Since a two month old baby right up to my Form five, I was brought up in Tumpat, Kelantan. As teenagers, we prayed and played at the Sri Maha Mariaman Hindu Temple in Tumpat, Kelantan which was built by the then colonial days Railway working class Indians. This Hindu temple is in a 99.99% Malay Muslim dominated population and ruled by PAS. During my last visit to this temple two years ago I was told that there are only two Indian families left in Tumpat. But our Hinldu temple stands right up to this day on the very main road leading into Tumpat town. I nostalgically showed my wife and children the Hindu temple which I grew up with. It is still the history and heritage of Kelantan right up to this date. This our Hindu temple could now be demolished or asked to be relocated as it is in a 99.99% Malay Muslim area or to be moved out of the state of Kelantan as it is in a “Serambi Mekah” State. I believe it would not even have crossed PAS’ Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz’s mind. This is religious co-existence in practice in 99% Malay Muslim PAS ruled Kelantan. The biggest sleeping Buddha in the world is not in Thailand, Cambodia Sri Lanka or India where Buddhism originated from but it is in Kg. Neting, Tumpat Kelantan.
In multi racial and multi religious Malaysia it should be religious coexistence as opposed to religious tolerance. Then we wont get the case of the UMNO majority and dominant area like in Section 19 and 22 of Shah Alam objecting to hindu temple because it is a Malay Muslim dominated area and the cow head protest by the religious extremist who were never arrested on sight and who would never be seriously prosecuted by the Attorney General in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malaysia. And so the racism and religious extremism continues in Malaysia. In fact they had the support of even UMNO’s Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein who had justified their actions. To both the UMNO controlled Federal government and the PKR controlled Selangor state government and the other P.R ruled West Coast states you both have something to learn from PAS ruled Kelantan.
By the stroke of the pen vide a circular by Prime Minister Najib Razak, the PKR Selangor Menteri Besar the other P.R ruled Menteri Besars and Chief Minister, all existing Hindu temples could be issued with land titles and gazetted as Hindu temple reserves as is the case even in the 99% Malay reserve land State of Kelantan. This would put a stop and a finality to this new, unprecedented and unnecessary racial and religious division and tension in Malaysian.
Similarly this should also be done for all Hindu crematoriums Tamil Schools and Indian settlements like Kg. Buah Pala. This would actually solve half the Indian working class problems once and for all.
But in both the aforesaid UMNO, PKR in Selangor and the other West coast P.R ruled states, they are merely playing puppet shadow play (wayang kulit) politics using their Indian “mandores” via the print and electronic media by empty (kosong) announcements of the odd land for Hindu Temples, Tamil Schools and Crematoriums here and there and amplifying them as in the Malay proverb “Ayam telur sebiji rioh sekampong”. These State governments who wield almost absolute powers where it concerns their State land also do not issue a State government letter on the aforesaid odd land that they announce, issue land titles or gazette these Hindu temples, Tamil schools and Hindu crematoriums accordingly. Thus the current predicament of the working class Indians, the latest being in Kg. Buah Pala and Section 19 and 22, Shah Alam which is merely the tip of the iceberg of the Malaysian Indian working class critical problems.
Only in Malaysia and especially in the name of development, the first targets are Hindu temples, Hindu crematoriums Tamil schools and the poor Indian land settlers. We have recorded thousands of such cases. These problems hardly happens in the Malay, Chinese, Orang Asli, Iban or Kadazan communities in Malaysia. It happens almost only to the working class Indians. Why? But BN, PKR, DAP, PAS, NGOs’ and the Malaysian civil society all proclaim to be “multi-racial and multi-religious”.
All because the working class Indians have neither the political power or the economic clout and what follows is there are no takers for these critical Indian problems by almost all UMNO, PKR, DAP and PAS (except in Kelantan) NGOs’ and the Malaysian civil society.
P.Uthayakumar, Secretary General (pro-tem)
Human Rights Party (HRP)