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Without forgetting BN Governments for desecrating and unlawfully demolishing Hindu temples, Hindus should pray that our leaders practice what they preach by respecting freedom of religion


Deepavali Message

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): DAP wishes all Hindus a Happy Deepavali in this Festival of Lights to celebrate the triumph of good over evil that rights every wrongs and corrects all injustices. Deepavali last year and this year has been marred by disrespectful acts that has hurt and even angered the sensitivities of all Hindus.

Last year’s Deepavali was marred by Takaful Malaysia’s Syariah department head Fauzi Mustaffar, who offended Hindus by sending a directive forbidding Muslims to wish Hindu friends Happy Deepavali because this was a sinful act against Allah that Muslims have to repent. Following stern objections by both DAP and NGOs Takaful Malaysia subsequently withdrew and apologized to all Hindus.

This year’s Deepavali celebration has offended Hindus even more when an 80-year old temple in Taman Karuppiah, Shah Alam, was demolished by police and Shah Alam Municipal Council enforcement officers. Hindus devotees defending the temple were shot at and arrested. Even the lawyers who turned up at the police station to represent the devotees were also arrested!

To date no apology and explanation has been given by both the Selangor and Federal Government except for the local to arrogantly say that the local government has the power to tear down any Hindu temple built illegally. Such double-standards by the Selangor state government is exemplified by its refusal to tear down the illegally built luxurious bungalow of Port Klang State Assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros’s in Kampung Idaman, near Klang last year.

Is the Selangor state government tearing down the Hindu temple because it is a religious place of worship of the minority and marginalized Hindus whilst the celestial mansion of Zakaria can not be touched because it is owned by an UMNO assemblyman? And perhaps the Hindu temples are not luxurious like Zakaria’s home with:-

• 16 bedrooms and 21 bathrooms where the size of the master bedroom could only be compared to a whole apartment and its attached bathroom comes with a Jacuzzi
• is 2 1/2 storey high with flooring in the main hall is marble-tiled with many chandeliers above,
• has a large fish pond and swimming pool; and
• a mini golf course and a large garage.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has told Muslims that if Islam is to be respected Muslims must show exemplary behavior by respecting the followers of other religions and their needs. Such words mean nothing when Hindu temples continue to be relentlessly demolished. Where is freedom of religion when Abdullah then insists that on basic matters relating to the sanctity of religion, beliefs and practices, Malay interests and the social contract between communities are sacred to us and should not be raised? Does a sacred issue include raising the keris to threaten non-Malays and imprisoning those who exercise their freedom of conscience and religion”

Hindus must not lose faith and though celebrate this year’s Deepavali with gritted teeth seethed with anger, should pray that our misguided leaders discover justice in their hearts. DAP believes that the grace and compassion amongst Hindus will allow them to pray for those who wound and oppress them but will never forget this uncivilized desecration of their religious places of worship. For this reason so as not to forget such desecration of Hindu temples, DAP reiterates its national boycott of all Deepavali events held by the government on 11 November 2007 as an empty symbol of religious harmony when there is none as well as those held by BN wakil rakyats throughout Malaysia until the government apologizes to all Hindus for unlawfully tearing down Hindu temples.


* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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