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M'sia-India ties not affected by Hindraf, says Samy

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 09 @ 10:07:11 CST

NEW DELHI: The bilateral relationship between Malaysia and India will not be affected by allegations made by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) in November last year. Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said this was based on the positive response of various Indian leaders to his explanation on Hindraf's allegations

“All of them received the explanation well, with the exception of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. He has already made up his mind that whatever Hindraf said was right,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here Wednesday. Samy Vellu, who made three attempts for an appointment to see the Tamil Nadu chief minister, said he was unhappy with Karunanidhi’s attitude. “I believe he felt slighted that I did not defend him when Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz told him off and asked him not to interfere in the internal affairs of Malaysia in the aftermath of Hindraf's illegal demonstration,” he said. Samy Vellu said he was not present to defend at the time and what Nazri said was to safeguard the good name of the country. He said Hindraf had planted many sensitive issues in the minds of the Indian people with the intention to poison Malaysia’s name. “I have been explaining over and over again but the Indian press seems to have made up its mind that there is an unrest amongst the Indian community in the country,” Samy Vellu said. He said that a member of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) has been giving interviews to the Indian and international media, giving credence to the allegations made by Hindraf. “The statement by the PPP member as well as the wire agency story on the freeze on Indian workers in Malaysia has created a big wave in the media here,” he said. He said more Malaysian ministers must make trips to India to provide explanations, and to explore the vast opportunities for investment from India as well as for Malaysian investments in India. He added that he would explain the situation to Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee when he meets them separately later. Samy Vellu said he would submit a detailed report to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi upon his return on Saturday. ***************anuary 09, 2008 22:40 PM No Directive To Freeze Recruitment Of Workers From India PUTRAJAYA, Jan 9 (Bernama) -- The government has never issued a directive to freeze the recruitment of workers, especially professionals, from India, said Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

He said confusion might have arisen following the government's decision in October to temporarily stop bringing in Bangladeshi workers due to cases of cheating and exploitation by recruiting agents.

He also explained the matter at the Cabinet meeting here Wednesday.

"Let me state categorically here that the ministry has never come out with any ruling or circular to say that we have stopped taking in foreign workers from India, what more the professionals.

"There is a report from Reuters...I don't who the source is that has made such a claim about the ministry. This is disturbing to us, especially to Datuk Seri Samy Vellu who happens to be in India now, so he has been `ambushed' by hundreds of reporters there asking for his comments," Radzi told reporters after the Cabinet meeting here today.

He was asked to comment on the Reuters report saying that Malaysia has frozen the recruitment of workers from India, linking it to the the Malaysian government's treatment of Indians in the country.

Asked whether India had protested against the purported move following the report, he said: "We don't know yet."

Radzi said at the moment the government was still honouring the memorandum of understanding signed between Malaysia and India.

However, he added, the government was reviewing the system of recruiting foreign workers involving 10 source countries, including India, to prevent recurrence of problems faced by Bangladeshi migrant workers.

"So now we are more stringent. We want employers who intend to bring in foreign workers to get the approval of the Human Resource Ministry after they have proven that they can't get locals to fill the posts."

Radzi said an action committee set up by the ministry would be approving the number of foreign workers that could be brought into the country, and the number might be reduced.

On reports claiming the government did not allow people to bring in temple priests, sculptors and musicians from India, Radzi refuted the claims but admitted that the conditions would be tightened and applicable to all religions including Islam.

He said currently there were 5,468 of them working in this country.

"Our policy is that we want locals to become priests, sculptors and musicians. We have given enough time for them (foreigners) to work here.

"Five years is normal, but some of them have been working here for 10 years and we will not extend their stay. We feel that locals should be able to take over the job," he added.




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