In Semenyih, Najib tells Indian voters unity minister lied about temple demolishments

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy should apologise to Malaysians for claiming thousands of Hindu temples were demolished during the previous BN administration. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy should apologise to Malaysians for claiming thousands of Hindu temples were demolished during the previous BN administration. — Picture by Hari Anggara

SEMENYIH, Feb 28 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy should apologise to Malaysians for claiming thousands of Hindu temples were demolished during the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

He claimed that during his tenure as prime minister, he ensured the basic necessities for temples would be provided in the form of allocations, when necessary.

“In my time, we never shut down or demolished any temples (intentionally). If a temple was demolished it was because of development. The temple was shifted to another location and a new one built in its place,” Najib said during a cultural unity programme organised by MIC Hulu Langat in Seksyen 2, Bandar Rinching.

Speaking to Indian voters in the final leg of the ongoing by-election, he said it is unfortunate that the person who alleged thousands of temples were demolished is now a minister.

“He should apologies to the Indian community in particular, because he cheated and lied to them,” Najib said, never referring to Waytha directly.

“No problem, but we have all been lied to. Or more like we kena kencing (pissed upon) if a liar can become a minister, or even one holding a fake college degree can become one too,” he added, in reference to deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya, who was involved in the scandal last month.

Well-received by the audience, Najib also spoke at length of the efforts he made to change the fortunes of the Indian community as prime minister, including granting over RM1 billion in allocations to Tamil vernacular schools, matriculation programme spots for 1,500 Indian students, and assisting small-time Indian businesses.

Waytha came under fire at the end of last year when a Dutch television interview of him during his time as Hindu Rights Action Force president in November 2007 resurfaced on social media.

In the video clip, he alleged the temples were destroyed by government officers trained by the controversial Biro Tata Negara, and also claimed hundreds of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam, based on the accounts of these individuals who sought his assistance, among others.