ISKANDAR PUTERI: A Johor executive councillor has called on political parties to refrain from fanning racial sentiments following the problem at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ, Selangor.
State Consumerism, Human Resources and Unity Committee chairman Dr S. Ramakrishnan said all parties should leave the matter to the police to investigate and take action.
He urged the police to come down hard on those taking advantage of the situation by playing the racial card as well as on those spreading unverified news on social media.
“The relocation of Hindu temples in the country is nothing new, with more than 100 temples relocated over the years but no untoward incidents happened,’’ said Ramakrishnan.
He said the majority of Malaysians were peace loving people and did not condone the act that took place at the temple.
Ramakrishnan said while there were not many issues involved in the construction of new Hindu temples in Malaysia, the authorities should be more sensitive when it comes to the relocation of temples located in plantations.
“Most of the Hindu temples have been around seen colonial days when many British firms opened up rubber plantations in the country,” he said.
Ramakrishnan said previously the temples were located within the plantations for Hindu workers convenience but that over the years, when plantation land was converted into housing projects, the temples suddenly “appeared” in the middle of the developments.
He said construction of new Hindu temples must be done with approval from the local councils, and taking into consideration if a substantial number of Hindus were located in the area.
“I advise Hindus not to simply set up a temple in every corner.
“They must instead forward their applications to the local authorities and once approval is obtained, ensure everything is in order,’’ said Ramakrishnan.