Who's behind gangsters ratcheting up racial tensions?

Opinion  |  P Gunasegaram
Published:  |  Modified:

QUESTION TIME | And so it comes to pass that the 50 or so Malay youths who attacked a Hindu temple in Subang Jaya, clashed with devotees, and held parang to the necks of a priest and other temple officials were men hired by (unnamed) lawyers working for the developer One City Sdn Bhd, according to Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

They must have been terribly dumb lawyers to think that they could get away with something like this, which sparked off a riot and has threatened to become a highly charged racial issue, even when the government and the police steadfastly maintained that it has nothing to with race.

"Those linked to the developer have not followed legal processes to take over the temple land as planned, in accordance with the law.

"Police investigations found that the lawyers of the developer had hired a group of Malay men to barge into the temple and take control of it before developers and police can arrive (to facilitate the land transfer) on the morning of Nov 26,” Muhyiddin said.

According to him, RM150,000 was handed to the leader of the gang and each of the intruders were paid between RM150 and RM300 for carrying out the attack. This comes out to a total maximum of RM15,000, implying that the leader pocketed the remaining RM135,000.

These gangsters have ratcheted up the racial tension of the country, and needlessly caused a riot which nearly killed a fireman. Who are behind these gangsters? Just the lawyers, two of whom were reported to have been arrested? Or does it involve the developers who they have acted for?

Or more ominously, have they acted on behalf of someone else to hire thugs to deliberately increase racial tensions, for surely they must have known that is what would happen if 50 Malays were to barge into a Hindu temple and try to evict its officials and devotees?

This is not the first time that thugs and goons have been used to increase racial tensions and do the bidding of their political masters. According to an article in Malaysiakini dated May 19, 2007, part of a special report on the racial riots of May 13, 1969, Malay gangsters were used as frontline attackers during the riots...

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