Samy Vellu to begin special envoy duties with India visit this week

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 3 (ANI): Samy Vellu, the former Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) chief who assumed duties as the country's special envoy with ministerial rank on infrastructure to India and South Asia on Saturday, would reportedly begin his official tour on Thursday starting with a visit to New Delhi.

Besides India, other South Asian countries under Samy Vellu's portfolio are reportedly Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives.

The Star quoted a statement from his office as saying that Vellu would be leading a 150-strong Malaysian Indian delegation to the ninth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, an annual conference that brings together people of Indian origin from throughout the world.

He is scheduled to hold talks with high-ranking Indian government officials on the sidelines of the four-day conference in New Delhi to figure out ways to find more opportunities for Malaysian businessmen to venture into India, the statement added.

The conference, which will be officially opened by Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Saturday, would also include key Indian Cabinet ministers, including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath.

Samy Vellu, who stepped down last month after 31 years as MIC president, was appointed special envoy by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to tap Samy Vellu's experience in clinching billions of ringgit worth of projects for Malaysian companies during his tenure as works minister.

During a meeting with Dr Manmohan Singh here in October last year, Vellu had expressed the hope that Malaysian businessmen would be given more opportunities by the Indian government to participate in infrastructure development projects in India. (ANI)

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