Were the Seafield temple riots about race?

Nathaniel Tan

Modified 30 Nov 2018, 11:59 pm

COMMENT | Early this week, when the government rushed to declare that the rioting around the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Subang Jaya had nothing to do with race, the reason was obvious.

The government of the day is, of course, keen to downplay any suggestion that race relations in Malaysia are in a bad state. If that were true, it would to some extent mean that the government is not doing its job.

After a clearer picture of the facts emerged, I concur that race was not a big factor as to why the Seafield riots happened.

However, I do believe that race is a huge factor in how the general public is dealing with its aftermath.

The number of people who were actually involved on the ground during these events was relatively small. For a large segment of the Malaysian population, however, the aftermath of this issue is becoming a big part of public discourse.

I think as we continue to reflect on this issue, it is important we do so through the lens of truth, and not just via political bias.

If we are to ever reach genuine national unity, there are things we need to face honestly and head on.

Examining facts

The information that came out in the early days was typically unreliable.

As the dust finally settles, a more dependable picture seems to be emerging...

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