Judge government by progress levels: Malaysian PM

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Singapore, Dec 4 (UNI) 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.

''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.

Mr 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 pointed out that 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 yesterday.

Mr Abdullah noted that poor people 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 past 50 years.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister for Rural and Regional Development Mr Zainal Abidin Osman said Malaysians of Indian origin were better off than bumiputras or the indigenous Malays.

In 2004, the average monthly income of Indian households was Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 3,456 while the bumiputra households averaged RM2,711 and the Chinese households averaged RM4,437, he told Parliament yesterday.

An estimated 5,000-20,000 ethinic Indians protested on November 25 in Kuala Lumpur, alleging that they were marginalised in their adopted country.


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