PMX assures Indians of no discrimination in Malaysia today; all races are integral to Malaysia’s future

THERE is no place in today’s Malaysia for discrimination of any race as achieving greater equality must be a central goal for all Malaysians.

Speaking at the 133rd birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar Jayanthi and the Fifth Ambedkar International Convention held today (April 14) at the Ideal Convention Centre (IDCC) Shah Alam, Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said:

“We must all strive to make Malaysia a place where intellectual discourse can thrive, diverse perspectives are valued and disagreements are approached with civility.”

Anwar was the keynote speaker at today’s event held every April 14 to commemorate the life of Indian statesman B.R. Ambedkar who was born into an oppressed community.

From there, he built a career and a life advocating for political rights and social freedoms for oppressed communities all across India. Ambedkar rose to the top levels of Indian society, heading the committee responsible for crafting the Constitution of India. He was also India’s first law and justice minister.

Anwar further stressed that Malaysian Indians are integral to Malaysian society and that he and the PM’s Office (PMO) would personally pay special attention to them.

“Let me illustrate one area where have listened to your concerns, my Indian brothers and sisters. We have listened, and indeed, we do care immensely. I am pleased to note MITRA has now been remanded back to the responsibility of the PMO, directly under my purview,” he pointed out in a media statement.

“However, I wish to also stress that MITRA is not the only medium in today’s Malaysia to uplift the lives of our Indian communities. For instance, your Madani Government is also devoting resources to Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia and TEKUN Nasional which also provide valuable assistance to the Indian community, nationwide.

“This also includes repairing essential basic sanitary infrastructure in our Tamil schools.”

Achieving greater equality

The PM also emphasised Ambedkar’s commitment to women’s rights which considering Ambedkar lived during the early decades of the 20th century were ground-breaking then not only for India but for many nations across the world.

“His commitment to women’s rights was a primary concern. He worked tirelessly, seeking greater equality under the law for Indian women of all classes and on legal reform to grant women the right to initiate divorce while expanding their rights to inherit property.”

Impressed by B.R. Ambedkar’s life and impact, Anwar emphasised to the more than 1,500 attendees at the Bhim Jayanthi and the Fifth Ambedkar International Convention that achieving greater equality must be the mission for every Malaysian, irrespective of one’s individual race, religion or economic or social strata.

“Democracy needs to be underpinned by a societal commitment to achieve certain ideals and aspirations. I am especially attracted to Ambedkar’s emphasis on fraternity which is essential for the fostering of unity, undoubtedly a central pillar in Malaysia Madani, our philosophy of nationhood,” asserted Anwar.

Reflecting on his earlier messages during this year’s Hari Raya celebration by calling for greater national unity and societal cohesion, the PM underscored that Malaysia’s ability to successfully confront the challenges of today – by overcoming prejudices and seeking greater equality for everyone – will be among the key factors whether Malaysia can successfully capitalise upon the many opportunities available to it in the future.

“The challenge is ours and I am confident that every Malaysian – no matter the colour of their skin, their creed, or station in life – can individually and collectively create a stronger, more prosperous and more equal Malaysia where anyone who dreams big, works hard and plays by the rules can realise their ambitions.

“This is my goal for every Malaysian, indeed, for our whole country,” added Anwar. – April 14, 2024

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