MPOB Palmnews
 
Date
 17/03/2003
News Provider
 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
News Source
 Bernama
Headline
 KL, New Delhi Can Iron Out Problems, Says Samy Vel

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 (Bernama) -- Works Minister Datuk Seri S. SamyVellu said Sunday that the strong and cordial relations between Malaysiaand India would allow both countries to settle any hiccups in theirlong-standing ties.Commenting on claims of police high-handedness against Indian informationtechnology (IT) professionals here last Sunday, he said that Acting PrimeMinister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had directed theInspector-General of Police to conduct a full probe into the matter.

He said Abdullah, who is also Home Minister, had acted promptly after hebrought the matter to his attention upon being contacted by the IndianHigh Commissioner to Malaysia (Veena Sikri).

All parties should wait for the outcome of the investigation, he toldBernama when contacted here.

Samy Vellu, who is also MIC president, was asked to comment on reportsfrom New Delhi that India was still angry over the alleged incident andwas planning to cancel all bilateral visits, ground extra landing slotsfor Malaysia Airlines and take other measures that could hurt Malaysia.

The Hindustan Times reported that India was also considering excludingMalaysian companies from road construction projects and freezing Malaysianpalm oil imports.

Last Sunday, police raided Palm Court apartments in Brickfields anddetained 165 Indian nationals, mainly IT specialists, following reportsthat they were in the country illegally.

The Indians said that they were treated roughly and some claimed theirpassports were defaced, resulting in the Indian High Commissioner toMalaysia lodging a diplomatic protest.

Samy Vellu said the incident should not be used as a yardstick to measure"Malaysia-India friendship".

"There are more things for both countries to do together. Boycotting ortelling don't give contracts to Malaysian companies cannot be based onthis (incident)," said Samy Vellu who received one of India's highestaward, the "Bharatia Samman", from Indian Prime Minister Atal BihariVajpayee in New Delhi on Jan 9 this year.

Samy Vellu, who was credited for his efforts in initiating and securingconstruction projects worth billions of ringgit for Malaysian companies inIndia through his many working visits to the sub-continent, saidMalaysia-India ties were vital for both countries, He said the Indiangovernment could request for an investigation into the incident but not atthe expense of the strong bilateral ties.

-- BERNAMA