Malaysiakini Letter

Responsibility is the key to ending Seafield temple saga

Sharan Raj, Parti Sosialis Malaysia  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | The Seafield issue has been blown out of proportion with the notion that the very foundation that this nation was founded upon for 55 years which is “unity through diversity” is under threat.

Today, the Seafield temple issue is a flashpoint because every party involved refuse to behave responsibly.

The responsibility of the temple’s management is to start a reconciliation process with its rival faction to end its internal politics.

The temple’s management must call for an extraordinary general meeting amongst the devotees, members and residents to end the longstanding dispute. Only dialogue can end this deadlock, not bickering or press conferences.

The developer, One City needs to provide more time for the temple to conduct the reconciliation process. One City's action of selective recognition towards the parties abiding with the relocation, created isolation and intensified the temple's internal politics. One City has been very adamant with the relocation deadline, in order for it to start the development process. Such practices pushed the isolated parties into offensive mode, escalating the tension.

The responsibility of the police is to reveal the details of the mob that started the riot early on the morning of Nov 26. Instead, the police issued an irresponsible statement by painting the whole mob attack as Indian-led gang war while we are fully aware that there were involvements of others

Economic hardship may have forced them to be involved in such an atrocity, but the question is who sent them and why? The invisible hands (if any) behind this must be investigated.

The responsibility of the netizens is to check their news legitimacy before sharing and provoking others to react emotionally. The temple fracas on the second day was purely motivated by creating, sharing and forwarding voice memos, Facebook posts, videos, photo, Whatsapp messages, etc. Nearly two-thirds of the information shared in social media is either exaggerated or fake.

These include the images depicting MBSA (Shah Alam City Council) near an unknown temple when in fact, Seafield comes under the jurisdiction of MPSJ (Subang Jaya Municipal Council).

The attack on emergency services (police, fire and rescue department, medical services) personnel and their equipment was unnecessary. Undeniably, the temple is public property but so are the fire engines, police cars, highways, road dividers and signboards. These civil servants risk their lives on a daily basis to ensure we go back to our families safely. Have we forgotten about the six firemen who sacrificed their lives trying to save a child last month? It’s the responsibility of the public to ensure these selfless people go back to their families safely.

Multiple parties need to carry out their responsibilities in order to end violence and protect our nation's unity. Generally, Malaysians are peace-loving and only a small handful of people with self-interest are exploiting this issue for their respective personal gain.


The writer is Deputy Youth Chief of Parti Sosialis Malaysia.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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