Home › Events › Hon'ble Prime Minister's visit to Malaysia › Remarks by PM at Indian Community Reception at Kuala Lumpur
Remarks by PM at Indian Community Reception at Kuala Lumpur
Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mrs. Gursharan Kaur receiving
the members of the Indian Community based in Malaysia on 28 October 2010.
(Also seen are the High Commissioner of India Mr. Vijay Gokhale and Mrs. Vandana Gokhale)
I am happy to have this occasion to meet members of the Indian community in Malaysia.
The Malaysian Indian community holds a very special place in our hearts. You represent the largest gathering of people of Indian origin in the world. You have been contributing to the political, economic, social and cultural fabric of Malaysia, while preserving your ties with India. This is not an easy task. But you have successfully done so by blending Indian culture and values with the local milieu. Your achievements fill us with pride and joy.
I compliment you for the affection that you still have for the land of your ancestors. I applaud you for your contribution to the progress and prosperity in Malaysia.
Malaysia has today transformed itself into a modern industrialized nation. With its democratic framework, plural and progressive values, Malaysia provides a unique development model, which is relevant to the entire developing world and the international community.
Today India is also on the move. We are in the midst of a major transformation in addressing our developmental challenges within a democratic framework.
India offers a growing and vibrant market, young work force, and an attractive destination for foreign investors. We are already a trillion dollar economy. We are aspiring for a growth rate of 9-10% per annum. As our economy expands and creates more opportunities, it provides a new platform for collaboration between India and overseas Indian communities. I invite you to make use of these new investment and business opportunities in India in the best manner that you can.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas is now a full-fledged mechanism for reaching out to our overseas community. I am delighted to know that the Malaysian delegation is usually one of the largest and most active delegations at the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas.
We enjoy excellent bilateral relations with Malaysia. India-Malaysia relations have grown significantly in the last five years. Prime Minister Najib’s visit to India earlier this year, and my return visit this year clearly demonstrate our common desire to upgrade our relations in a comprehensive manner. We have also finalized a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement that will create an institutional framework for expanding business and commerce manifold.
The Indian community in Malaysia is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that will come as relations between India and Malaysia deepen and grow.
With cultural and social links to India and deep understanding of our language, culture and the way we do things, the Malaysian Indian business community can serve as the bridge for fostering economic linkages between the two countries. I look forward to seeing greater involvement by you in this endeavour.
I am pleased to learn about the efforts the community has made in preserving Indian traditions and culture. It is in recognition of this that we decided to open an Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year.
I am happy to learn that you are making use of the educational facilities we offer in India. I know that there is a much greater demand for education in India from Persons of Indian Origin globally than we can currently fulfill. The Government is considering ways to address these demands. Our Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs runs a Diaspora Scholarship Scheme that offers scholarships to PIO and NRI students studying in Indian universities. I am told that one third of practicing Malaysian doctors have obtained medical degrees from India. Some Malaysian Universities have now begun collaborating with Indian Universities to develop twinning programmes, particularly in medicine and engineering. I hope that the Malaysian Indian community will benefit from these initiatives.
I am happy to announce today a contribution of Rs 5 crore to augment the Indian Scholarship Trust Fund, which will raise the corpus to Rs. 7.55 cr. The Fund was set up by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946 to provide assistance to Malaysian Indian students. At the request of the Indian community in Malaysia, I am also pleased to announce 20 scholarships for Malaysian students to pursue courses in traditional system of medicine in India.
The respect that non-resident Indians have earned abroad, including in Malaysia, is a matter of pride for all Indians. As a government we will continue to provide all assistance to the community in Malaysia through our High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
I wish each of one of you and your families the very best, and season’s greetings on the occasion of Diwali.