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KOTA KINABALU: The Barisan Nasional (BN) government gave out RM800,000, including RM400,000 from the federal government, for the Indian community, particularly Temple and Indian Associations in Sabah last year, state MIC chairman Datuk V. Jothi said.
He said this proved that the BN government was fair to all races and religious bodies in the country.
"Our governments both at the federal and state levels have never marginalised the Indian community in the state.
"We, in Sabah MIC, will continue to champion the cause and interest of the Indian community in the state," he told reporters after presenting RM200,000 allocation, which is part of the RM800,000, at the State MIC Liaison office in Kepayan, near here today.
Jothi said the state MIC had managed to secure the RM200,000 from the state government for a temple, two Indian non-governmental organisations and two
He said the beneficiaries of the allocation were Tawau Sri Murugan Temple (RM100,000), Sabah Hindu Sangam (RM50,000), Sandakan Indian Association
(RM20,000), Sandakan Hindu/Sikh Crematorium (RM15,000) and Kota Kinabalu Hindu/Sikh Crematorium (RM15,000).
"We are indeed grateful to the state government and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman for the allocation," he said, calling on the recipients of the
allocation to use the fund wisely to ensure that it benefited the community.
Jothi said the RM100,000 allocation to the Tawau Sri Murugan Temple was in addition to a federal government grant of RM200,000 and RM50,000 from the state, given to it last year for Kumbabishegam ritual, held once every 12 years.
On a different note, he said the Sabah MIC appealed to the state government to fast track the process of granting permanent stay (PR) status to the Indian
community, who migrated to Sabah more than 40 years ago.
Jothi said 82 out of the 202 Indian identified in this category had already applied for PR status and hoped the Chief Minister would give due consideration
on this matter.
He said the state MIC also supported the request by its youth wing yesterday to the state government that the party be given representation via a nominated
seat at the state or a senator at the federal level.
Jothi concurred that Sabah MIC be given greater recognition for its role in the Barisan Nasional.
"But, whether they give it or not, we will continue supporting the BN government," he said.
The Sabah Constitution stated that the party which has the majority in the state legislative assembly can appoint six nominated assembly members.
The provision is, in spirit, to nominate individuals whose community is not represented in the legislative assembly. - Bernama