In a world where achieving tolerance among religious groups is taking a backseat, some Malaysians continue to rise above the hate and bridge the gap despite others readying to go at each other’s throats.
A Malay man living next door noticed a vandal smashing deity statues at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Taman Panorama Lapangan Perdana, Ipoh earlier this morning and was pivotal in the felon’s arrest.
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The 1.15am incident which was shared by Facebook page Info Roadblock JPJ/Polis, took place when a man believed to be foreign and in his 20s began striking statues with a spanner.
In an interview with Berita Harian, the Temple Chairperson MS Thanabalan said that despite not being able to capture the vandal on site, he was apprehended at a nearby area after identifying the vandal’s physical appearance based on eyewitness accounts.
“A Malay resident living near the area notices the vandal and his actions before informing his Indian neighbour what happened. After staying here for over 90 years, this is the first time that a case like this had taken place here.”
He added that people in the area have been living peacefully without any disruption, and urged the public not to spread allegations and allow authorities to carry out their investigation.
Thanabalan estimated that the temple suffered losses of up to RM80k, as most of the deities destroyed were imported from overseas.
According to the Perak Deputy Chief, Datuk Lim Hong Shuan, the man in custody will be investigated under Section 295, 427 and 448 of the Penal Code and Section 6 (3) Immigration Act 1959/1963.