Muda Mohd Nor & Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Nov 7, 07 7:02pm
MIC president S Samy Vellu, who seemed determined to flex his muscles over the demolition of a Hindu temple just a few days ago, has softened his stance on the issue.Approached by journalists after attending the opening of the Umno annual general assembly this morning, he said he wants issues concerning the Indian Malaysian community to be discussed between cabinet members before any decision is made.
Samy Vellu, who is also the works minister, said that - even after such discussions - he wants Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to have the final say in announcing the decision.
"We will respect his decision and there is no need for others to say anything about matters concerning the Indian community,”
he said referring to the recent demolition of a Hindu temple in Kampung Rimba Jaya by the Shah Alam Municipal Council.
This was the most recent of a series of temple demolitions in Selangor, and one which left the community seething with anger.While Samy Vellu deemed the issue resolved after the Selangor government agreed to provide a new site and to help build a new temple, he did not state the location.
He noted there were two main forms of reactions from the community - one faction wanted the matter resolved amicably, while another has felt much frustration and anger.
"What the Indian community wants is equal status with the other two major races of this country," he said.
He further confirmed that the temple demolition issue would not affect the Deepavali celebrations tomorrow.
‘No malicious intent’Peoples Progressive Party president M Kayveas, when approached, said the Indian Malaysian community must accept the authorities’ reasons for demolishing temples."
I do not believe that the authorities had any malicious intentions regarding this matter " he said.
He launched a virulent attack on those he deemed to be “hypocritical champions of the Indian cause” because they have been less than serious in tackling the issue of temple demolitions.
“I do not have to mention names. I know you (the media) know who I’m talking about,” he said, in an apparent reference to Indian political leaders.
Both Kayveas and Samy have engaged in a constant war of words, with the latest episode leading to the MIC president to propose that the PPP be expelled from Barisan Nasional.