Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
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Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple

The Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is a Hindu Temple in the middle class suburb of UEP Subang Jaya which was developed by Sime Darby in the mid 80s. The temple prides itself and claims to have been built in 1891.[1] although the age is disputed by Nicholas Cheng, a journalist with the newspaper, The Star.[2] published after the riot. The site of the temple[3] is on a piece of land previously owned by Sime Darby, which was later purchased[4] by MCT Bhd which is listed in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. One City Development is the developer of the land, and is wholly owned by MCT Bhd[5]

Temple land dispute

Resulting from the purchase of the land One City Development proceeded to evict the temple from its land, resulting in a court order[6] in the developers favour. However, temple authorities seek the help of politicians[7] which resulted in multiple views including one from a Selangor Executive Committee Official affirming that the courts have decided that it is the right of the developer[8] to evict the temple. Attempts by the developer to take vacant possession of the land following the successful court order proved futile[9] Another attempt in October 2017 [10] resulted in Riot Police controlling the situation which turned chaotic.

S. Thangaraju, S.Nagarajah and M.Mohanakrishnan, the "pro-stay" faction of the Sri Maha Mariamman temple, filed an application to retain the temple in the same place, which was dismissed by the High Court through Judge M.Gunalan on 29 November citing the failure to raise reasonable grounds.[11][12] However, hours later another successful interim injunction was filed in another Shah Alam High Court to stay the previous order until a hearing is made on 11 January 2019.[13]

November 2018 riots

First riot

The initial riot erupted in the early hours of 26 November with Temple Task Force Chairman S.Ramaji claiming as a result of intrusion by around 250 people[14] of 'Malay ethnicity' while the Selangor Police Chief reported that 17 suspects were arrested[15] following altercations between 'rival groups' at the temple which resulted in a riot that involved the burning of 18 cars and motorcycles. It was later reported that a law firm representing the developer had hired thugs to 'secure' the temple. This was further denied by the firms [16] which was reported to have represented the developer in its injunction against the temple. The Inspector General of Police on 29 November 2018 reportedly said that a detained lawyer in connection to the unrest is an adviser to the developer.[17]

Second riot and attack on fireman

Later in the late evening of November 26, a huge crowd gathered again[18] resulting in a second subsequent riot which also saw a group attacking the premises of the developer,[19] 1 km away from the temple.

The second riot also saw the critical injury of an emergency responder, Muhammmad Adib Mohd Kassim. A firefighter based at the Subang Jaya Fire Station (Balai Bomba Subang Jaya),[20][21] Adib was one of nine responders to the second temple riot who were attacked on arrival,[22][23][24] and the only responder to suffer injuries when his partner Hazim inadvertently left him in the open.[] Although subsequent claims by eyewitnesses were made that the fireman was actually injured as a result of a fire engine reversing into Adib[25] this was then refuted by the Fire and Rescue Department director-general Mohamad Hamdan Wahid.[26][27]

Adib was initially helped by some devotees present at the temple[28] and was later sent to the Ramsay Sime Darby Medical Centre (also known as Subang Jaya Medical Centre or SJMC). As a result of worsening health, Adib was subsequently transferred to Institut Jantung Negara (IJN), where he required the use of ECMO machine.[29][30] While visiting the critically injured fireman, Minister of Housing and Local Ministry Zuraida Kamaruddin was reported to have said that Adib has "hit and stomped on."[24] Minister of Health Dr.Dzulkefly Ahmad reported that the fireman was recovering well following his treatment and was recovering well[31] (29 November 2018). He was also visited by the Sultan of Kedah[32] due to him being a Kedahan.

Although initially reported to be recovering well, Adib succumbed to his injuries on the evening of December 17 while still under intensive care at IJN.[33] He was then laid to rest in the As-Saadah Mosque Muslim cemetery in Kampung Tebengau, Kuala Kedah on 18 December 2018.[34] His name and service number was then inscribed in the Fire Department's 'Fallen Heroes' monument in Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor[35] to commemorate the service and sacrifice of the late fireman.

Aftermath

In the aftermath of the riot, Minister of Unity & Social Wellbeing P. Waytha Moorthy was reported to have said that the reaction from the police had been poor, resulting in the riot getting out of control. Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, P Waytha Moorthy, who headed a media conference at the Parliament lobby on 26th November, 2018 claimed the Subang Jaya District Police issued a false statement that the cause of the riot was a misunderstanding between two Indian groups over the temple's relocation when it was not the truth.[36]. His statement was also deemed to have been inciteful, resulting in investigations against him by authorities.[37] Reaction from opposition lawmakers include the call for him to resign or be sacked.[38] The demands gained traction culminating to protest gatherings which resulted in the Prime Minister responding to the demands publicly by stating that it will remain the PM's prerogative on the outcome of Waytha's position.[39] As a result, a protest by the extremist Muslim Malay group Jaringan melayu Malaysia organized a protest in Klang on 25 December 2018,[40] one week after the death of Adib, opposition leaders clamoured to make themselves heard, including the call by Jaringan Melayu Malaysia President Azwanddin Hamzah to 'storm police stations' if no action was taken[41][42][43]

References

  1. ^ "The 120 year old Maha Mariamman Temple, Seafield, USJ". www.malaysiantemples.com. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "The mess that is the Seafield temple issue - Why You Like That Wan | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "The Subang Hindu temple: Its 'history' and legal dramas | Malay Mail". Retrieved .
  4. ^ "MCT building last phase of One City - Business News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "MCT divests One City-linked unit for RM7.5m". The Edge Markets. 2017-12-08. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "Eviction of Seafield temple on hold - Menteri Besar ? The Malaysian Times". www.themalaysiantimes.com.my. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple: Mentri Besar will help, Sivarasa and Santiago say". Malaysiaindru (in Tamil). 2017-12-20. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Seafield temple relocation is on court orders, says Selangor exco". Seafield temple relocation is on court orders, says Selangor exco. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Devotees protest relocation of temple - Metro News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "Temple relocation turns chaotic as dissenters dig heels in - Metro News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Subang Hindu temple faction fails court bid to block relocation order | Malay Mail". Retrieved .
  12. ^ "High Court rejects bid to block Seafield temple relocation - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Temple stays where it is pending hearing - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Eyewitness recounts temple attack, claims mob behaved in 'trance-like state' | Malay Mail". Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Seventeen held over riot at temple - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Two law firms deny hiring thugs in temple riot case - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "IGP: Lawyer arrested in Subang temple riot was adviser to One City | Malay Mail". Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Huge but peaceful crowds around USJ temple, traffic choked - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "Cops zeroing in on riot mastermind - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  20. ^ "Police may have leads to those who attacked fireman at temple - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  21. ^ ""Bangunlah Adib, kita kan nak pergi mandi-manda nanti" - Viral | mStar" (in Malay). Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Seafield riots: Fireman critically injured after mob attack". Malaysiakini. 2018-11-27. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "Firemen just doing their job, says Zuraida - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  24. ^ a b hermesauto (2018-11-28). "Petaling Jaya temple violence: Critically injured fireman due to be married next month". The Straits Times. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "Firefighter injured in Malaysia Hindu temple riot was not hit by fire engine: Department chief". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "Fire dept: Man in viral video standing behind reversing fire engine not Adib - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "Fire and Rescue Department lodges report against allegations that Adib hit by fire truck - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  28. ^ "Video clip depicts men helping injured firefighter". Malaysiakini. 2018-11-28. Retrieved .
  29. ^ "Fireman injured in riot recovering well after transfer to IJN". Malaysiakini. 2018-11-28. Retrieved .
  30. ^ "Fireman Adib transferred to IJN - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  31. ^ "Temple riots: Dr Dzulkefly says injured fireman is recovering, urges Malaysians to pray for him - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  32. ^ "Kedah Sultan visits injured fireman at IJN | Malay Mail". Retrieved .
  33. ^ Lim, Ida; Choong, Jerry. "Firefighter Muhammad Adib dies | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved .
  34. ^ December 2018, Published 2 weeks ago on 18. "Firefighter Muhammad Adib laid to rest | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved .
  35. ^ December 2018, Published 1 week ago on 22. "Muhammad Adib's name inscribed on Fire Dept's 'Fallen Heroes' monument | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved .
  36. ^ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/434701/seafield-temple-riot-waytha-blames-police-delayed-response
  37. ^ Palansamy, Yiswaree. "IGP: Minister Waytha Moorthy to be probed under Sedition Act or Penal Code | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved .
  38. ^ Tan, Tarrence. "PAS deputy president demands Waytha Moorthy resign over remarks made in viral video - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved .
  39. ^ "I haven't decided yet on Waytha Moorthy - Dr Mahathir". The Edge Markets. 2018-12-20. Retrieved .
  40. ^ Dzulkifly, Danial. "In Klang, Muslims march from funeral prayers to demand justice for Adib | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved .
  41. ^ "JMM president arrested over fiery speech at Klang rally". TheStarTV.com. Retrieved .
  42. ^ "At rally for Adib in Klang, speaker uses the P-word on Waytha". Malaysiakini. Retrieved .
  43. ^ hermesauto (2018-12-26). "Malaysian police arrest Malay NGO leader for threats in rally speech". The Straits Times. Retrieved .


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