Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian civilians protest against Prime Minister Najib Razak has entered its second day. The protesters are demanding his resignation over a financial scandal and are also demanding a constitutional reform.
The protests, organised by civil rights group Bersih, started on Saturday morning in three Malaysian cities — Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
Authorities estimated the crowd size on Saturday at around 29,000 people, but Bersih organisers said 200,000 took part, Channel News Asia reported.
Protestors said they would continue to occupy the streets until just before midnight.
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad made a surprise appearance late Saturday, urging the cheering protestors to “carry on”. He has backed calls for Najib to quit.
Najib is accused of siphoning $700 million from a sovereign wealth fund into his personal accounts. The prime minister has denied the claims.
The rally has been declared illegal by Najib’s government and the police.
“Those who wear this yellow attire… want to discredit our good name, scribble black coal on Malaysia’s face to the outside world,” state-run news agency Bernama quoted the prime minister as saying.
India will seek the Malaysian government’s help in extraditing televangelist Zakir Naik who faces charges of money laundering and inciting hatred through his sermons broadcast on Peace TV, the foreign ministry said Friday.
Zakir Naik obtained permanent residency in Malaysia
Officials will approach their Malaysian counterparts with the extradition request sometime within the next two weeks, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told a weekly news briefing in New Delhi.
“Any formal request seeking the assistance of a foreign government in cases of extradition requires a completion of the internal legal process involving consultation with other ministries involved in the case,” Kumar said.
“At this stage, we are nearing the completion of this process and as soon as this process is complete we will be making an official request to the Malaysian government in this matter,” Kumar said. “It could be a couple of days or a couple of weeks. But it would be soon and the nature of our request would also be clear.”
Naik fled India a month before terrorist carried out a massacre at a café in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in July 2016. This week, Malaysia’s deputy prime minister said the Islamic preacher legally obtained permanent residency in the country, and that Malaysian authorities would arrest him only if he broke local laws or was found to be involved in terrorist activities.
Naik’s speeches allegedly inspired some of the militants who carried out the siege at the Holey Artisan Bakery café in Dhaka, where 29 people, including 20 hostages and five gunmen, were killed.
In November 2016, the Indian government banned Naik’s Mumbai-based NGO Islamic Research Foundation, which partly funded the Peace TV channel that is banned in India, Bangladesh and several other countries.
Kumar said because the Indian government had knowledge of Naik’s whereabouts, the legal procedures would be tailored to requirements between the two countries in their extradition treaty.
Advocate challenges charges
“Naik is being hounded because he hails from a minority community. The charges that the investigating agencies are trying to frame are all stale and are hardly incriminating,” advocate S. Hariharan told BenarNews in a phone interview from Delhi.
“The charges lack veracity and would not stand scrutiny in the court of law. We will be challenging the extradition and deportation.”
Last week, the Indian government filed a 61-page charge sheet against Naik alleging he was involved in a criminal conspiracy by lauding terrorist organizations. In April, a non-bailable warrant was issued against him in an alleged case of money laundering through his NGO and a shell company.
In Malaysia meanwhile, the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) has urged the government to ignore any request from India to extradite Zakir Naik, Reuters reported.
“For Muslim individuals, even when they won by using arguments and not weapons, like Dr. Zakir Naik, they are considered terrorists because their arguments cannot be countered,” PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang wrote last week in an opinion piece published in Harakah Daily.(BenarNews)
Gujarat, October 22, 2017 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of the Ghogha-Dahej Ro-Ro ferry service, a first-of-its-kind project in India, calling it “a landmark occasion for entire South-East Asia”.
Describing it as his dream project, Modi said the ferry service was his “invaluable gift to India” and claimed that the even for South-East Asia, this was the first project of its size.
He said it were his efforts that gave birth to this ferry service which he had heard about only in his school days.
“It seems implementation of all good works are my luck,” Modi joked. “New changes don’t come from cliched attitude but new thinking. We changed the way of thinking,” he said.
He said the service would shorten a 360-km distance to 31 km or a journey of seven hours to one hour. (IANS)