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Monday, October 15, 2012

Hundreds picket against tycoon's KTMB takeover bid


Person insulting Mohandas Gandhi through Facebook arrested, but no action on Dr. Zakir Naik

Devout Hindus lodging complaints against Dr. Zakir Naik should show this news to the concerned police and force them to take action against Dr. Naik !On one hand, the police take no action against Zakir Naik despite receiving more than 55 complaints for his insulting Shri Ganesh worshipped by all Hindus, through his Facebook account and on the other hand, take immediate action based on one complaint about insult of Mohandas Gandhi  through one Facebook account !

Jaipur (Rajasthan) : Mr. Datar Singh Rathod from Gujarat has been arrested for posting an  insulting statement on his Facebook account about Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. (Do Police revere Mohandas Gandhi more than Hindu Deities ? – Editor SP) Under clause 153 –B of Indian Penal Code and Sect. 66-A of the Information and Technology Act, a case has been filed against Rathod and police are further investigating the matter. (A complaint has been lodged for an offence committed by a person in Gujarat  by a person in Rajasthan and the police took action against the accused; but why do police not register complaints against Dr. Zakir Naik lodged by persons from Mumbai, Thane and other districts although he stays in the Capital city of the same State or take no action against the complaints lodged ? When police from all over the country follow the Indian Penal Code for maintaining law and order, how can there be such disparity ? – Editor SP)Mr. Vinayak Sharma from Jaipur has lodged a complaint with Kshipra Peth Police Station wherein he has stated that Mr. Rathod staying at Gandhidham has posted insulting matter about Gandhi.

NHS boss faces death penalty over charges of torture and 18 murders in Bangladesh

  • War crimes tribunal set to bring damning indictments against NHS director of spiritual care
  • Prosecutors want him extradited to face trial over atrocities committed in Bangladesh in 1971

(Mail Online) One of Britain's most important Muslim leaders – who has a senior role in the NHS – is to be charged with 18 murders by a war crimes tribunal in his native Bangladesh, investigators have told The Mail on Sunday.

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, who is director of Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS and is also a chairman of the Multi-Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy, is accused of abducting, torturing and killing 18 journalists, academics and doctors during the bloody war of independence in Bangladesh in 1971.

Mr Mueen-Uddin, 63, who strongly denies the allegations, is believed to have fled Bangladesh shortly after the war ended, and has been living in London since the early Seventies.
As Deputy Director of the Islamic Foundation Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, pictured left, met Prince Charles in 2003 but now his accused of murder and faces the death penalty in Bangladesh
As Deputy Director of the Islamic Foundation Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, pictured left, met Prince Charles in 2003 but now he is accused of murder and faces the death penalty in Bangladesh

Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) – which has been set up to try the country's most notorious war criminals still alive – has announced that it has completed its year-long investigation into Mr Mueen-Uddin. The ICT's prosecution wing will announce formal charges against him in the next few days, said a senior official at the tribunal.

Sanaul Huq, the Inspector-General of Bangladesh's national police force, who is co-ordinating the ICT investigation, said his investigators believe that Mr Mueen-Uddin killed dozens of people during the independence war, but they can link him only to 18 murders with evidence and eyewitness testimonies.

The ICT said Mr Mueen-Uddin and his associates allegedly subjected their victims to horrendous torture before killing them and dumping their bodies in sports grounds which earned the nickname 'killing fields'.

Mr Huq told The Mail on Sunday: 'They abducted an eye doctor, and then gouged his eyes out before killing him and dumping his body.

'They abducted a cardiologist and cut out his heart before killing him and dumping his body.

'They kidnapped a woman journalist, and cut her breasts off before killing her. Her decomposing body was later found with her breasts cut off.

'These victims were chosen because they were leading figures in the independence movement. Mueen-Uddin was a leading figure when it comes to killing activists. This is why we want to try him in court.

'As soon as charges are made – which I can guarantee will happen in days – we will request the British Government to hand him back to Bangladesh, and we will ask Interpol for his arrest. We will use all means, diplomatic and legal, to bring him back. If we fail, we will try him in absentia.'
Investiagors say that during the Bangladesh civil war, Mr Mueen-Uddin was a member of an Islamic terrorist group which abducted and killed leading Pakistani independence figures
Investiagors say that during the Bangladesh civil war, Mr Mueen-Uddin was a member of an Islamic terrorist group which abducted and killed leading Pakistani independence figures
 
Mr Mueen-Uddin declined to respond to the allegations, but his lawyer Toby Cadman, a barrister at 9 Bedford Row International, said: 'As no formal allegations have thus far been put to Mr Mueen-Uddin it would be highly inappropriate for any formal response to be issued to the media.

'This is a matter sub judice and therefore any and all media comment on the nature of the allegations, the strength of the evidence and the eventual outcome of the proceedings is to be avoided. It would be inappropriate at this stage to comment on the substance of the allegations. However, any and all allegations that Mr Mueen-Uddin committed or participated in any criminal conduct during the Liberation War of 1971 have been strongly denied in the past and will continue to be strongly denied in their entirety.'

If Mr Mueen-Uddin is found guilty of the charges, he could face the death penalty.

Mr Cadman added: 'The United Kingdom would not extradite a person where they are at risk of the death penalty – clearly a barrier in the present case due to the repeated remarks by the government of Bangladesh that the accused at the Tribunal will face the death penalty.'

After Britain gave India independence in 1947, the region now known as Bangladesh became a province of Pakistan, and was known as East Pakistan. But residents of East Pakistan became increasingly frustrated because they believed they were being treated like colonial subjects by their government based in the west of the country.

As a result, Bangladesh became independent in December 1971 after a nine-month civil war, during which hundreds of thousands were killed by the Pakistan military. At the time, Mr Mueen-Uddin was among those who did not want a secular Bangladesh splitting from the 'Islamic state' of Pakistan, say ICT investigators.

They say that during the civil war, Mr Mueen-Uddin was working as a journalist for a newspaper called the Daily Purbadesh in the capital Dhaka. But he was also said to be a secret member of an Islamic terrorist group called the Al-Badr Brigade, which abducted and killed leading figures of the independence movement for the Pakistani military. Mr Huq says Mr Mueen-Uddin fled Bangladesh shortly after independence, and went to Britain via India, Nepal and then Pakistan, from where he caught a flight to London in the early Seventies.

Over the decades, he became one of Britain's most influential Muslim leaders, was instrumental in setting up the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), and is now one of the trustees of the UK's leading Islamic charity, Muslim Aid.
Editor of newspaper Purbodesh - Atiqur Rahman - published a front page claiming that Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, a former reporter, had been a murderer
Editor of newspaper Purbodesh - Atiqur Rahman - published a front page claiming that Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, a former reporter, had been a murderer

Mr Mueen-Uddin was one of the chief Islamic leaders who mobilised thousands of British Muslims to protest against the publication of Salman Rushdie's controversial book, The Satanic Verses, in 1989.

He led a group of Muslim leaders who went to Downing Street to hand a petition against publication of the book to Margaret Thatcher, who was Prime Minister at the time.

Mr Mueen-Uddin has also met Prince Charles, including one occasion when the heir to the throne visited the East London Mosque in 2010.

The ICT was set up by the Bangladeshi government two years ago after all major political parties voted unanimously in Parliament for a war crimes tribunal. Human rights groups and activists had been campaigning for the tribunal for decades.

The ICT has so far arrested nine alleged war criminals and is trying them in special courts in front of a panel of three judges. The nine are some of the most prominent Islamist leaders of the country, who are accused of killing thousands of independence activists and leaders during the 1971 war.

Mr Huq said: 'At the ICT we are not going to try the foot-soldiers, but are going after the main leaders. We have a list of 20 notorious alleged war criminals we want to try. Mueen-Uddin is one of them. He was a very big player.'

Investigators say that Mr Mueen-Uddin's official title in Al Badr was 'operation-in-charge', which made him a commander of the group.

He is accused of personally abducting six journalists – including a local BBC reporter – three doctors and nine academics from Dhaka University between December 10 and 15, 1971.

More than 1,000 Bangladeshi intellectuals and prominent supporters of the independence movement were killed in the dying days of the war by the Pakistani military in a calculated effort to deprive the new country of its leaders, says the ICT.

Mr Mueen-Uddin and his associates allegedly abducted their victims from their houses during the night at gunpoint, and took them to a gym called the Mohammedpur Training Centre in Mirpur, an area in north Dhaka. The gym was said to have been converted into a makeshift torture chamber.
Mr Mueen-Uddin was one of the chief Islamic leaders who mobilised thousands of British Muslims to protest against the publication of Salman Rushdie's controversial book, The Satanic Verses, in 1989
Mr Mueen-Uddin led a protest against the publication of Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses, in 1989

After the victims were tortured and killed, their bodies were dumped in nearby grounds. The bodies of some victims were never found.

The ICT has interviewed 45 witnesses. Among them is Asif Munier, who is now 46. He was four when his father, Munier Chowdhury, then 45, was taken away from their house in Dhaka. Mr Chowdhury was a prominent playwright and professor of Bengali literature at Dhaka University. He also wrote many articles in support of the independence movement. Mr Chowdhury's body was never found although the family frantically searched the 'killing fields' to find the corpse.

Mr Munier said: 'My father was no criminal. He was targeted and killed for his views to uphold Bengali language and nationalism, so I feel these people left me and my brothers fatherless, made my mother a widow and took away a gifted teacher and writer from Bangladesh, for no fault except believing in freedom and justice.

'His trial would be a symbolic boost to the morale of Bangladesh. It is also a test for the international legal system and human rights mechanism, since Mueen-Uddin is a prominent UK citizen now. Me and my family will be happy to see Mueen-Uddin face trial.'

Mr Munier gave evidence to the ICT early this year.

Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury, an academic in Bengali literature at Dhaka University, is also said to have been kidnapped by Mr Mueen-Uddin from his home and killed on December 14, 1971. His body was never found.

His widow, Dolly Chaudhury, gave a video witness statement to the ICT before her death this year.

Opponents of the ICT say that the tribunal is being used as a tool for the political witch-hunt of Islamic leaders who are the fiercest opponent of the current government, the Awami League party.

The nine individuals who are on trial at the ICT are all leaders of Bangladesh's most prominent Islamic political party, Jamat-I-islami, which opposes the Awami League and its 'secular' politics, say critics.

However, the ICT has broad support among Bangladeshi citizens, who want alleged war criminals tried, say human rights activists.
Mr Mueen Uddin led a group of Muslim leaders who went to Downing Street to hand a petition against the publication of the Satanic Verses to Margaret Thatcher
Mr Mueen Uddin led a group of Muslim leaders who went to Downing Street to hand a petition against the publication of the Satanic Verses to Margaret Thatcher

Sara Hossain, a British-trained barrister and one of Bangladesh's most prominent human rights lawyers, said: 'The critics often fail to mention the overwhelming demand for its [the ICT's] establishment or the need for a process of accountability for 1971 war crimes and crimes against humanity.'

Any request by the Bangladeshi government to the UK to hand back Mr Mueen-Uddin is likely to be tricky because the two countries have no formal extradition treaty. Also, the UK usually does not send suspects to a country where there is a possibility that they may be sentenced to death. A further difficulty is that it is believed that Mr Mueen-Uddin has been granted British citizenship by the Home Office.

However, Mr Huq said: 'We will try all avenues available to us. Although Bangladesh does practise the death penalty, it could be that Mueen-Uddin may not face it at his trial. That will be for the judges to decide.'

A Department of Health spokesman said: 'Mr Mueen-Uddin is not employed by either the Department of Health or the NHS.

'He was head of Muslim spiritual care in the NHS, and chair of the Multi-Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy, an independent organisation which provides advice to the Department of Health about multi-faith healthcare chaplaincy on behalf of all Faith Groups.

'He has voluntarily stepped down from these roles while he responds to these allegations.'

Poor Saiva families subjected to Islamic proselytism

Administrators of mosques in Ampaa'rai district are engaged in converting members of poor Tamil Saiva families to Islam with financial inducement, civil society sources in Ampaa'rai said. Poor Tamil families from Chiththa'ndi, Mu'rakkottaancheanai, Chanthive'li, Kiraan and Ko'rakkallimadu who go work in rice mills, textile shops and brick making centres owned by Muslim businessmen are being coerced with inducements from the business owners according to sources.

About seventy five Saiva families of Nainaakdu have been converted to Islam.

A mosque has also been constructed at the village for the convertees' use, sources said.

Meanwhile, Tamil girls who are employed in textile shops owned by Muslims along Kalmunai-Akkaraippaththu road are also allegedly being sexually abused and used for prostitution, according to reports.

Police in Akkaraipaththu and Kalmunai have failed to take action against complaints made related to prostitution as the Police officers are also being allegedly bought over by financial inducements from the Muslim organizers of the prostitution rings, local sources said.

Don’t rush new statutory rape bill, Nazri told

DAP’s Teresa Kok urges the AG Chambers to consult relevant groups before tabling a bill in parliament to restrict judges' power on statutory rape sentences.

KUALA LUMPUR: De facto law minister Nazri Aziz was today urged to conduct thorough consultation with relevant groups before a bill is tabled in parliament to amend laws pertaining to statutory rape.

DAP parliamentarian for Seputeh Teresa Kok said Nazri must first setup a committee that included Attorney-General’s Chambers (AG) and Women, Family and Community Development Ministry so that a refined law could be drafted to best resolve the matter.

“The committee should consult women’s groups, deputy public prosecutors, social workers, shelter homes and so on to get their opinion,” she said at a press conference at the Federal Territories DAP annual convention 2012 today.

Kok was commenting on Nazri’s statement yesterday that an amendment would be tabled in parliament soon to disallow judges from exercising their discretionary power, under the Criminal Procedure Code 294 (1), to reduce the sentence given to statutory rapists.

Nazri had reportedly said that the provision would be added to Section 376 of Penal Code, which prescribes mandatory jail sentences for those convicted of statutory rape.

In recent months, the public had raised concerns on judges’ discretionary power after a national bowler and an electrician were allowed to go scot free despite having committed statutory rape against their underaged girlfriends respectively.

Koh said she was against the mandatory five year jail term used to be meted out to the statutory rapist before 2006, but added she was also against no punishment.

“Nowadays many teenagers have consensual sex, and the trend is increasing. If a 18-year-old guy was brought to jail for five years for having sex with his girl friend, his future will be gone,” she said.

“In the United States or United Kingdom, the laws are very detailed in those offences. So I think we should make laws to be more refined as well,” she said.

Meanwhile, the convention attended by 82 participants and 12 observers had passed resolutions to urge the federal government to take stringent measures on the annual budget to prevent leakages; to elevate the status of Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be answerable to parliament; and to review the Automated Enforcement System, among others.

Can we continue to rely on BN?

Will Najib be as cool if it was Pakatan that had received RM40 million as political contribution?
COMMENT

By Chua Jui Meng

I have known some double tongue people but Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak really takes the cake when it comes to double-speak, that too without the blink of an eyelid.

He not only blatantly double-speaks, he also applies two sets of laws – one for his Barisan Nasional-Umno cronies and another for others – to suit his and BN-Umno’s agenda.

Najib also abuses all government law enforcement agencies to intimidate his political rivals.

I dread to imagine the might of the full force of the BN law enforcement agencies that will be used to clamp down on the Pakatan Rakyat and its “donors” if the RM40 million had been Pakatan’s.

I really wish to see whether Najib will respond the same – by saying that it is unnecessary to reveal the source of RM40 million ‘donation’ for Sabah Umno – when Pakatan receives similar donations.

We are already witnessing how vindictive the BN is towards human rights non-governmental organisation (NGO) Suaram.

After the BN-controlled Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police refused to probe the alleged corrupt deals in the multi-billion-ringgit purchase of Scorpene submarines from France, Suaram lodged a complaint with the French authorities.

Till today, the MACC still refuses to start a probe into the purchase by the Defence Ministry, then helmed by Najib.

Instead, using the Jewish card, all enforcement agencies are now being used to clamp down on Suaram to intimidate its leaders.

The BN-government-controlled print and electronic media then ran amok, questioning Suaram’s source of foreign funding and donations from, among others, Jewish currency trader George Soros.

Mind you, in Malaysia, Jewish or Yahudi in Bahasa Malaysia is sensitive to the majority Muslim populace.

BN then even tried to tarnish Pakatan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s links with Soros. However, when pictures of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad with Soros and leaks of Najib’s secret meeting with Soros in the US surfaced in the internet, there were no such amok-like reports in the controlled media.

Najib even had the audacity to ask what was wrong for him to meet Soros! Is he insulting the intelligence of Malaysians?

Najib’s blatant double-speak and arrogance can only be due to Umno’s 55-year rule of Malaysia. And he and Umno-diehard supporters and cronies behave and believe Umno and BN are infallible.

The BN government’s plundering of the country’s wealth is believed to have stacked an RM800 billion federal debt, according to Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Muhkriz Mahathir, thereby likely breaching the legislated debt-ceiling.

This means we are heading towards the way of Greece – bankruptcy.

And, being described by Transparency International as one of the most corrupt countries in the world is cause for concern as it rattles the confidence of both local and foreign investors.

Chua Jui Meng is a PKR vice-president and Johor PKR chairman. He is a former MCA vice-president and an ex-BN cabinet member.

Siapa penyumbang RM40 juta untuk Umno Sabah


(Harakah) - Jika wang RM40 juta yang cuba diseludup ke Malaysia untuk Umno Sabah dibuat dengan cara yang betul, mengapa Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak takut mendedahkan siapa penyumbangnya, kata Naib Presiden PAS, Datuk Mahfuz Omar.

Ketika ditanya dalam sidang media selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi Barisan Nasional (BN) malam tadi, Najib mengelak dari mendedahkan siapa penyumbang wang RM40 juta itu.

Bagi Mahfuz, antara persoalan utama berhubung sumbangan RM40 juta itu bukan sahaja siapa penyumbangnya tetapi mengapa ia disumbangkan.

"Tidak ada siapa percaya si penyumbang memberikan sumbangan kepada parti pemerintah dengan percuma begitu sahaja.

"Kalau penyumbangnya orang berniaga, semua tindakan perniagaan dibuat berdasarkan untung dan rugi sebab ia bukan badan kebajikan," kata Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena itu sambil mempersoalkan keuntungan apa yang diharapkan oleh si peniaga tersebut dalam memberiikan sumbangan sebesar itu.

Sebab itulah, kata Mahfuz, isu utama berhubung sumbangan RM40 juta itu ialah kedudukan pihak yang menerima sumbangan dan pihak yang memberikan sumbangan.

"Yang menerima sumbangan ialah parti pemerintah dan tidak ada siapa pun yang percaya ia diberikan tanpa sebarang kepentingan," kata beliau.

Apa yang berlaku itu juga membuktikan penguatkuasaaan undang-undang di negara ini dibuat secara double standard dan berpilih-pilih, kata Mahfuz.

"Kalau pihak yang kerajaan Umno BN tidak suka, sudah pasti dibongkar dan diburu habis-habisan seperti yang berlaku kepada Suaram sekarang.

"Umno bukan sahaja terima wang dari luar negara malah RM40 juta itu diseludup, tetapi menteri kata dalam Parlimen kononnya tidak ada unsur rasuah," katanya.

Dalam jawapannya kepada soalan Ahli Parlimen Batu Tian Chua, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz berkata, "tidak ada unsur rasuah dibuktikan" di dalam kes itu.

Mahfuz juga mengecam Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) yang menimbulkan kecurigaan besar berhubung siasatannya terhadap penyeludupan wang RM40 juta itu.

Ketua Menteri Sabah yang juga Ketua Umno negeri, Datuk Seri Musa Aman sebelum ini menafikan tuduhan yang mengaitkan dirinya dengan hartawan balak, Michael Chia yang pernah ditahan pada 2008 kerana cuba menyeludup wang haram berjumlah RM40 juta.

Bagaimanapun, SPRM membersihkan dakwaan rasuah terhadap Musa dan Chia.

Hasan Ali’s umbrage over PAS-DAP ties — The Malaysian Insider

OCT 14 — There are many out there who fear the Islamist PAS working together with the secular DAP. To the point that PAS is seen as abandoning its Islamist roots while DAP is accused of either being very Christian or trying to help PAS implement an Islamic state.

That didn’t work in 1999 when both parties worked together in the Barisan Alternatif that floundered over the Islamic state concept. In Election 2008, they agreed not to contest against each other and PKR, and their success led to the formation of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Among those in the happy group then was Datuk Dr Hasan Ali. Well, he isn’t there now after being sacked last January by PAS.

This past week, he has criticised Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the PAS spiritual leader and Kelantan Mentri Besar, over the latter’s comments about cooperating with DAP. Others who have supported such cooperation include PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

But Hasan’s ire was directed at Nik Aziz and other PAS leaders whom he called “parasites”. Yet, at the heart of his umbrage is an underlying racism and chauvinism. And that Muslims and non-Muslims should not cooperate.

It is incredible that such a notion still exists almost 50 years after Malaysia was formed, and 55 years of Merdeka for Malaya. Wasn’t the country’s independence based on cooperation between all races? Wasn’t PR victory in 2008 due to such cooperation too?

Perhaps, Hasan recognises the value of such cooperation and realises that it can knock out his former nemesis, Barisan Nasional (BN). Perhaps he wants BN to take back Selangor and rub PR noses into the ground for rejecting him and his ideas.

Beyond the politics of it, it is just reprehensible that we have Malaysian politicians who believe that Muslims and non-Muslims should not cooperate with each other. Malaysians must not tolerate such ideas and tell off those who believe that this manner of thinking is correct.

Malaysia is a country for all, a country where all Malaysians cooperate no matter what race or religion. People like Hasan need to know this before mouthing off and criticising those who work together despite having different faiths. That is true unity.

Hasan can joust all he wants with his former party colleagues but he shouldn’t do it at the expense of Malaysia and Malaysians. We have come a long way as a nation and as a people who work together and should not be undermined by those who feel people of different faiths should not cooperate.

If anything, Malaysians should show people like Hasan the door if he decides to stand for elections again.

BN Government Makes Promises It Can Fulfill - Najib

KUDAT, Oct 14 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak reiterated today that the government led by Barisan Nasional (BN) only promised something to the people which it could fulfill, as to him the inability to fulfill promises would be hypocrisy.

According to Najib, failure to fulfill promises made to the people not only violated religious teaching but was also committing a major sin for lying.

He said those who made empty promises would be punished by the people.

"Never once will we put ourselves as hypocrites. That is why we use the tagline "Fulfilling Promises", as the government only talks about real things and not lies. We live by our word.

"If we put our fate in trust, we cannot betray trust. That is why I guarantee that every sentence, every word which we utter to the people, is based on our capability. If we are not capable, we will not mention as being unable to fulfill promises to us is a big sin.

"God will curse us, the people will punish us, the people will also punish leaders for cheating the people," he said when opening the "Fulfilling Promise" tour programme at the Kudat Sports Centre here.

The programme was attended by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and more than 50,000 people from various areas near Kudat such as Pitas, Matunggong, Kota Belud, Tandek and Pulau Banggi.

Najib also said the reception of Sabahans in his series of visits to the state such as Sandakan, Sipitang, Kota Belud, Penampang and Kudat were very encouraging, reflecting the people's confidence with the BN government.

He said the presence of so many people also reflected the confidence of the residents in putting their hopes in the future on BN and not others, and it represented the unity of the people with the current government.

Najib also gave his guarantee that all promises of the BN government would be fulfilled irrespective of when the general election was held.

The Prime Minister also described Sabah as a reflection of the people of 1Malaysia as despite the variety of races and religious beliefs in the state, the people could still live in harmony since Sabah became independent 49 years ago.

On the selection of Kudat as the programme's location, Najib said it was not solely because of nostalgic sentiments of Kudat as the former state capital of Sabah as well as the birth place of its former leader, the late Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, but it also represented the commitment of the BN government to continue bringing development to the district.

Najib said as a leader, he needed to understand the grouses of the people as well feel their pulse and was prepared to fufill the aspirations and needs of the people.

"As one of the people's aspirations, especially in Kudat, the Promises Fulfilled Tour will mark the start of returning Kudat to its former glory when it was the capital of Sabah, at least we will develop Kudat as desired by the people here," he said.

After the programme launch, Najib made a visit to the residence of the late Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, who was a former Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri and former chief minister.

Earlier, Najib had also met the people in Kampung Air near here upon his arrival from Kundasang.

MIC to focus on delivering Indian votes in Selangor, says Palanivel

SHAH ALAM, Oct 14 — The MIC will intensify efforts to deliver the 235,000 Indian votes in Selangor to  the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the coming 13th general election, said party president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

He said the party was confident of delivering the votes judging by the various initiatives taken by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to uplift the well-being of the Indian community.

“With various initiatives taken, we expect that Indian support towards BN will increase by more than 70 per cent in Selangor, especially in rural and suburban areas.

“This is important to wrest back Selangor from the opposition,” he told a press conference after attending the foundation stone laying ceremony at Rimba Jaya Sri Maha Mariamman Temple here today.

Palanivel (picture) said MIC will also increase its Indian vote-bank within the party by increasing it from the current 400,000 to more than 500,000 votes.

Meanwhile, Palanivel, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had approved a RM1 million allocation for the construction of the temple, which is expected to be completed in a year’s time. — Bernama