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Malaysia gets its �Little India�

By prasanta j barUah

KUALA LAMPUR, Oct 31 � After Singapore, Malaysia has finally got its own �Little India�. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib and his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh on Wednesday jointly launched �Little India� in the Indian enclave of Brickfields in Kuala Lampur here The event was marked by unveiling a 7.62m high fountain, the tallest in the country.

�Little India� covers the area from Jalan Travers to Jalan Tun Sambanthan .The two-phase �Little India� project worth 35 million Malaysian currency involves the construction of new business premises , parking complex as well as road construction.The Brickfields area is the oldest Indian settlement of Indians in Malaysia and the new project will go a long way in winning the goodwill of the 2million strong Indian community in the country.

�This is more than a symbol.(It) will be a tourist place and will certainly benefit the people here.� Najib said before a five thousand strong crowd of Indians.He said the launch signified the government pledge to develop Brickfields.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in his speech said Malaysia represented the best of Asia.�It is home to people of different races who live in peace and harmony.It co-exists together. This is what we trying to do back home in India.� he added.

�The Indian community here has contributed immensely to the development of Malaysia in every sector snd stste. There are lawyers , engineers, accountants and other professionals from the community serving Malaysia.

Organised Indian immigration to Malaysia began with the establishment of the East India Company stationed in Penang in 1786. Majority of the Indians came as plantation labourers and this remains the single largest group even today. Interestingly, more than 30 per cent of the lawyers and doctors in Malaysia are of Indian origin.

Tamils, Telugus and Malayalis constitute 85% of the total Indian Malaysians along with a spronkling of Punjabis, Bengalis, Sindhis, Gujratis and others.The Malaysian Indian Congress , one of the oldest political party in Malaysia (formed in 1946) is a partner in the ruling government.

Of late resentment has been in the Malaysian Indian community over systematic discrimination in matters of employment, education and other sectors of the country. The indigenous Malays who are Muslims constitute 60% of the country�s population with Chinese and Indians constituting the rest of the population.The Indians specially in the plantations are the poorest and underprevileged.

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Najib replied tersely to an Indian reporter at the joint press meet on the issue of Indians being marginalised by saying that ,�I don�t have to go into it and it is not a matter to be discussed between the two countries as this is a domestic matter.�

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who was present struck a concialatory note saying, �Malaysia is a multicultural, multiethnic country.It�s a democracy and respects the fundamental human rights of its citizens�.

The outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and the Human Rights Party have reportedly asked Dr Singh to take up the matter . It is also hoping to meet United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who will be on a three-day visit to Malaysia from Monday.

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Malaysia gets its �Little India�

KUALA LAMPUR, Oct 31 � After Singapore, Malaysia has finally got its own �Little India�. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib and his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh on Wednesday jointly launched �Little India� in the Indian enclave of Brickfields in Kuala Lampur here The event was marked by unveiling a 7.62m high fountain, the tallest in the country.

�Little India� covers the area from Jalan Travers to Jalan Tun Sambanthan .The two-phase �Little India� project worth 35 million Malaysian currency involves the construction of new business premises , parking complex as well as road construction.The Brickfields area is the oldest Indian settlement of Indians in Malaysia and the new project will go a long way in winning the goodwill of the 2million strong Indian community in the country.

�This is more than a symbol.(It) will be a tourist place and will certainly benefit the people here.� Najib said before a five thousand strong crowd of Indians.He said the launch signified the government pledge to develop Brickfields.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in his speech said Malaysia represented the best of Asia.�It is home to people of different races who live in peace and harmony.It co-exists together. This is what we trying to do back home in India.� he added.

�The Indian community here has contributed immensely to the development of Malaysia in every sector snd stste. There are lawyers , engineers, accountants and other professionals from the community serving Malaysia.

Organised Indian immigration to Malaysia began with the establishment of the East India Company stationed in Penang in 1786. Majority of the Indians came as plantation labourers and this remains the single largest group even today. Interestingly, more than 30 per cent of the lawyers and doctors in Malaysia are of Indian origin.

Tamils, Telugus and Malayalis constitute 85% of the total Indian Malaysians along with a spronkling of Punjabis, Bengalis, Sindhis, Gujratis and others.The Malaysian Indian Congress , one of the oldest political party in Malaysia (formed in 1946) is a partner in the ruling government.

Of late resentment has been in the Malaysian Indian community over systematic discrimination in matters of employment, education and other sectors of the country. The indigenous Malays who are Muslims constitute 60% of the country�s population with Chinese and Indians constituting the rest of the population.The Indians specially in the plantations are the poorest and underprevileged.

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Najib replied tersely to an Indian reporter at the joint press meet on the issue of Indians being marginalised by saying that ,�I don�t have to go into it and it is not a matter to be discussed between the two countries as this is a domestic matter.�

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who was present struck a concialatory note saying, �Malaysia is a multicultural, multiethnic country.It�s a democracy and respects the fundamental human rights of its citizens�.

The outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and the Human Rights Party have reportedly asked Dr Singh to take up the matter . It is also hoping to meet United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who will be on a three-day visit to Malaysia from Monday.