The mayhem could have been avoided. The temple’s management should have settled the dispute among themselves and abided by the court’s settlement.
It was a win-win situation where more than one-acre of land was allocated for the temple to be relocated apart from 1.5 million by the developer, One City Development.
But when they refused to relocate despite taking the money and the land, and to abide by the court’s decision, it was a recipe for a commotion or rather a pandemonium.
Malay thugs were hired to do the dirty work. But the riot and burning of cars were not of their doing. What more of maiming a fireman in line of duty that has resulted in his death.
The fireman, Adib, had suffered lung injuries from broken ribs during the physical assault that finally resulted in multiorgan failure and his subsequent death.
But what would a responsible minister of National Unity and Social Well-Being should have done in that critical time of crisis? He should have defused the tension and called everyone to act with reason and not emotion.
Instead of calming the situation, he put the blame on the police personnel for being late in taking any action. And to pour fuel on the fire, V. Ganabathirau, the Selangor state exco accused the “Muslim group” of causing the fiasco.
The inability of the so-called minister of national unity to act professionally in defusing such a highly-tensed situation involving racial riots at a very critical moment but acted as if he was a member of the opposition party and not part of the government of the day, calls us to evaluate his position.
What more when his past was coloured with racial and religious bigotry. Almost everyone still remembers the lies that he uttered during the Dutch television interviewed in 2007.
Has he ever apologised for saying that in this country, Hindus are forced to convert to get jobs in government departments and scholarships? And that thousands of temples were demolished since independence?
When this issue was brought up recently, he simply dismissed it as an old video. But did he apologise? No, he did not. And his irresponsible action in fanning the temple fracas showed his true colour.
What Syed Saddiq did was not for his fame nor glory, but for the sake of national unity. But who was swift in rebuking Syed Saddiq?
It was non-other than P Ramasamy.
And who came in support of P Ramasamy is his spat with Syed Saddiq? It was Ramkarpal Singh. Didn’t we see a trend here?
That Syed Saddiq was being chastised for speaking up for the interest of national unity by asking for the sacking of Waytha but was then summarily attacked by similar minded politicians who probably have had a history of racial agenda?
When Adib was fighting for his life in CICU, IJN, did the temple management ever issue an apology for being unable to control their fanatic devotees?
Did they ever show any goodwill by assuring Adib’s family that they will foot the IJN’s bill? No! they did not!
In fact, they came up with a deceiving narrative that Adib was actually hit by a truck. This was despite the eyewitnesses who confessed that Adib was pulled out from the fire engine and battered without mercy.
The question is why was this arrogant behaviour of the group against the temple relocation?
We believe it lies in the fact that they knew that there was at least one political figure who would back them up. And that figure was non-other than Waytha.
Waytha was the one who advised the temple representatives that the temple need not be relocated. How do we expect then that the minister of national unity to be an impartial person that acts according to the national interest in fostering social harmony and unity?
How do we expect that a person who is known to be biased towards the Hindus to be able to gain the trust from the majority of the population?
He has terribly failed in his duty to guard national unity.
His action was against the spirit of fostering racial harmony.
In fact, his action was as if he was still the leader of Hindraf. The government is at risk of losing the support of the majority of the citizens if it continues to have a Minister who was presumed to be a “racist”.
And there is no good reason for the government to continue having Waytha since it is just like what they say in the Malay proverb as “mendukung biawak hidup”.
Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa heads the Islamic Renaissance Front.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.