Kuala Lumpur, Jan 5 The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) is planning a rally here to garner support for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, party chief and Works Minister Samy Vellu has said.
The largest political party of the more than two million ethnic Indians hopes to explain "the struggles, achievements and challenges confronting the community" to party members and the people, Vellu said in a statement Thursday.
"It is also to send a loud and clear message to the opposition that the Indian community will always stand solidly behind Barisan Nasional," Vellu was quoted as saying in The New Straits Times Friday.
Plans to hold a rally are significant in that public rallies that do not have police permission have been declared illegal in the recent weeks and its organisers prosecuted.
On Nov 25, the police forcibly dispersed a rally of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and 37 of its organisers are being prosecuted.
Meanwhile, a new coalition of 121 ethnic Indian NGOs has called for a "policy of inclusion" to ensure the community's participation at all levels of the decision-making process in Malaysia.
It wants to set up a non-political independent task force to initiate programmes, including a moratorium on the demolition of places of worship, education, economic and employment opportunities, The Star newspaper said.
The coalition's chairperson, A. Vaithilingam, said the organisations also called for the setting-up of a community development fund to be managed by the task force to provide incentives and implement community empowerment programmes.
"We have submitted a preliminary statement comprising of urgent reforms for disadvantaged Indian-Malaysians directly to the Prime Minister's Office last Friday," he said.