PERAK 11-11-2017.Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi puts the finishing touches on a traditional Indian 'kolam' drum during the National Deepavali Open House celebration in Sungai Siput. With him is Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Health Minister and MIC President Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir, and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri S.K Devamany. MALAY MAIL Farhan Najib

SUNGAI SIPUT – The Barisan Nasional government is committed to improve the lives of the Indian Malaysian community, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said at the ruling coalition’s national Deepavali celebration here tonight.

As such, he urged the community to also support the government which has fulfilled its promises to improve their lives.

 Ahmad Zahid called on the community to understand the Tamil saying, “thaan paathi deivam paathi”, which translates to “we half, God half”.

“God will not change the lives of the people unless the people themselves worked to change their own lives,” he said at the Deepavali open house held at Ladang Inforternak here.

“The people must have the intention, willingness and tenacity to improve their life from the present stage to another stage,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid said the effectiveness and success of assistance programmes planned by the government for the community would depend on initiative and concerted effort of the individual.

“The Indian community need to build their confidence to move forward.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi officiates the national Deepavali open house in Sungai Siput November 11, 2017.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi officiates the national Deepavali open house in Sungai Siput November 11, 2017.“I would like to invite all to become the government’s partner and hold to the spirit of nambikkei,” he said, noting that with that spirit, Malaysia would be able to advance.

“Like the Tamil saying, the strength lies in the tumbikkai or the elephant’s trunk while the strength of the people lies in nambikkei.”

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid said Putrajaya had set aside RM260 million in Budget 2017, which proved the government’s commitment to the Indian Malaysian community.

“To improve the community’s economy, two billion units of Saham Amanah have been set aside for the community in the coming five years,” he said.

He added that those in the bottom 40 per cent of income-earners would be given preferential treatment to buy the units and that subsidies will also be provided.

“The programme is expected to benefit 100,000 households,” Ahmad Zahid said.

– Malay Mail