Hot off the press

These are the top stories making the front pages of major newspapers from across Southeast Asia today. 

Get up to speed with what’s happening in the fastest growing region in the world.  

Mapim slams NIA's latest accusation against Zakir Naik

Malaysian Consultative Council Of Islamic Organization (Mapim) described the latest accusation by India against preacher Dr Zakir Naik as another lie to justify its efforts to have him extradited home.

Mapim demanded India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) to first show proof that 127 persons caught in terror activities were influenced by Zakir.

“If it is unable to do so, this is a lame allegation by the NIA, a reflection of its ultimate agenda to take him into custody and halt his propagation of Islam in India,” said its president Azmi Abdul Hamid. – New Straits Times

Rail land handover on track

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office on Wednesday insisted that land needed for the high-speed railway linking three airports will be handed over on time, after the CP Group-led consortium confirmed it will sign the contract on Oct 25 as scheduled.

Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, gave the assurances as he unveiled a land delivery plan for the 224-billion-baht rail system linking the capital's Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi with U-Tapao airport in Rayong. – Bangkok Post

Hong Kong protest organiser Jimmy Sham assaulted by men wielding hammers

A prominent Hong Kong activist and convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which has organised many of the city's largest peaceful protests, was assaulted on Wednesday evening (Oct 16), the group's spokesman said.

Mr Jimmy Sham was attacked by four to five men wielding hammers while on his way to a meeting in the Mong Kok area of Kowloon, CHRF spokesman Rayne Yuen said in a statement. – Straits Times

State Counsellor seeks greater cooperation for national devt

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyin on Wednesday urged people to cooperate in the pursuit of national interests and to stop petty leadership squabbles.

“Many  want to be leaders only- leaders of youth, leaders of women, leaders of ethnic groups, leaders of politics and leaders in the economy. If all are leaders, who are followers?” she said at the seminar on the development of universities held in Nay Pyi Taw. – Myanmar Times

Hun Sen gains backing of three countries over EBA

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday concluded his trip to Eastern Europe and is bringing home the support of three countries in regards to an ongoing review of the Kingdom’s Everything-but-arms trade status.

The Kingdom’s status is currently under review by the European Commission over perceived setbacks to human rights and democracy following the dissolution of the CNRP. The EC is currently drafting conclusions and the Kingdom will know whether it will lose access by February. – Khmer Times