KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has hit out at MIC and DAP critics by referring to the controversy over the recent demolition of a Hindu temple in the state as “a little trouble”.
He told them to work to build harmony rather than stoke discord.
“Let us not argue in the future simply because one is drunk on the toddy of popularity, and become race champions in the present,” Sanusi said in a Facebook post.
Toddy is a palm wine made from fermented palm sap.
He questioned why MIC and DAP did not similarly criticise the demolition of a silat ring near the temple.
“Senior politicians such as they might as well not drink one bottle, but get drunk on two or three instead,” Sanusi said.
The mentri besar reiterated that the demolition of the temple in Taman Bersatu, Kuala Kedah was because it stood on gazetted land, and as such is a legal issue and not one of race, religion, or discrimination.
“Ultimately every structure must be there legally and under the purview of the law and administration of government agencies.
“This has always been the case, not only now although it is still not too late to rectify,” he said.
Sanusi added that despite the attacks on the PAS-led state government which sought to twist history by claiming the temple had been there for the past 30 to 50 years, this is not so.
“The authorities have the factual records on this. The structure only appeared in the past few years, and prior to that was a place of worship among some trees.
“Those speaking out for the temple have also omitted to mention that a bigger, wider and more comfortable location had been given to replace the now-demolished temple since the original land is meant for constructing expansions of Alor Setar's railway lines.
“Yet after being given the new location with a temple constructed, they decided to return to the original location and build a temple there,” he said.
Sanusi also criticised the spinning of facts which he said has led to the perception that PAS are religious extremists who discriminate against other religions.
“The temple is claimed to be over 100 years old whereas it is only a few. For a temple site on KTM land involved in development for the public, how many new sites must be given as a replacement?
“None of the Indian MIC and DAP leaders dare to reveal this fact, but instead flame the sentiments of race and religions in order to become champions. But champions of what? Race, religion, or spinning facts?” he said.
Sanusi said he has repeatedly and clearly stated that political leaders in the country must act as peacemakers, guardians of harmony and order in line with the laws and regulations.
“The existing laws and rules in effect are to preserve the lifestyles of the rakyat as a whole, and not to discriminate against anyone.
“Should there be any political, racial or religious leaders trying to fan the flames of enmity, prevent the laws from being applied, accuse and slander outside of bounds, twist a issue of the law into one of race and religion, they should not be allowed to get away like that,” he said.
The temple's demolition on Tuesday (December 1) led to criticism, with MIC deputy president Datuk Seri M. Saravanan claiming Sanusi broke his promise to inform him if any temples were to be demolished in the state.
Similarly Penang Deputy Chief Minister ll P. Ramasamy said Sanusi has proven himself to be a racist and religious extremist who should not remain in power, as well as questioning the need to destroy temples to build motorcycle parks or futsal courts.