Saturday, August 29, 2009

WEEKEND VIEW #3: Dialogue To Diffuse Matters - malaysiakini

The Selangor government has directed the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) to hold a dialogue with residents of Section 23 over the relocation of a Hindu temple to the area.

The meeting appears to be a bid to diffuse tension after some of the residents protested the move yesterday, carrying the carcase of a cow's head in front of the state secretariat building.

This resulted in public outrage from both Hindus and Muslims, in what has been widely described as an attempt by a small group of individuals to stoke religious animosity.

In a statement today, Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim said the meeting would include MBSA officers and the Selangor State Development Board (PKNS).

"The dialogue is not just to hear from the residents but also to allow the state government to explain the decsion why the relocation of the temple from Section 19 to Section 23 was made.

"While waiting for the meeting, the state government urges the residents of Section 23 to remain calm and not allow themselves to be influenced by the lies of a small group out to jeopardies public harmony and political stability.

"Again, I urge the public to show empathy, be rational and show mutual respect because this is the best method to resolve the issue," said Khalid.

Khalid expressed regret over the protest yesterday which he described as a "effort to insult, incite (hatred) and cause anger" by a small group.

"It is regrettable that this happened at a time when the people of Selangor are preparing to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of our country's independence," he said.

Threats against state leaders also made

Khalid said the effort to insult other religions has caused the country to fall into disrepute and was a step back in efforts to foster better relationship between the different communities.

He urged the public to show maturity and not be influenced by the protest because it could lead to racial tensions.

He said it was best left for the authorities to take action on the matter.

"The state government urges the police to take immediate action... and include in their investigations threats made against state government leaders," he added.

Yesterday, some 50 protestors claiming to be residents of Section 23 in Shah Alam marched from the state mosque to the nearby state secretariat building.

At the gates of the building, the protestors stepped on the cow's head and warned of bloodshed should their protest be ignored. Some 15 policemen stood watch during the proceedings but did not take action. PET+BLOGSPOT is the official online blog of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive).

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