Press Statement DAP Secretary-General and MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 7.9.2013.
Last Sunday, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) demolished part of the 101-year-old Sri Muneswarer Kaliamman Hindu temple at Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. This temple, which is the only temple for Hindus within KL’s famed Golden Triangle business hub, was built in 1911.
Due to the construction of a 30-storey building in the adjacent plot, part of the temple is being demolished to make way for an 8-feet walkway in order to comply with City Hall requirements. According to news reports, the authorities used hammers to smash the base of the statues of deities, while some have even accused DBKL officials of assaulting temple members and lawyers.
Although Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor later explained that “the statues were removed carefully and not destroyed,” a report by The Star on 3 September 2013 revealed that four statues had been “partially damaged due to the hammering to remove them.”
Such an approach in demolishing part of the temple and removing the statues of deities is nothing short of insensitive and high-handed. Normally, the relocation of deities requires special rituals and prayers and should be done with proper care and respect.
Unfortunately, DBKL’s sacrilegious actions against a place of religious worship that has served the community for more than a century merely reflects the BN government’s utter disregard for other faiths and cultures. This episode comes in the wake of escalating racial and religious tension, especially against ethnic and religious minorities.
Not only were the Chinese unfairly blamed for BN’s unprecedented loss of the popular vote in the recent 13th General Election, the recent government-funded movie Tanda Putera has also distorted historical facts in an attempt to pin blame on the Chinese for instigating the May 13 racial riots. As ethnic and religious minorities face increasing persecution, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib’s 1Malaysia promise has all but dissipated.
LIM GUAN ENG