Malaysiakini Letter

Playing the Seafield temple riot blame game

TK Chua  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | I feel sorry that the Seafield temple fracas happened. I feel even more sorry that firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim had to die so needlessly. At the prime of his life, he was snuffed out.

You know what? I want to blame someone and everyone today. I am in the mood of doing that now.

I want to blame the Selangor state government, both under the present and previous menteris besar. Why didn’t the state government execute the consent order for the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman quickly and professionally using government machinery?

I want to blame those managing the temple too. Why refuse to move when money has been paid and a new temple site given? Which faction of the temple must the authorities and landowner 'do business' with?

I want to blame someone who employed thugs to ask those at the temple to relocate. I blame unauthorised forces used in the process.

I want to blame bigots for causing resentment by claiming that the temple was indiscriminately built. Hello, that temple was there when the whole area was still the Seafield estate.

I want to blame the police for not sending a sufficient number of personnel to maintain order.

I want to blame the police, the home minister, and the menteri besar for not coming up with clear statements quickly.

I want to blame Indian cabinet ministers and the Indian Selangor exco for getting themselves involved so quickly. Are they implying Indian temples are the sole responsibility of Indian ministers? I blame them for not thinking through the issue given the sensitivity involved.

I want to blame the people at large. Why so emotional? After the first night's riot, why did they still have so much pent-up anger on the second night?

I appreciate the patience of the police, but when the situation on the second night became volatile, I blame the police for not being assertive enough to control the crowd.

Sometimes I just don’t understand. We go to places of worship to seek God. Surely that must grant us patience, self-control and serenity. 

Surely God and places of worship must make a difference to us. So, who do I blame when I see people becoming so easily agitated, emotional and irrational for wanting to 'protect' their places of worship?

See, I am good in blaming others too. De facto National Unity Minister P Waythamoorthy is not the only one to be blamed. He is just an easy target.

Now I want to blame a colleague of Waythamoorthy for supporting the call to have him dismissed from the cabinet. Where is collective cabinet responsibility?

Sometimes ministers who are still wet behind their ears, either in age or experience, should think a little deeper before they open their mouths. Don't be smug, many were young once.  

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

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