Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Malaysian authorities backed by 300 riot police personnel demolished an ancient Hindu temple, Sri Maha Mariyaman, located 30 kilometers away from Kuala Lumpur city, yesterday. 3000 protesters clashed with the police resulting in 6 arrest and 20 others injured according to Makkal Osai report. Malaysian works Minister Samy Vellu who visited the scene, heckled by a group, was unable to stop the demolition even apparently after speaking to PM Badawi.
Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) activist Waytha Moorthy and P. Uthayakumar are among those arrested. According to sources, tension is high in Klang and police setup several road blocks in the area. All three Tamil dailies provided front page headlines. Several NGO’s and individuals have poured their anger in the dailies and via SMS for this outrageous incident especially when the Hindus are in a celebration mood preparing for the Hindu festival, Deepavali.
Temple demolition leads to all-out fracasBede Hong
Oct 30, 07 Malaysiakini
A rowdy fracas broke out between residents and the authorities over the demolition of a temple near Shah Alam today resulting in at least four injured and eight arrested.
Several hundred police personnel and local council authorities clashed with the residents who sought to stop the demolition of the 100-year temple in Padang Jawa.
Workers from the Shah Alam City Hall had demolished the village’s Sri Maha Mariaman temple without a valid court order, said Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) in a statement today. It added that the area looked like a “war zone”.
According to Hindraf, at least 300 police personnel and council workers had cordoned off the temple this morning.
It said council workers began hurling stones and beating devotees with sticks and batons when they tried to halt the demolition.
According to T Ganaraw, a lawyer who was at the scene, the demolition work began early in the morning but stopped temporarily to allegedly allow residents to remove the temple’s deities.
Demolition works continued at about 2pm. The fracas was in full swing by 4pm, involving over 400 residents.
“The police were armed with automatic rifles. The temple is completely smashed up, including the temple nursery,” said Ganaraw.
Samy went to negotiate
According to Ganaraw, present during the fracas were representatives from DAP and MIC, including Klang councillor Alex Thiagarajan, who tried to negotiate with the police.
MIC president S Samy Vellu also visited the village at about 5pm when it was clear that racial tension was raising.
Contacted today, DAP lawyer A Sivanesan said at least eight residents have been arrested and detained at Section 11 police station in Shah Alam.
He said the MIC president had tried to calm residents by telling them that he had spoken to both Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Selangor Mentri Besar Khir Toyo on the matter.
“Samy Vellu however told me Khir was not cooperative at all,” said Sivanesan.
The temple chairperson was K Sivalingam, the late assemblyperson for Ijok. His position has since been replaced by Selangor executive councillor Kamala Ganatathy.
“When we checked with the authorities, the notice to demolish was dated November 2005. But the demolition was only meant for the houses there,” said Sivanesan.
Hindraf also said that at 4am today, another 160-year-old Jai Muniswarar Hindu temple in Taman Puchong Hartamas was demolished.
Over the past few years, a number of temples, some of which were more than a century old, had been demolished by the local authorities as they were built illegally.