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Shah Alam Temple: PM Directs IGP To Act Over Temple Protest

Contributed by Anonymous on Friday, August 28 @ 08:25:58 CDT

Religion
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has directed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan to investigate an incident in Shah Alam Friday where protestors used a cow's head to vent their anger against the Selangor state government.

According to Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, Najib informed him of this after he (Dr Subramaniam) had briefed the prime minister on the incident which took place outside the Selangor state secretariat after the Friday prayers.


"The prime minister has promised to look into it and asked the IGP to immediately act on the matter," he said in a statement here.

In the incident, a small group of people said to be residents of Section 23 in Shah Alam had placed a cow's head on the gates of the state secretariat building, apparently in protest against the construction of a Hindu temple in Section 23.

"The prime minister said he was very upset over the incident and wants it to be nipped in the bud," Dr Subramaniam said.

He said that while the prime minister was promoting the 1Malaysia concept and racial unity, "this kind of action will hinder the process and put the clock back".

-- BERNAMA

PM orders action against cow-head protesters
themalaysianinsider.com

Ibrahim Haji Sabri,deputy chairman of the Sec 23 resident's commitee speaking at the protest today. - Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has ordered the police to take swift action against a group that brought a cow's head to Shah Alam to protest a Hindu temple relocation in a bid to calm swirling racial tensions. The outraged prime minister gave instructions to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan after Selangor police stood by in the after Friday prayers protest. Indian leaders from both sides of the political divide condemned the protest, saying it will incite racial tensions in the country's most developed state. MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu called the group extremist but asked Indians in the state to be calm. "It is the right of Malaysians of any faith, including Hindus to build temples and other places of worships. I am very sad that this group had paraded the cow's head on their way to the state secretariat building," he said in a statement. "I am worried that this action may lead to retaliation from the Hindu community. However, I wish to urge the Hindus especially to be calm and let the authorities deal with it," he added, saying the protesters must be punished for endangering racial harmony. The action drew the ire of other Indian leaders including Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy who called the protest a "disgraceful" act" while Human Rights Party leader P Uthayakumar was disappointed that the police did not arrest those involved in the protest. The Pakatan Rakyat government said it will lodge a police report, regretting the inaction by the police. The group of Malay-Muslim protesters claiming to be residents of Section 23 had dumped the severed cow's head outside the Selangor state secretariat and threatened bloodshed unless the state government stopped the construction of a Hindu Temple. The "residents" said that the construction of a Hindu temple in a 90 per cent Malay- Muslim neighbourhood was insensitive because activities there would disrupt their lives. “I challenge YB Khalid, YB Rodziah and Xavier Jeyakumar to go on with the temple construction. I guarantee bloodshed and racial tension will happen if this goes on, and the state will be held responsible,” shouted Ibrahim Haji Sabri amid strong chants of “Allahu Akbar!” as he referred to Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and his state administration. Ibrahim identified himself as the deputy chairman of the Resident’s Committee against the building of the temple in S23 here, which is perceived by some as being a Muslim majority area. He told the press that the state should move the temple to Section 22 as ‘originally planned’, and also labelled Khalid a “traitor to the Malay race and Islam”. It is understood that the protest is an immediate reaction towards the Selangor MB’s visit to the Hindu temple site yesterday, an act seen by the "residents" as disrespectful to the Muslims of the community. When asked whether members of the protest were affiliated with any organisations or movements, Ibrahim claimed that the people present today were members of PAS, PKR as well as Umno who are “united in the name of Islam and the Malay spirit.” The issue first cropped up when the Selangor government proposed that the Sri Mariamman temple be relocated from Section 19 to Section 23. In a statement, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism & Taoism (MCCBCHST) called for calm to enable the authorities find a “peaceable agreement and understanding”. “Nothing can be gained by provocative action on the part of any side. MCCBCHST regrets that a severed cow’s head was brought along in the demonstration,” said president Reverend Dr Thomas Philips, noting the cow is sacred to the Hindu religion. He said religious issues were best resolved around the negotiation table where mutual respect can be shown to all. “No further demonstration by any side should be contemplated or allowed. Peace and order should be maintained for the sake of all residents,” Philips added.******** State calls for calm over cow-head protests By Neville Spykerman SHAH ALAM, Aug 28 -  Dr Xavier Jayakumar tonight joined the chorus of state leaders calling for calm, following the desecration of a cow’s head outside the state secretariat. “I call on everyone to remain calm and not to react or be provoked by the incident.” The state executive councillor said he would personally meet the Selangor police chief to convey the sentiments of the Indian community. “We should let the police handle the matter.” The act, which is offensive to Hindus who regard the animal as sacred, was carried out by a group of 50 Malay-Muslim protesters who oppose the relocation of a Hindu temple to Section 23. Xavier said the actions of the protesters were unacceptable and the police should act against the organizers. The protest have cast a dark clowd over the country which is supposed to celebrate Merdeka in a few days. Xavier said 52-years of racial harmony had been jeopardised by the actions of the group. Today incident is believed to have been provoked by hardliners opposed to the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government. The site of the current Sri Mahamariamman Temple is located at Section 19. The 150-year-old temple was built on a plantation which over the years was developed into housing estates by the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS). No provisions were made to relocate the temple which is now in the middle of a Muslim majority area. The previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration had planned to relocate the temple to an industrial site in Section 22 but the location was deemed too far away. After March 8 last year, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government decided to move the temple to Section 23 which they felt was more conducive. Locals who spoke on condition of anonymity said the issue had been blown out of proportion due to the interference from outsiders. “The decision to move the temple to the proposed site in Section 23 was taken because the area actually has a 40 per cent Hindu population.” He said initially those who are opposed to the temple said it should not be built there because it has a 60 per cent Malay majority, subsequently it became 70 per cent and today it’s 90 per cent. “Some of those who gathered outside the state secretariat today were not even from Section 23.” Meanwhile a spokesman said the state government has been consistent in their stand to relocate the temple. However they are still open to discussions and have not closed their ears and minds to anyone.
********* Protesters threaten bloodshed over Hindu temple
The group making their way to the Selangor secretariat building after their prayers. - Picture by Choo Choy May
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal SHAH ALAM, Aug 28 — A group of Malay-Muslim protesters claiming to be residents of Section 23 have threatened bloodshed unless the state government stopped the construction of a Hindu Temple. Amid chants of "Allahuakbar," the group also left the severed head of a cow at the entrance of the State Secretariat here as a warning to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. The "residents" said that the construction of a Hindu temple in a 90 per cent Malay- Muslim neighbourhood was insensitive because activities there would disrupt their lives. They claimed that the "noise" from the temple would disturb their own praying, and that they would not be able to function properly as Muslims. The group of 50 over protestors marched shortly after Friday prayers from the Shah Alam State mosque to the State Secretariat. “I challenge YB Khalid, YB Rodziah and Xavier Jeyakumar to go on with the temple construction. I guarantee bloodshed and racial tension will happen if this goes on, and the state will be held responsible,” shouted Ibrahim Haji Sabri amid strong chants of “Allahu Akbar!” Ibrahim identified himself as the Deputy Chairman of the Resident’s Committee against the building of the temple in S23 here, which is perceived by some as being a Muslim majority area. He told the press that the state should move the temple to Section 22 as ‘originally planned’, and also labelled Khalid a “traitor to the Malay race and Islam”. It is understood that the protest is an immediate reaction towards the Selangor MB’s visit to the Hindu temple site yesterday, an act seen by the "residents" as disrespectful to the Muslims of the community.
A symbol of objection?... The cow's head being paraded by the protestors in their march. - Picture by Choo Choy May
Mohd. Zurit Bin Ramli, who claims to be the secretary of the "Coalition of Malaysian NGOs" echoed Ibrahim’s stand on the matter, saying that it was irresponsible on the part of the state government to approve the construction as there was apparently a “90 per cent” majority Muslim population in Section 23. “With a temple on our residential area, we cannot function properly as Muslims. The temple will disrupt our daily activities like prayers in the Surau. We cannot concentrate with the sounds coming from the temple,” stated Zurit. When asked whether members of the protest were affiliated with any organisations or movements, Ibrahim claimed that the people present today were members of PAS, PKR as well as Umno who are “united in the name of Islam and the Malay spirit.” The state government was also accused of lying to the people of Selangor. The Chairman of the Residents Committee, Mahyuddin Manaf excitedly proclaimed that the committee would uncover “the lies” and find proof of the state’s misconduct. “Khalid Ibrahim wears a mask of a Muslim, but in truth he is a liberal. PAS stands to lose out as a result. I voted for PAS as well as Khalid in the past elections,” Mahyuddin claimed. The issue first cropped up when the Selangor government proposed that the Sri Mariamman temple be relocated from Section 19 to Section 23.

 
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