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“Religious & political agenda of PAS clear – no place for non-Muslim culture etc” – Ramasamy

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COMMENT BY YB PROF DR P.RAMASAMY, DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG

History repeats, but not as often as in Kedah in the destruction of Hindu temples. The loud boasts of the Minister of National Unity, Halimah Mohd Saddique recently in parliament that destruction of non-Muslim places in Kedah would cease was rather premature.

During her visit with others including the Minister of Human Resources, M. Saravanan, she was assured by the Kedah PAS government that the demolition of non-Muslim places of worship would stop.

Thus, with another destruction of a Hindu temple on December 1, 2020, and other non-Muslim places worship earmarked for demolition, Halimah’s assurance in parliament remains a farce.

As representative of the Indians, Saravanan remains a mute spectator of the tragic events in the Indian community.

Hardly a few months have passed after the infamous destruction of a temple in Alor Setar, another has taken place.

The Majlis Bandaraya of Alor Setar (MBAS) took advantage of the Covid-19 lockdown to destroy another Hindu temple Sri Raja Muniswarar more than 50 years old, in Taman Bersatu, Kuala Kedah.

I understand from reliable sources that the authorities in Kedah taking advantage of the pandemic are planning further demolitions of non-Muslim places of worship.

I further understand that since the PAS government came to office no less than 10 non-Muslim places of worship have demolished in the name of road expansion, their illegal status, encroachment on state land and others.

A few months back MBAS with the strong back of the Menteri Besar of Kedah, Muhammed Sanusi Mod Nor, demolished a century old Hindu temple opposite railway station in the name of road expansion.

The temple was destroyed in the early hours of one morning and subsequently the majestic tree, hundreds years of old, was cut down, to ensure that demolished temple would not take shape under the tree.

There was no road expansion whatsoever, but the place was converted into a parking lot for motorcycles.

So much for the honest and integrity of government officials in Kedah.

Apparently among other municipal and city councils, MBAS has proven to be the most active when it comes to the demolition and removal of non-Muslim places of worship. It cannot be denied that these agencies have the support of the overzealous and religious extremism of the present PAS government in Kedah.

The destruction of the temple in Taman Bersatu was by MBAS.

Although notice was given before action, the absence of an alternative land made it not possible for the temple to be relocated. If the temple could exist more than 50 years, why it had to be suddenly destroyed. The land on which it was situated might have been state land but did it warrant destruction?

Recently the Menteri Besar said in the Kedah state assembly that the government might not give financial assistance to temples and non-Muslim places of worship but nonetheless the government would be fair to them.

So the indiscriminate destruction of this temple was it an act of fairness as assured by the Menteri Besar?

On Hindu religious matters, PAS depends on Indian members who have a some kind associate membership with no voting rights. In the case of temple destruction, these so-called “Indian advisors” have hardly any role.

For some pittance thrown at them, they are more than prepared to justify the actions of the PAS in temple demolitions.

Yet they have the gall to define themselves as “Indian representatives”.

Despite the charade and propaganda of tolerance, democracy and justice, PAS is extremist religious party with powerful ambitions.

It’s religious and political agenda is clear, there is no place for non-Muslim, their way of life, culture and religion.

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