The nonsense of the fanatics


There’s a breakdown in logic in the outbursts against a Hindu temple in Putrajaya and a gurdwara in Bukit Beruntung.

Scott Ng, FMT

In recent years, we have been witness to increasing flexing of the muscles by various NGOs and religious fundamentalists, and no occasion makes them peacock their might faster than when another religion tries to build a place for worshippers to congregate.

In the last few days, there have been outbursts against a Hindu temple in Putrajaya and the attempt by the Sikhs of Bukit Beruntung to build a gurdwara on their property.

The accusations made against the Sri Lalithambikai Alayam temple in Putrajaya are specious at best. Putrajaya, being the administrative capital of Malaysia and built on Federal land, can be considered the property of all Malaysians who pay taxes, regardless of creed or class, as a nation’s capital can only be considered so when it belongs to the people. Hence, representation of one of our country’s major religions in the capital should not be an issue here, but not according to Perkasa’s Irwan Fahmi.

Irwan’s premise is that as Putrajaya is a Malay-majority area, the temple gate should face Banting to make it easier for Hindus to reach it. Banting, it seems, has a more sizeable Hindu population than Putrajaya, where only “600 to 700” Hindus reside. He must be given some credit for attempting to frame his argument as a suggestion for the convenience of the worshippers, but the logic fails to impress and bringing up population statistics for Putrajaya only betrays the thinking behind such failed logic.

Indeed, this same kind of thinking can be found in the protest against a gurdwara in Bukit Beruntung. In this case, a banner was put up by those with “sensitivities”, claiming that the site of the gurdwara lies in the kiblat of a mosque, and thus could not be built there. (For the benefit of the uninitiated, the kiblat is the direction in which Muslims face when performing their canonical prayers.) Of course, if the logic of the “sensitive” folk were universally applicable, buildings would have to be razed for miles in Kuala Lumpur alone so that nothing stands in the kiblat of the various mosques in the city.

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