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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

PM Najib: Selangor BN to scrap Batu Caves condo if we win



Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today promised to scrap a controversial condominium project located next to the Batu Caves temple complex if BN retakes Selangor.

NONEHe also announced that the cabinet would apply for Unesco World Heritage Site status for the complex once Malaysia's term in the World Heritage Commission expires in 2015.

In addition, he announced that Deepavali would be a public holiday for the Federal Territory of Labuan beginning next year.
"I guarantee that if BN successfully retakes Selangor, that 29-storey condominium project will be cancelled by the new BN government.
"We don't want new developments that threaten Batu Caves.
"Therefore, I make this (promise) and as you know - the BN government is a 'Janji Ditepati' government," he said.
'BN will defend Batu Caves'
Najib was speaking to some 5,000 guests this morning during an open house function at the Batu Caves temple complex organised by MIC in conjunction with the Deepavali celebrations.

NONEThe condominium project was approved by the previous BN administration while the current Pakatan Rakyat administration has put the project on hold pending review.
According to The Sun, the Selayang town council's full board meeting approved the project on Nov 29, 2007. The council members are BN appointees.
During his speech, Najib said that Batu Caves is held with high regard by Malaysia's Hindu community and BN would "defend" the site.
NONE"The Batu Caves complex must be preserved and defended from anything that threatens Batu Cave's position as a holy place to the Hindus.

"I wish to announce before thousands of Hindus at Batu Caves on Deepavali Day that the BN government would defend the complex," said Najib, who is also Selangor BN head.
Heritage site
Indian voters form a sizeable minority in Selangor, the country's richest state, who most analyst claim are evenly split between BN and Pakatan.
It appears ironic that BN has now offered to "defend" Batu Caves, given that its defeat in Selangor during the 2008 general election was attributed to the state-ordered destruction of numerous Hindu temples between 2006 and 2007.
NONEThis caused widespread dissatisfaction against BN and the MIC, led by S Samy Vellu (left) who was in attendance at the event today.
As for the application for the World Heritage Site status, Najib said there is a "technicality" to prevent conflict of interest, thus Malaysia could not make any application until 2015.

He said that the cabinet has charged the ministry of information, communication and culture with the task and it will be executed once Malaysia's term in the commission expires.

If successful, Batu Caves would join five other locations in Malaysia that enjoy World Heritage status: George Town, Melaka, Lenggong Valley, Gunung Mulu National Park, and Kinabalu Park.

The temple complex is already a national heritage site, drawing millions of Hindu pilgrims every Thaipusam.

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