This comment was written by Arasaratnam Mahalingam
In Selangor, temples get summons for ringing their bell!
On March 27, 1998, during the tense clash between the Hindus and Muslims in Kg. Rawa, then Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim threatened to s**p all Hindu temples in Penang from r*****g the bells.
Late 2012 saw a Hindu altar in a home in Sepang being destroyed by the Sepang Municipal Council which sparked an outcry among Indians in Malaysia.
Now, another incident follows at the century old Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Bangi Lama. And this time around, for ringing the temple bell and conducting religious activities after 6.30pm. The management did not only receive a warning notice but also a compound which carries a maximum of RM 1000 fine on January 8.
This is what Hindus in Selangor get in return for voting in Pakatan Rakyat in 2008.
Being deceived with promises ranging from no more temple demolishment in Pakatan-ruled states to cash handouts to temples, the Selangor government has lost control of its machinery that places of worship of Indians have become their latest toy to play with.
When the Bangi temple chairman took this issue to the press, the Kajang Municipal Council backed down and withdrew the compound notice, and few days later they withdrew the warning notice. The MPKj and the Selangor PR government have failed to realize that toying with religious issue is equivalent to playing with fire, if it backfires, it could cause the destruction of an entire nation.
The Hindus living in Bangi Lama area are deeply suspicious of the motive for this notice. Their temple is on a hilltop surrounded by plantations and no complaints have been made by local residents. Does this mean you can discriminate the Hindus’ belief and get away with it?
Selangor EXCO Xavier Jayakumar, in a late response accused the Public Complaints Bureau under the Prime Minister’s Department, or commonly known as BPA, was the one which instructed the municipal council to go ahead with the summons and compounds to the temple.
It seems like the dentist-turned-politician Xavier did not do proper homework before making his statement. The BPA does not have any power to instruct any municipal or district councils to issue summons and compounds. Xavier must have thought that he can smartly divert the blame-game but he must not forget the blunder he did with the Sepang home-shrine issue and how contradicting his statements were.
The Indians in Selangor as well as all over Malaysia MUST now realize and differentiate between the promises made by the Pakatan Rakyat leaders and the actual delivery of those promises.
In most instances, the promises made by Anwar Ibrahim and his gang remain promises and they will continue to remain so. Making a promise is easy, but fulfilling it can be the opposite, but for Pakatan Rakyat, it doesn’t matter.
As long as the rakyat buys their stories and promises, and Anwar becomes the Prime Minister, who cares about fulfilling promises made.
So, it is time for the Indians to weigh their options carefully. Who will protect them and who will make use of them, they should know it better!
My comments : It is not easy to govern any country or nation. A country can mean just a geographical area. A nation includes the people that live inside the country. In Malaysia while all of us have a country called Malaysia, we still dont fully have that nation-state feeling called Malaysia. I think we are more than 70% there already. But the remaining 30% is still work in progress. The huge threat now is the religious polarisation in the country (PAS, Anwar Ibrahim and ABIM's version of Islam and the DAP's version of evangelical christianity) will eventually destroy us.
Places of worship are extremely sensitive issues. The temples want to ring their bells, the suraus and masjids want to blast their sermons over loudspeakers, the Chinese temples also have their festivals and celebrations, the churches ring their bells as well. Everything has to be dealt with carefully. There is no way that you are going to make everyone 100% satisfied. So far the BN Government has maintained a good balance in the country.
But making false promises to the Indians and running down the BN or making false accusations against the BN just to make the Pakatan look like a hero - and then not living up to their promises or in this case
i. issuing summonses against temples
ii. breaking altars inside peoples' homes
iii. promising cash to the temples and then not delivering
is plain deceitful. This is menipu orang. Lying to the people.
The BN Goverment on the other hand has handed out millions of Ringgit to the temples - not just now but since 1957. There are still more Hindu temples than masjid in Malaysia. And the latest news is that a Hindu temple will be built in Putrajaya.
Other than masjid, we have some really beautiful temples in Malaysia. No matter what your faith is, if you are free take a drive to the Thean Hou Temple in Seputeh. The entire place has a calming influence. We have to promote peace and harmony.