Recently, the nation was shaken over the abrupt riot that happened at Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Subang Jaya which damaged properties and injured several people.
Although the police are still in the midst of investigating the issue, many people have taken the liberty to speculate the cause of the riot and one of the speculations suggested that the riot was racially-motivated.
Therefore, setting the record straight, many reports have revealed that the attack was not racially-motivated and that the cause is still under investigation.
According to Selangor police chief Mazlan Mansor, initial reports showed that a group of 50 which included other races were present at the riot and there was a heated exchange between two groups. He was quoted as saying,
“The two groups traded insults and dares, after which there was a clash between the two sides.”
Mazlan then shared that 18 vehicles were torched during the riot and the temple only suffered minimal damage. Besides that, he shared that the police found weapons including machetes at the place of the riot.
Subang Jaya police said that the incident was caused by a misunderstanding between two groups over the temple relocation issue.
FYI, the Sri Maha Mariamman temple was scheduled to be relocated by 22 November 2018. Plans to have the temple relocated 3km away has been ongoing since 2007, ever since the land was bought over by One City Development Bhd.
Following that, One City and two “rival camps” who were aiming for control over the temple agreed to move it after a consent judgement was given. One City has reportedly given a donation worth RM1.5 million to the temple as part of the “settlement agreement”.
Nevertheless, this decision faced resistance from the devotees of the temple, which was built in 1891.
Nonetheless, many ministers and authorities have reiterated that this isn’t a racially-motivated attack and it shouldn’t be turned into a racial issue. Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari has called on all parties to avoid “making racist statements, inciting or stoking hatred” over the riot.
Meanwhile, V. Ganabatirau, Selangor state executive councillor has urged the police to start an investigation on an alleged attempt to create racial tension. He said,
“The attack by a group of gangsters shows there are attempts to create disharmony among the races who have been living peacefully all this time.”
“I urge police to investigate this incident thoroughly and provide necessary protection to the civilians in accordance with Article 11 (on freedom of religion) of our Constitution.”
PSM (Parti Sosialis Malaysia) central committee member S. Arutchelvan has also advised people to not turn this riot into a racial issue. He reckoned that people were employed to create the riot on Sunday (25 November 2018) at the temple.
Even Klang MP Charles Santiago has requested everyone not to blow this incident out of proportion. He expressed this via Twitter:
I once again ask everyone to not speculate or blow the incident out of proportion.
It’s at times like this that we need to remain focused, respect each other and hold strong to our core values that make Malaysia peaceful and harmonious.
— Charles Santiago (@mpklang) November 26, 2018
Adding on, the temple priest has also noted that the fracas in the temple was not a racial issue. He asked all parties, including Malaysian Hindus, to be patient.
“I appeal to all quarters, including Hindus in Malaysia, to be patient and not make provocative statements on social media.”
“I wish to stress it was not a racial riot but the cruel action of those who want to demolish this temple,” he told Malaysiakini.
Nevertheless, a developer, One City, which was linked to the riot has released a statement claiming that it had nothing to do with the riot and it was all “malicious lies”.
On another hand, the fireman who was attacked during the riot is currently in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at Ramsay Sime Darby Medical Centre fighting for his life.
Instead of taking matters into our own hands, let’s leave this issue to the authorities to handle. Stay safe, guys!
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