Singapore Feb 5 (UNI) Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Tun Razak today apologised to the ethnic Indian community in Malaysia over the last November demolition of a Hindu temple.
"The demolition should not have been carried out a week before Deepavali. The relevant authority could have postponed it one or two months," regional media reports today quoted Najib as having told the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) leaders last Sunday.
"This was wrong on their part. We are sorry for that," Mr Najib added. His comments were splashed across Malaysia's three Tamil-language dailies.
The Deputy Premier, the second most powerful politician in Malaysia, pledged to ensure the orderly relocation of temples built on private property.
Media reports said Mr Najib has given assurance that more Indians would be taken into the civil service, more university scholarships would be available to the ethnic Indian community and financial help would be given to the Indian businessmen in the country.
Leaders of the Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional, a multi-party coalition, has acknowledged that the country's Indian community might withdraw support at the general elections next month.
Barisan Nasional, dominated by predominantly Muslim United Malays National Organisation and supported by MIC as well as Chinese-community supported Malaysian Chinese Association, could lose some critical parliamentary seats if the estimated two million Indians in the country withdraw its support, political analysts said.
The Indians have highlighted their plight of being left out of the Malaysian prosperity by staging protests last November.
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