MPs unite to seek solution to Seafield temple issue

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil (centre) and MPs from both sides of the divide at the press conference.

KUALA LUMPUR: In a rare moment, lawmakers on both sides of the political divide are standing united in wanting to resolve the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple relocation issue.

Two lawmakers today submitted motions under Standing Order 18(1) seeking to adjourn the Dewan Rakyat to discuss an issue of importance. One motion was from Beluran MP Ronald Kiandee of Barisan Nasional and the other was from Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil of Pakatan Harapan.

Should the motion be accepted by the speaker, the lawmakers said the current debate would be postponed to enable the temple issue to be discussed on Thursday.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Parliament, Fahmi said that MPs from both sides were coming together to preserve national harmony.

“We urge Malaysians to be patient and not spread unverified information through social media. Doing so will only make things worse,” he said.

Tanjung Karang MP Noh Omar said the people of Selangor must stand united for the sake of peace and ignore political differences.

“Don’t mix politics in this as we must have a united spirit. I would like to remind everyone to not pour oil on the fire, as a blaze will not know the difference between races,” he said.

Klang MP Charles Santiago assured that all efforts were currently being undertaken by the Selangor state government, adding that Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari was currently in a meeting to find the best solution to the issue.

Asked where PAS stood on this matter, Fahmi explained that as he and several others had rushed to bring everyone together, they managed to find those around them first and that PAS MPs would also be invited to join “the cause”.

In a separate press conference earlier, Bera MP Ismail Sabri Yaakob said it was important that the issue be resolved as soon as possible.

The Umno vice-president said this was to prevent “hate from spreading” to other areas.

“Right now, there are many irresponsible parties spreading this as a racial issue when it has nothing to do with race.

“If not curbed, these irresponsible parties will keep blowing racial sentiments and we’re afraid that other cities may also experience untoward incidents,” he said.

Following an attack by an unknown group on a group of devotees early yesterday, what was supposed to be a peaceful assembly turned into a fracas. Eighteen vehicles were torched.

Thousands gathered at the temple last night, with the crowd turning unruly again, leading to cars being burned and the MCT Tower building, where developer One City Development Sdn Bhd has an office, being vandalised. A fireman was injured and has been hospitalised.