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Indian-origin people are better off: Malaysia

December 04, 2007 11:20 IST

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has asked the people of the country to judge his government by the progress levels which has benefited all Malaysians.

Meanwhile, deputy minister for Rural and Regional Development Zainal Abidin Osman said Malaysians of Indian origin were better off than the indigenous Malays.

In 2004, the average monthly income of Indian households was Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 3,456, while the indigenous households averaged RM 2,711 and the Chinese households averaged RM4,437, he told Parliament.

"Society, be it the Malays, Indians or Chinese, will gauge us by the level of progress and development we bring to the people irrespective of race," the prime minister said, adding Malaysians could not be taken for a ride by anyone.

He said the government was ''serious'' to further develop the country and maintain peace and harmony.

Abdullah's government has seen one of the worst protests by ethnic Indians in the 50 years of independent Malaysia, some of whom had alleged for being marginalised.

He said Malaysia's success level was the key element to ward off the 'wild and insane' claims by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

It is hard to believe Hindraf's allegations of ethnic cleansing in Malaysia, the PM said, adding the group had gone overboard.

"If we have been doing what they claimed, then there will not be peace and harmony, or political stability in the country,'' he said at the monthly gathering of the Prime Minister's Department in the new Malaysian capital of Putrajaya.

Abdullah said the poor were still in the country but the government had managed to reduce the poverty level in Malaysia from 50 per cent to 5.7 per cent within the last 50 years.

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