On December 9, 2012, Datuk Seri Najib Razak denied the claims that there are about 300,000 stateless Indians in Malaysia. Razak added that the government is ready to offer citizenship to Indians who are qualified and come forward to apply for it.
While officiating at the MIC general assembly at Putra World Trade Centre on December 9, 2012, Razak said, “There are only 9,000 of them who have showed up, and out of that, we have already given citizenship to 4,500 of them”.
Najib also said that he will be happy to provide citizenship if such a number of stateless Indians existed. This will help to increase the Indian votes for the Barisan Nasional. The Barison Nasional (BN) considers the Indians to be a safety deposit in the forthcoming elections, according to MIC president Datuk Seri G Palanivel.
Razak also assured that he guarantees citizenship to anyone who is qualified enough and added that more than 2,000 applications will be processed. The statement came after the opposition announced their plans for a sit-in protest at the National Registration Department headquarters in Putrajaya on December 5, 2012. Najib also said that the private home shrine which was destroyed would be rebuilt, provided the BN be given a strong mandate and win back Selangor in the elections.