Archive for November 4th, 2007

Cabinet should halt all temple demolitions – set up RCI on Kampung Rimba Jaya Sri Maha Mariaman Temple demolition

The Cabinet on Wednesday should issue a directive for a total halt to all temple demolitions in the country and set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Tuesday’s Kampung Rimba Jaya Sri Maha Mariaman Temple demolition in Shah Alam and to draw up national guidelines for all future demolitions to ensure they do not trample on religious and cultural sensitivities.

All temple demolitions should stop until the Royal Commission of Inquiry has come out with its report and recommendations for national guidelines for all future demolitions of places of worship which take fully into account the Merdeka social contract 50 years ago which assured all religions a rightful place in the country, the first Rukunegara principle of “Belief in God” as well as the religious and cultural sensitivities of a multi-religious and multi-racial Malaysia.

What happened at Kampung Rimba Jaya on Tuesday, where brute and naked force was displayed by the Shah Alam City Hall (MBSA) enforcement authorities in utter disregard of proper procedures, religious and cultural sensitivities in the demolition of the 40-year-old Sri Maha Mariaman Temple, resulting in many injured, 20 people including four lawyers arrested, has caused great damage to Malaysian nation-building and is most shameful especially in a year when the country is celebrating 50 years of independent nationhood.

The highhanded and reckless manner in which the Sri Maha Mariaman Temple was demolished had raised the question, not only in Malaysia but internationally, whether Malaysia really respects the fundamental and constitutional rights of Malaysians to “freedom of religion” as enshrined in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.

It is no exaggeration to say that to a significant section of the Malaysian population, the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations have been rendered meaningless by such arbitrary actions by those in authority which are completely contemptuous of the legitimate rights and sensitivities of different communities and religions in the country. Read the rest of this entry »