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Malaysian PM gives boost to Indian community; approves $26 million for Sedic

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Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has approved 100 million Malaysian ringgit (about $26 million) for the upliftment of the Indian community in the country.

The fund was approved to the Special Unit for Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (Sedic), Malaysia’s Bernama news agency reported.

Sedic Director N.S. Rajendran on Friday said that it was an effort to create opportunities to improve the lives of 40 percent of the 2.6 million ethnic Indians in the southeast Asian nation.

He said funds would be channeled through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and skills-training institutions that were selected based on certain criteria and not to individuals or political parties.

Rajendran said Sedic has identified 11 scopes for the Indian community, including Tamil schools issue, documentation, admission to universities, youths at high risk, and Indian participation in the public sector.

“Sedic will ensure that the funds are managed efficiently so that the target groups receive benefits from the government,” he said.

Over 600,000 Indians nationwide make up the bottom 40 percent in 38 districts in nine states and earning less than 2,500 Malaysian ringgit ($664) per month.

Every application made by NGOs and skills training institutions goes through three stages before it is approved by the prime minister.

-IANS

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In a Sudden Move, Malaysia’s King Abdicates Throne

The Council of Rulers is expected to meet soon to pick the next king.

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Malaysia
Malaysia King Sultan Muhammad V salutes during the national anthem at the opening of the 14th parliament session at the Parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, July 17, 2018. VOA

Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V abdicated on Sunday in an unexpected move, after just two years on the throne.

The palace said in a statement that the 49-year-old ruler had resigned as Malaysia’s 15th king with immediate effect, cutting short his five-year term. No reason was given in the statement.

It marked the first abdication in the nation’s history.

Sultan Muhammad V, ruler of northeast Kelantan state, took his oath of office in December 2016, becoming one of Malaysia’s youngest constitutional monarchs.

Malaysia King
Malaysia’s King Sultan Muhammad V at the Trooping of Colours ceremony.

He is said to have married a 25-year-old former Russian beauty queen in November while on a two-month medical leave. Reports in Russian and British media and on social media featured pictures of the wedding, which reportedly took place in Moscow. Neither the sultan, the palace nor the government had officially confirmed the wedding.

Speculation that Sultan Muhammad V would step down emerged this past week, shortly after he returned from his leave, but Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Friday that he was unaware of any abdication plans.

Also Read: Muslims in Malaysia Rally In Kuala Lumpur To Keep Status

Under a unique system maintained since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957, nine hereditary state rulers take turns as the country’s king for five-year terms.

The Council of Rulers is expected to meet soon to pick the next king.

The monarch’s role is largely ceremonial, since administrative power is vested in the prime minister and parliament. But the monarch is highly regarded, particularly among the ethnic Malay Muslim majority, as the supreme upholder of Malay tradition. (VOA)