“Every man who has in his soul a secret feeling of revolt against any act of the State, of life, or of destiny, is on the verge of riot; and so soon as it appears, he begins to quiver, and to feel himself borne away by the whirlwind.”– Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
COMMENT | Saying the temple protests in the last two days were proof that “good gestures are not always appreciated”, Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin called on Malay groups planning to hold a rally next month to oppose Malaysia’s joining of the global anti-discrimination treaty, Icerd, to instead hold a rally for “Muslim survival”.
People always ask me, what is the issue the Malay/Muslim far right have with temples? That is an easy question to answer. Hindu temples are all over the place. It is a fact that some of these structures are “illegal”. While some have a history like the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, others have less of a pedigree.
Hindu temples are in your face. While Christian places of worship are subject to strict rules when it comes to Islamic sensitivities – the cross for instance apparently has a debilitating effect on some people – Hindu temples are gaudy architectural provocations for people who believe in the supremacy of their faith
But forget about this for a moment. If this was a mosque of more than 100 years old, and a court ruled in favour of corporate interest, what do you think the consequences would have been for the corporate entity when it came to this piece of land? I love the way how some people talk about legal judgments as if they are made in a vacuum when it comes to vested political and corporate interest. As usual, when it comes to an Indian issue, people have faith in the system.
The Perlis mufti, for instance, thinks that the BN government was too soft with these illegal Hindu temples. He wants the Harapan government to uphold the rule of law when it comes to a historical site which is essentially what the Seafield temple is. He believes this so strongly that he uses this incident to call for the Dec 8 anti-Icerd “celebration” to be one for Muslim survival.
I have very little interest in temple committees. I think that they are a bunch of parasites who use their office to further their own economic agendas that have very little to do with religion. In the Seafield temple case, for instance, I have no doubt that temple committee intrigue is part of the problem. There are more informed people who should have the courage to speak up on this issue than me.
Having said that, when it comes to religion in Malaysia, everything is racial. Asri, for instance, prefers to use the law against what he believes is an existential threat to the Muslim community. Meanwhile, the “gangsters” who trespassed into this Hindu place of worship were relying on the weakness of the institutions to facilitate whatever they were allegedly hired to do.
Eyewitness reports claim that the state security apparatus was lackadaisical in containing the situation, while the state security apparatus claims that it had to be restrained because this was a place of worship and to do otherwise would add fuel to the fire. Who do you believe? How does your experience inform you about your faith in the system? Not an easy question to answer...
Unrestrained power in your hands
For almost 20 years, Malaysiakini has stayed true to the cause of providing the Malaysian public with the truth. We believe that with unadulterated information, the people will obtain power to make informed decisions.
Decisions which lead to a healthy, robust nation - ours!
Keep the truth alive. Support your robust, independent media. You have the unrestrained power to do so.
Who says it's not our fault?
We aren’t trained to take responsibility.
Everytime we observe an injustice - and choose to keep mum - the prevalence of injustice becomes our fault.
Astute journalism paves the way for the public to be continuously furnished with the fastidious truth. You are continuously empowered to act and to uphold the integrity of the nation.
The Rakyat owns Malaysiakini
We choose to take a risk on independent media because we believe that only through independent reporting can one be NOT beholden to the interest of businesses or organisations. This allows us to really pursue the truth - aggressively.
Independent for 20 years.
The victorious people
In the light of holding the truth to power, Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its mission of providing credible news to its discerning public. Your support for Malaysiakini is always treasured as a testament of innate nationalism. Your victory is our history.
Quietly. Effectively. Says it all. Malaysiakini.
Speaking truth to power
When we embarked on this journey 20 years ago, we knew we would face intimidation, harassment, raids, arrests and perhaps even jail terms. We got into this venture with our eyes wide open.
The main reason we have survived this long - when many others have folded - is partly because we are prudent in our finances. But while we may be tightfisted in our budgeting, we do not hold back when it comes to speaking truth to power and holding power to account. And certainly, this new administration will not stop us from continuing to do so.
Your subscription expires on
Your subscription will expire soon, kindly renew before
Your subscription is expired
Click here to renew
You are not subscribed to any subscription package
Click here to subscribe now
Email: techsuppo[email protected]