KIMMA Seeks Malay Status For Indian Muslims

From Bernama of September 18, 2005

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (KIMMA) Sunday passed a motion seeking the government to give Malay status to Indian Muslims born in the country.
In the eight-point motion, passed at its 30th annual general meeting, KIMMA cited provisions in the Federal Constitution which stated that a Muslim who could speak Bahasa Malaysia and practised the Malay culture was regarded a Malay.
The contents of the motion, among others, stated; "The Indian Muslims adopt the three elements but still cannot get the Malay status. If there is a problem in doing so, at least give the Bumiputera status as is being done to the Portuguese".
The motion was handed to the Prime Minister's Political Secretary Datuk Othman Desa who opened the meeting.
KIMMA is also asking for a special quota for the Indian Muslims in the allocation of low cost houses, places in public institutions of higher learning, scholarships and employment opportunities.
It also wants two of its members to be appointed as Senators.
On the political side, the congress also passed a motion to apply to become a member of the Barisan Nasional component party and would gladly accept to become a coalition party in UMNO.
KIMMA advisor Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim, when met by Bernama, said although the Indian Muslims could be Umno members, many were not keen because they wanted to maintain their culture and mother-tongue.
He said the Indian Muslims played an important role in the setting up of MIC but left the party when religious elements seeped in.
He added that there was a great difference in historical background of the Indian Muslims and the Indians who came to work as labourers despite them speaking Tamil and were from Tamil Nadu in India.
Contained in the motion was also a request for the government to simplify the process of visa application and renewal for Muslim teachers from India and to have a KIMMA representative in all the State Religious Council and local government authorities in the country.