KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 2012 (Bernama) -- "The leader sets the path and the people follow" is a popular saying in the Indian community to reflect a leader they admire, obey and emulate.
Akin to a father as the head of the family, a leader for them, has a big responsibility.
The achievement and development of Malaysia is in the hands of the people involved in the implementation of every policy and programme, but the strength and capability to shoulder the responsibility of leadership, to them, lies in the hands of the prime minister.
A leader is seen as supreme when he always understands the needs of the people and is capable of planning for the well-being and future of the nation.
Malaysians already have such a leader in Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the 6th prime minister of Malaysia, who wants to change the lives of the people for the better.
April 3, 2009 was historical for Malaysians as it was the day Najib became prime minister, and, for the Indian community specifically, it was a golden day.
On his first day as prime minister, Najib had stated clearly that his leadership would prioritise achievements based on the interest of the people.
He proceeded to launch numerous programmes including poverty eradication, access to education for all levels of society and boosting the civil service.
Najib has proven that he is a leader whose finger is on the pulse of the people when he freed leaders of Hindraf detained under te Internal Security Act (ISA) and promised to abolish the ISA.
Najib also endeavoured to give attention to tackling the problems of the Indian community.
He ordered the setting up of a Special Cabinet Committee on the Indian Community under his own department. Now his actions have borne fruit that is being enjoyed by the Indian community in the country.
Najib, hailed as the Father of 1Malaysia, is never weary of launching one effort after another for the development of the people and nation.
The national transformation plan, new economic model and numerous economic schemes, clearly reflect him as a visionary.
As prime minister, Najib is committed to ensuring that every community will not be left out of mainstream development.
He also wants a Malaysian society which is united without any language, racial and cultural barrier through the 1Malaysia concept.
To further strengthen this concept, he introduced a strong slogan: 'People First, Performance Now'.
A comprehensive study done also compelled him to outline the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) under the six National Key Result Areas.
To the Indian community, Najib is a leader who always looks after their lot. He also focuses specifically on the most important sectors including education, employment opportunities in the public sector, financial aid for Indian entrepreneurs and housing aid.
A special bureau, known as the Special Implementation Task Force, had also been set up under the Special Cabinet Committee on the Indian Community, which is responsible for ensuring that all suggestions by the Cabinet are systematically implemented.
He also drew up six sectors to evaluate the performance of the Cabinet committee including reducing poverty among the Indians and raising their income, tackling identity card, birth certificate and citizenship problems, and increasing the number of Indian youths in education and skills training.
Najib also provided an allocation of RM20 million to the Indian Traders Association while temples also received numerous allocations.
For the first time in the country's history, the Indian community was allocated RM5.35 billion in shares.
The numerous reforms and aid by Najib to boost the future of the Indian commuity are invaluable.
Alam Flora worker S. Balasubramaniam said: "Our prime minister is working hard to bring development to the people and country. As such, all his action plans must be supported in the interest of the people".
A doctor from Seremban, Dr A. Palaniyappan said: "Datuk Seri Najib is our most important partner in the development of the nation. He understands his duty as prime minister and acts according to the needs of the people."
Dr Palaniyappan is also happy with the numerous efforts initiatiated by Najib and his listening to the heartbeat of the people and meeting their needs.
Sarala Manikam of Cheras said: "In many government endeavours, the move to give free education is among the most important".
Overall, the government under the leadership of Najib has given a breath of fresh air and new hope to the Indian community, whereby numerous programmes to improve the socio-economy of the Indian community have been carried out from time to time.
If all the programmes are fully successful, the standard of living of Indians in the country will indeed go up. Surely this "nambikai" or hope fulfilled, will create a more glorious era for the Indian community under 1Malaysia.