Ethnic Indians bat for Malaysian projects in India

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 29 (Calcutta Tube) Two ethnic Indian leaders joined Malaysian deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin in seeking more investments in India’s infrastructure sectors when they met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Yassin, who called on Manmohan Singh on the final day of his visit here Thursday, also mooted government-to-government cooperation in the engineering sector.

Accepting an invitation to visit India, Yassin described the Indian prime minister’s visit as a ‘meeting of minds’.

Both leaders spent about 30 minutes discussing a wide range of bilateral issues and opportunities for more cooperation in the future.

Ethnic Indian Human Resource Minister S. Subramaniam, who was the minister-in-attendance, said both sides highlighted the potential of both countries in establishing a partnership in human capital development, particularly in Information and Communication Technology where India had wide experience, New Straits Times said.

‘The Indian government is very keen to help us in this area as well as in engineering.

‘The partnership will be on government-to-government basis. It will likely be handled by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry,’ he said.

Manmohan Singh also met Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu who sought more infrastructure projects for Malaysian contractors in India. MIC is Malaysia’s largest political party representing the interests of 2.1 million ethnic Indians.

Vellu said although Malaysian companies had been awarded a total of $20 billion worth of projects to date, their participation had shrunk dramatically in recent years due to the imposition of certain rulings.

‘We hope projects in India can be given to Malaysian companies on a government-to-government basis.

‘I also spoke to him on the tourist visa issue and I have appealed to the Indian government to review the two-month period because it has posed problems especially to our businessmen,’ he said.

The Indian government’s new regulation bars tourist visa holders from re-entering India within two months of their last visit.

The move has drawn criticism from Malaysians who have been visiting friends and relatives in India without restrictions in the past.

Samy Vellu said he also conveyed a request for more lecturers and professors from India for Malaysian universities.

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