KUALA LUMPUR: India has increased the scholarship fund for ethnic Indian students in Malaysia from RM3.5 million to RM5 million
This was an increase of RM1.5 million on the annually disbursed funds.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who made the announcement while on a state visit here recently, also said announced 20 new scholarships for Malaysian students to study traditional system of medicine in India.
The scholarship fund was established in 1946 by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to help Indian students in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, in its blog, Human Rights Party (HRP) took credit for the Indian government's decision to increase its scholarhips to Malaysian students.
HRP claimed that the move to augment the scholarship fund was a result of the party's hard work in highlighting the plight of the Indian students here to the Indian government.
“We submitted our requests in the form of various letters and memoranda to the Indian High Commission here as well as directly to the Indian premier.
“All those numerous letters have been put up on this website over the last several months as well,” reads the blog.
HRP said the increase in allocation was also a message to the Umno-led government.
“This is a clear message to the Umno government that the international community is aware of its racists ways,” it said.
Speaking to FMT, HRP information chief S Jayathas thanked Hindraf Makkal Sakthi chairman P Waythamoorthy for his efforts in highlighting the woes faced by Indian students here on the international arena.
“We have been pursuing the matter vigorously with the Indian government this year, with assistance from Waythamoorthy ,”said Jayathas, who is also Hindraf Makkal Sakthi's national information coordinator.
He criticised the government for blacking out the news (on the Indian scholarships), alleging that it deliberately muzzled the mainstream media.
“The increase in allocation was a big blow to the Umno-led government. I hope this will be a lesson... to treat Indian students fairly,” said Jayathas, who urged the government to allow Indian students who score 7As and above in SPM to enter university.
The rally's estimated to be 100 000 people gathered outside the Petronas Twin Towers at midnight, early Sunday morning.At least 240 people were detained, but half of them were later released. One day before the rally, police arrested three HINDRAF lawyers, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabatirau for sedition charges. Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau posted bail of 800 Malaysian ringgits each, but Waytha Moorthy refused bail as a sign of protest.