A local NGO wants MIC to explain why an alleged RM90 million meant for Tamil schools was returned to the government.
KUALA LUMPUR: The National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT) wants to meet MIC leaders to trash out issues pertaining to the RM100 million allocation for Tamil schools nationwide.
NIAT chairman Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim, they will be sending MIC and official letter requesting them to attend a meeting on January 5 at the Soma Hall in Menara Manickavasagan here.
He said in addition, NIAT will also invite other Indian officials like Pemandu director D Raveendran and the head of Tamil school development Dr NS Rajendran for the meeting.
“Our office bearers will be present. We hope MIC leaders will also attend. We believe the proposed talk will only strengthen the community as this is a community issue. So we hope MIC would not overlook the matter due to political differences,” he said.
Thasleem said the Indians are still fighting for fundamental rights like education and job opportunities and there is an urgent need to find out why monies allocated for Tamil schools repairs were allegedly returned to the government.
“It is time that MIC leaders explain the situation and listen to feedback from the community with regards to allocations to upgrade and improve the condition of Tamil schools.
“Both the Chinese and the Tamil schools were each provided with a special allocation of RM100 million.
“While the Chinese schools have fully utilised the funds, the money for the Tamil schools is still a mystery,” Thasleem said.
In the 2012 budget, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak awarded RM100mil to 369 partially-aided Tamil schools in the country.
The funds for Tamil schools were channeled through the MIC.
However media reports claimed that only RM10million had reached the schools and the balance RM90 million was returned to the Education Ministry.
“We have checked with some Education Ministry top officials about the funds. And we came to a conclusion that MIC does not have details of the fund and how it was spent.
“So, we like to initiate talks with the MIC to sort-out matters which has dragged on for the last three years,” said Thasleem.
He pointed out that it was not enough just asking the government for funds, it was also important that MIC has details of how much was spent on a certain school to avoid duplication.
In recent days, several parties have questioned the whereabouts of the remaining RM90 million. Thus far MIC president G Palanivel has been silent on the issue.
Two weeks ago Palanivel, at the MIC annual general assembly, requested Najib to allocate RM350 million a year, for the next three years, to upgrade all the 523 Tamil schools in the country.