Muslim group says too many Hindu temples making Malays uneasy

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

An Islamic missionary organization added fuel to the Shah Alam temple row today by concluding that the root cause of the controversy was that there are too many Hindu temples in Malaysia.

Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim) president Datuk Mohd. Nakhaie Ahmad (Ex-PAS leader who joined Umno back in the 1980s) said today that Muslims could accept the right of non-Muslims to build their own houses of worship, but the problem was the proliferation of illegal Hindu temples.

He also argued that it was the responsibility of non-Muslims to take care of the sensitivities of Muslims.

He said that Yadim had come out with a research case study to back the opposition to the construction of the Sri Mahamariamman temple in the Section 23 neighbourhood of Shah Alam, in an apparent justification of last week's cow-head protests by a group claiming to be residents there.

Nakhaie told reporters that the case study had been done to examine the sensitivities of Muslims towards the building of temples/ places of worship of non-Muslims.

“The number of mosques compared to Hindu temples are not at all balanced with the ratio of people who live in a particular area. There are approximately 2600 Hindus living in Sentul and there are also 72 temples there," he said, citing Yadim's research of a Kuala Lumpur neighbourhood.

Muslims make up the majority of residents in Sentul at around 60 per cent of the population, he said, but there were only 13 mosques in the area.

According to him, the Muslim level of tolerance in the country was “quite high”.

“Muslims are fine if temples are built but there has to be some limit. They cannot accept it if temples were to be built in Malay-Muslim majority areas. There will be some level of uneasiness if the temple activities disrupt the harmony of Muslims,” proclaimed the Yadim chief.

He added that what happened in Section 23 “was expected” because the sensitivities of the Malay-Muslims were not taken into account by the Selangor state government.

He also blamed ‘certain’ parties for politicising the issue, stating that based on statements made by politicians, there was a tendency for the public to blame the residents of Section 23 for being racist.

“Whatever that has happened is simply the reaction of Malays towards the aggressive moves of building an illegal temple in the area.

"They are disappointed with the Selangor state government. The reason this has escalated to such a level is due to the negligence of the state to act swiftly and promptly on the matter,” lamented Nakhaie.