Bumiputera Malaysia

Bumiputera Malaysia

By a Malaysian for his country

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chinese temple demolished, Zakaria's mansion stays

Merely 24 hours after the half-past six Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said that "race and religious tensions have not reached worrying level", a Chinese temple in Penang was demolished in a hurried way, throwing aside all the government's claims of religious tolerance.

The demolition works (on the specific instruction of the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) President Datuk Md Aris Ariffin) of the Tou Mu Kung temple turned ugly on with Malaysian police firing warning shots to quell protests. Reuters and The Star reported that the police fired two shots in the air to disperse a crowd of 300 which turned unruly during demolition work of the Chinese temple in Bukit Mertajam.

"No respect at all"

About 40 people scuffled with 80 police and municipal officials at the Taoist temple (built in 1985) soon after the structure was cordoned off for demolition. Three people including a policeman were injured in the incident. MPSP officials said that the temple was built without planning approval. Whilst Zakaria's illegal RM8 million palace in Klang is still standing (no thanks to the son of an Indonesian immigrant), several local councils in Malaysia had over the years targeted Hindu temples and now, it is the Chinese temples that they are targeting.

"They didn't allow anyone to go in and pick up the statues and deities of the Gods and that made the people angry", said Chong Eng, a lawmaker and member of the opposition Democratic Action Party. "The people forced the gate to enter the temple", she added.

Earlier of the week, UMNO leaders have warned the nation's Chinese and Indian minorities to stop questioning Malay privileges or risk hurting race relations. The sleepy Prime Minister Abdullah has said that "it's time to remind people to lay down the ground rules". Recently, the premier has said that the Malaysian Chinese should be grateful. Under Abdullah's failing Islam Hadhari, there are truly different rules for different people.