KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — Umno Youth demanded criminal charges against four Pakatan Harapan ministers and a Selangor official today, claiming they fuelled the unrest that led to an attack last month on a rescue worker who died yesterday.
According to Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, Cabinet members P. Waytha Moorthy, M. Kulasegaran, Gobind Singh Deo, and Xavier Jaykumar and Selangor exco V. Ganabatirau made remarks that were intended to breach the peace following the riots at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ25, Subang Jaya last month.
The Umno Youth chief insisted that the ministers issued remarks criticising the police’s handling of the initial riots, which he said worsened tensions at a time when authorities were trying to disprove any racial or religious elements in the case.
Asyraf pointed out that Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin emphatically said that the matter was purely a criminal case involving a land dispute between a developer and the temple.
“However, as a result of a Facebook post on November 27 by Selangor exco V. Ganabatirau that the attacks were perpetrated by Muslims, in addition to a statement by the four ethnic Indian ministers blaming the police, over 10,000 members of the Indian community were incensed and rioted that night,” he said in a statement.
The initial riots broke out on November 26 when, according to authorities, a group of youths alleged paid by a lawyer acting for the developer tried to occupy the temple grounds by force.
More riots broke out the next night, during which Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was dragged out of his rescue vehicle and beaten unconscious. He had been slowly recovering since then but succumbed unexpectedly last night.
Asyraf said Umno Youth is demanding a complete and open investigation into the matter as well as unbiased prosecution.
“Not only must justice be done, it must also be seen to be done,” he said.
He repeated his call for Waytha Moorthy, the minister in charge of unity, to resign over his failure to mitigate the communal tensions that arose from the incident and for allegedly fanning tensions within the Indian community.
Ministers in the federal administration should have known better than to worsen the situation with racial sentiments, he said.
The Umno Youth chief went on to call for calm from the public and urged them to avoid triggering further racial unrest over the incident.
Adib’s body is being flown back to his home town in Kedah for burial this morning.
Police have classified his death as murder.