Kuala Lumpur, Sept.4 : The Malaysian Cabinet has said that its decision that the visas and permits for priests, musicians and artisans from India among fresh applicants would be valid for a maximum of three years and based on a set of strict guidelines stands.
The Star quoted Human Resources Minister Dr. S. Subramaniam as saying that there is no move to consider fresh applications from Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras for priests, musicians and artisans from India.
"This issue has been clarified in the media many times and I wish to state that there is no change in the cabinet's decision," he said, adding that if there are weaknesses at the state level or the Immigration Department on the implementation of the cabinet decision, they would be rectified.
Meanwhile in a development related to minorities in the country, a task force has been set up to look into their needs and to protect their rights.
The state's minority community comprises Chinese, Indians, Siamese and Orang Asli.
The task force was established during the recent state Barisan Nasional meeting as part of the state Barisan's "rejuvenation" process.
It has also been decided that local authorities issue licenses to the minority groups without being biased and that steps be taken to stop possible occurrence of racial slurs in government departments.