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), which has been spearheading protests by ethnic Indians.
He said the MIC had identified those who had taken part in the illegal assembly organised by Hindraf on November 25 here and added that these people would be provided with the appropriate counselling.
"We will clarify matters with them. We have already done so in Penang, Kulim and Teluk Intan and will go to all the places where the Hindraf followers are," he said, adding that yesterday such a session was held in Mantin with a group which sent some 250 people to the Hindraf rally.
The group, he said, claimed that they were dissatisfied with the government for not keeping a promise made 36 years ago to resolve their housing problems in Penang.
"When they get their houses, their problem is solved," he said. On remarks by Public Service Department Director-General Ismail Adam that ethnic Indians were not keen on jobs in the public sector, Vellu said that this was not correct as his feedback showed thousands of Indians had applied to join the civil service last year. "I will be raising this up with the Cabinet," he was quoted by Bernama as saying.