In the aftermath of two-day riots, a faction of devotees from the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam temple in USJ 25 hopes either Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad or Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor will intervene to prevent further bloodshed.
The group’s secretary VK Regu said the outbreak of violence in the last two days was due to what he insisted was an unresolved 20-year-old dispute over the land on which the Hindu temple sits, despite a 2014 High Court consent judgment in which the temple committee agreed to shift the place of worship to another plot of land.
“We want a leader who can make a decision. If the prime minister in this government can make a decision, let him make the decision to enable good justice,” Regu told a news conference this afternoon, following fiery clashes that resulted in more arrests, injuries including a fireman now in the ICU and damaged vehicles.
Regu claimed his group does not accept the court’s decision and claimed there had been no one “qualified” to represent the temple committee with regards to the land ownership, which has been sold by the state government to property developer One City Development Sdn Bhd.
“This matter has been ongoing for 20 years. They did not appoint even one person who is qualified to make a decision. The mentri besar can’t make a decision,” he said.
He added that his group also distrusts the police, whom he insisted was slow to respond to the predawn rioting on Monday, purporting that the law enforcers’ delayed response had endangered the lives of some devotees.
Datuk A. Chandrakumanan, another member of the group calling itself the temple’s special task-force committee, said they had sent numerous requests for the Selangor Sultan to intervene in the land dispute, similar to how the Ruler issued a decree on the removal of dual-language signboards in Shah Alam.
“So this being a religious issue, and he being the top man in Selangor, he can intervene and help us. That’s the reason we sent to the Sultan,” Chandrakumanan said.
The “taskforce” head S. Ramaji said his group took matters into their own hands to safeguard the temple after receiving no response from the palace after its most recent communications last Friday.
“We have even sent memorandums to the Sultan of Selangor. Nothing. That’s why the people want to take [care of things themselves] and safeguard the temple,” Ramaji said.
“It has never happened in our lives that the Sultan has to intervene to take care of the people. I don’t know whether this time the Sultan will interfere to protect us,” Regu said.