On 6th March 1978, the Chamber now called Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, celebrated is Golden Jubilee and among the various activities for the Jubilee programme held a grand Dinner for 250 guests at Hotel Merlin, then a premier hotel. The Guest of Honour was the Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed (now the Prime Minister of Malaysia). He congratulated the Chamber for its continuos service to members and the community. Electronic watches commemorating the Golden Jubilee were presented to the dinners. Another significant event was a seminar entitled "Opportunities in Industrial Development and the Role of the Indian Community" held at the Hotel Regent in Kuala Lumpur on 23rd April 1978. The Seminar motivated and stimulated many Malaysian Indians to be conscious and aware of their rightful role and place in an Independent Malaysia which has initiated a programme of industrialisation to diversify the economy.
In 1983, a Sub-committee under the Chairmanship of YB Tan Sri Kishu T. Jethanand was set up to study in detail and recommend necessary steps for the future growth of the Chamber. The Committee met many times to discuss and debate in depth problems and prospects for the Chamber in the context of a fast-changing Malaysian economy.
The Report of the Committee was adopted unanimously at a general meeting of members on 29th March 1985. It is a matter of satisfaction to note that a new spirit of unity and co-operation existed and under the dynamism of a newly elected Management Committee, the membership of the Chamber increased by 150% to 250 member organisation. The Constitution was completely revamped and approved by the Registrar of Societies. The Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur was added on to the Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The provisions of the new Constitution were implemented from 12th October 1985.
The Chamber under its reactivated and dynamic programme of activities during this period published a splended vehicle for communication amongst its members, other Sister Chambers and the Government. The "Suara Dewan" became a significant bi-monthly feature publishing local and foreign trade and industrial news, legislative changes affecting trade and industry in Malaysia and neighbouring ASEAN as well as international matters of mutual concern.
The image of the Chamber made a new and fresh impact on the trading and business community. At the Annual Dinner held on 31st March 1985, the Guest-of-Honour, Datuk S. Samy Vellu, Minister of Works and Utilities and MIC President, Datuk S. Subramaniam, Deputy Minister of Housing & Local Government and Deputy President of MIC were among the VIPS attending the Dinner. Tan Sri Dato' S.O.K. Ubaidulla and Dato' G.S. Gill, President and Secretary of the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry were also present.
Another epoch making event was the inclusion of fifteen of our Chamber members in the Malaysian Buying Mission to India in late 1985 consisting of almost 70 delegates from all Chambers in Malaysia and the Government. The mission was led by YB Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Minister of Trade and Industry. The private sector leader was our own President YB Tan Sri Kishu Jethanand. The mission visited Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore and Madras.
Our Chamber members have participated in trade delegations to Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Europe, China including a mission led by the Prime Minister of Australia and New Zealand in August 1986.
In 1986, Mr. V.K.K. Teagarajan succeeded Tan Sri Kishu as President of the Chamber. Tan Sri Kishu was elected President of the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. A new Management Council was also elected with responsibility to oversee the observance of our Diamond Jubilee when the term of Council expires.
During the 1986 - 1988 term, the Chamber has many "firsts" to its credit. It acted as a catalyst to organise the petty traders and hawkers of Indian origin into an effective organisation liaising with City Council and other Government departments to protect the interest of their members, obtaining loans for business activities and so on.
Grass-root problems affecting the interests of metal-traders, flour millers, spice manufacturers, video rental vendors and distributors all were taken up with the authorities concerned and were settled amicably.
One significant event was the official launching of the first ever Entrepreneurial Development Advisory Centre, established under the auspices of the Chamber with assistance by way of free premises, administrative support and advice.
Having attempted to trace a bit of our history, we are obliged to pay tribute to our pioneer founding fathers who led the chamber through trials and tribulations and handed down the legacies to the Management Council for the 1986 --1988 term.
In conformity with the pragmatic policies of an independent Malaysian Government which have gone through five 5 year Development Plans, we changed our name from "Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce" to the new and dynamic 'Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry". With the pace of industrialisation gathering momentum we had to take a hard look at the lack of Malaysian Indian participation in our industrial development programmes. Our traditional expertise in retail ad wholesale trade in textiles, spices, sports goods, import/export, service industries and of course the plantation industry and Government service including the professions is slowly giving way to the small business / industry arena.
The Chamber is playing the vital role of "catalyst" organising the unorganised sectors and complementing the work of the Entrepreneurial Development Advisory Centre to assist and advice both existing and potential entrepreneurs.
While we promote the interests of our members in trade and industry, we are also an integral part of the national scene and constantly keep the country's needs in full perspective. We are affiliated, through the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry which is the apex body. Many of our members play an important role in the numerous Committees of the National Chamber. Throughout our history the Chamber has always been conforming to national policies and industrial development.
A new image of the Chamber has been reflected in its programme of activities. The Management Council has undertaken many tasks in line with the Government's request for co-operation from the private sector towards ultimately realising the concept of Malaysia Incorporated. Thus we function as a useful link between the Government and business sector and strive for a synthesis of approach in the implementation of economic, fiscal and trade policies, as well as act as a vigilant mouthpiece of the needs of our Malaysian Indian business community.
We have witnessed numerous changes during our history and we are destined for more such changes in the future. Already the pattern of our trading and industrial operations are affected by the global economic environment and we have to be prepared to face them. We will be called upon to shoulder increasing responsibilities to meet new challenges.
The crowing event to commemorate our Diamond Jubilee is the Dinner which is organised under the royal patronage of His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor on 18th March 1989. This function is the first for a State Sovereign to grace and at the time of the Souvenir Programme going to the press, the Diamond Jubilee organising committee had set the pace and standards for a grand celebration, a sumptuous menu, a varied Malaysian and Indian cultural extravaganza to culminate the Diamond Jubilee. Much of the credit goes to the President and Management Council who has long awaited this occasion to observe it in a fitting manner.
We thank all the Federal Ministers, Selangor State Chief Minister and officials, Ministry of Trade & Industry, Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and other sister chambers for giving us full moral and physical support to activate the Chamber and increase its service to the community and country