DAP leader P Ramasamy wants to know whether the funds allocated by Prime Minister Najib Razak for the Indian community are being put to good use and whether the right people are benefiting.
“Even if Najib has allocated more funds to the Indian community in comparison with Dr Mahathir (Mohamad), the question is whether the funds allocated were put to good use,” he said in a statement today.
He said he had heard that many Indian organisations were set up just to obtain these government funds. He claimed they were the main recipients and the money was not put to proper use.
He said it was not that Mahathir did not contribute to the Indian community but that “whatever little” was there was hijacked by individuals connected to MIC.
He claimed that if MIC had managed the funds better, more Indians would have benefited.
Ramasamy said this in defending Mahathir against a charge by Federal Territory MIC chief M Saravanan and other MIC leaders that Mahathir had done little for Indians when he was prime minister and that Najib was doing so much more.
Saravanan had said Mahathir had provided RM70 million for the establishment of AIMST University in Kedah.
Abdullah Badawi, who succeeded Mahathir, provided a grant of RM198 million and former MIC president S Samy Vellu raised RM188 million for the university.
Ramasamy took a dig at MIC by saying that Najib was channelling the funds through the Socio-Economic Development of Indian Community (Sedic) unit and NGOs, and not through MIC, as was done in the past.
“Yes, Samy Vellu raised funds from the community, but the question is to what extent AIMST University is benefiting Indians from poor families.
“I hear that those Indians who contributed funds to the establishment of AIMST University cannot even get scholarships or loans for their children to study at the university.
“In fact, the university administration is more prone to admit students from other ethnic communities to ensure the steady flow of funds.
“So much for the propaganda about AIMST being a university set up for the poor Indian community.”
Ramasamy again raised the decades-old issue of Telecom shares that were handed to MIC by the government but which allegedly did not benefit the ordinary Indians as the shares were “hijacked” by three companies connected to Samy Vellu.