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Raise Estate Workers' Wages, Federal Government Told

Contributed by Anonymous on Sunday, January 13 @ 07:26:06 CST

Plantation Workers
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- Gerakan has asked the federal government to take advantage of the higher rubber and palm oil prices to raise estate workers' wages.

It also proposed a special fund be set up to help children of rubber and oil palm estate workers and former plantation workers.

In making the call, acting Gerakan presiden Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the move was crucial to help plantation workers, particularly the younger set in estates, earn higher income to provide a better life for their families.

"I am making this suggestion following a meeting in my capacity as the Penang Chief Minister with the Indian community leaders.

"Party leaders also met Indian grassroots' leaders in several places to find ways and means to improve the community's socio-economic status," he told reporters after chairing a four-hour central committee meeting here today.

On the part of Gerakan, Koh said the party had expanded the "Maju Diri" programme, a special programme started to help the Indian community in Penang, to other states.

The programme was initiated eight years ago in the form of sponsoring kindergarten classes, giving financial aid to poor Indian students and paying Tamil school teachers' salary.

Seven Tamil schools in Penang have benefited from the programme so far.

Koh said Gerakan would also expand the "Lim Keng Yaik Education Fund", set up by the party adviser, who is also Energy, Water and Communications Minister, to help the Indian community in his Beruas parliamentary constituency.

The fund, set up three years ago, would be extended to other Gerakan-held state and parliamentary constituencies, he said.




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