If the malaysiakini report is true, then the incident is serious stuff, assuming frightening dimension of intolerant racist desecration.
A 60-year Hindu temple temple in Jalan Davis, which has some 3000 devotees, had to be moved due to the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel Project (Smart) being earmarked for that area.
While the way the move has been managed is questionable, and the substitute land provided for the temporary placement of the temple – it still has to move at the end of the year – is a joke, what has been horrendous has been the violent desecration of the deities during the demolition of the temple.
About 3 weeks ago, 40 DBKL personnel went to the temple armed with rotans and smashed up the temple deities. After digging a hole to dump the destroyed images into, they buried the whole lot. The Hindu devotees have all been distressed and complained of the insulting action against their faith. They also noted that jewellery belonging to the temple had gone missing.
It's one thing to demolish a building whether it's a temple or some other shelter, but it's another to deliberately smash icons of worship with rotans. Such deliberate violent behaviour bespeaks an attitude of religious intolerance and racial hatred. That action had exceeded all bounds of decency and should be resoundingly condemned.
The temple lawyer M Manoharan said his client and other devotees have lodged several police reports on the incident. It's already 3 weeks, and for a serious matter with nothing heard until this Malaysiakini report, we may assume that nothing has been done to date.
Manoharan urged the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police to take action against those involved in the unauthorised, unacceptable and unmitigated destruction of statues of the temple deities. He sent a letter to MIC president Samy Vellu - I am not sure what good this would do.
Another lawyer P Uthayakumar said desecrating a place of worship is a criminal offence and action must be taken. He pointed out:
“The recent caricature controversy which was deemed insulting a religion saw the government take serious action but now a temple has been broken into and there is pin-drop silence.”
Indeed, why this bloody double standard?
I have read that some years ago, some young Islamic zealots decided to smash up Hindu deities at a village called, I think, Kulai (postscript: no, it's not Kulai, but some village or town which name starts with 'K'). In that incident, the devotees heard of the planned covert attack and waited for the desecrators. The attackers had a surprise when they found that their attempted desecration turned out into a disaster.
I can’t recall how many were killed but one or two did recover to subsequently present themselves for the court hearings. A few of the temple guardians were sentenced to several years’ imprisonment for manslaughter.
I am just appalled by the reckless and criminal conduct of the DBKL staff. If the AG and police don’t take any action, it’ll be sheer blatant racial discrimination, and condoning a criminal act that is bound to create public unrest.