I want to say something about the demolition of the Sri Maha Kaliamman temple in Kampung Tasek Ampang and the controversy that surrounds it.
I was so shocked and sad when I first learned about it. A friend of mine sent me a text message informing me of it. I actually did not believe it, and thought how stupid can the government be by actually allowing such incidents to happen again. This was actually one of the main issues or factors that actually worked totally against the BN, especially in Selangor when the temple in Shah Alam was demolished then.
I called some of my friends up who confirmed the incident. They were obviously mad about the whole issue and were disappointed that MPAJ and the Selangor State Government were responsible for the demolition. What happened to the promises by the PKR about protecting and upholding the rights of the Hindus (Makkal Sakhti) and of other faiths?
But what I would like to do here is take this opportunity to actually tell all my friends, especially Hindu friends how sad and sorry I am that this had happened again. I feel embarrassed, angry and sad that the people in this beautiful country of ours have to go through this problem once again. Even sadder when we, as a nation, are preparing to celebrate Hari Raya AidilFitri together.
We must respect all faiths that are being practiced throughout the world and in this country. Article 11 of our Constitution says and I quote “ Artikel 11 Perlembagaan Malaysia menyatakan bahawa Islam merupakan Agama rasmi Persekutuan. Sungguh pun begitu setiap orang berhak mempraktikkan agamanya sendiri.” – (googled it under Perlembagaan Malaysia).
Everyone has the right to practise whatever his belief and religion. That is enshrined in the Constitution. No person or persons, organisations or authority should have the right to demolish any places of worship for any religion without exhausting all avenues first. These avenues must also be spelled out clearly, so that everyone knows what needs to be done first before such demolition can actually take place.
I am sad when Dr Xavier, the Selangor State EXCO in charge alleged that the demolition was done because the temple (or shrine as he put it) was on State Forest Reserve land. He might be right, but he should have discussed it first and seek proper recourse and arrive to an amicable solution. We must understand the sensitivities and it is only right if there really is a need to demolish, it must be done amicably, after much discussion and consultation, with dignity and honour. After all, I trust that we Malaysians are a reasonable lot and open to rational discussions and views.
And as the EXCO in charge, it is unbecoming of him to answer that MPAJ did not inform him first. If that be the case, then he is no better than the infamous Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar, who could not exert control over his portfolio. Dr Xavier must not answer like a bureaucrat. He must not hide behind rules. Politicians are entrusted by the Rakyat to make policies, and those policies which are not good for the country and rakyat – well that is why MPs, State Assemblymen and so on are called policy makers. To make or change policies for the good of the country and her Rakyat.
If there is a need for the proposed Race Relations Act - this is it. I am actually not totally in favour of the Race Relations Act as yet, because I do not need an Act to tell me how to treat my friends of various races and beliefs. But this might just swing it for me, if this proposed act will address problems, controversies and issues such as these for all faiths and religion.
I pray to god that such insensitive acts will not happen again in this great country of ours.