Silat group denies members involved in Selangor's Hindu temple clash

The scene outside the Sri Mara Mariamman Temple in Putra Heights. Eighteen cars and two motorcycles were torched during the incident that started at about 2am. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
The scene outside the Sri Mara Mariamman Temple in Putra Heights. Eighteen cars and two motorcycles were torched during the incident that started at about 2am. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — A group of silat practitioners today denied that its members was involved in a violent pre-dawn clash at a Hindu temple in Selangor.

Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia (PSSGM) secretary-general Mariam Bujang today asserted that the individuals alleged to have been involved in the scuffle at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple were actually members of the association’s defunct predecessor.

“About the article on the scuffle at the Seafield temple last night (25/11/18), it has no connections with PSSGM members who are validly registered.

“Members should be aware that the Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia has now registered with the Registrar of Societies, with the registration number PPM-010-04-09042013.

“Anyone who uses the registration from the Sports Commissioner Office 0149/98 are members of an association that had its registration validly revoked on 30.3.2018 by the Sports Commissioner Office,” she said in a statement today to the members and disciples of the group for those who practise the traditional Malay martial arts.

Her statement comes after photographs surfaced online of certificates bearing PSSGM’s name and logo and PSSGM membership cards with the association’s logo of individuals allegedly involved in the Hindu temple scuffle.

But Mariam said that these were expired documents issued by the defunct organisation.

“Since the individuals were registered as members under PSSGM 0149/98 and the signatory of the certificates are no longer the YDP or secretary-general of PSSGM, the membership cards and certificates indirectly becomes no longer valid. The certificates and cards had also expired.

“Therefore, PSSGM (ROS) denies that its members are involved in this incident,” she said, urging the group’s members that were still registered under the defunct organisation to renew their membership to the group that is now registered with the RoS.

The PSSGM is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow noon at its Selangor chapter’s office.

The pre-dawn clash at the Hindu temple reportedly resulted in 18 cars and two motorcycles being torched with the fire being put out at around 6am, as well as damage to a police patrol car.

The Sri Maha Mariamman temple, which is also known as the Seafield temple, is a temple over 100 years old that was due for relocation on November 22 in line with a March 11, 2014 consent judgment by the Shah Alam High Court.

The temple falls within the constituencies of Kota Kemuning state assemblyman V. Ganabatirau and Kota Raja MP Mohamad Sabu.

The police have arrested several men, while Ganabatirau and five other ethnic Indian lawmakers from Pakatan Harapan have asked for the federal police to probe the pre-dawn incident instead of leaving it to the Subang Jaya police to handle.