Friday, April 18, 2008

End ban on recruitment of priests from India: Vellu

End ban on recruitment of priests from India: Vellu
14 Apr, 2008, 2006 hrs IST, PTI

KUALA LUMPUR: An ethnic Indian leader in Malaysia has appealed to the government to lift a ban on the recruitment of "urgently needed" priests from India for Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras.

Samy Vellu, the President of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), met Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar and urged him to end the ban on the recruitment of priests from India.

Vellu told the minister the temples and gurdwaras in Malaysia "urgently needed" about 500 and 300 priests respectively.

In a statement, Vellu said the government should take into consideration the sensitivities involved as priests were needed to conduct daily prayers.

The minister told Vellu that the matter had to be brought up at Cabinet level for the decision to be revoked, Star newspaper quoted Tamil Nesan as saying today.

Since losing his parliamentary seat of Sungei Siput in the March 8 general elections, Vellu, who has been the head of MIC for almost three decades has begun to take interest in the uplift of the minority ethnic Indian community with a new gusto.

Analysts said the ethnic Indian community was fed up with Vellu's inability to do much for them in 30 years. He has been urging the government to do more for the uplift of the community, which form 7.8 per cent of the country's population of 27 million.

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