30 November 2016
PRESS RELEASE BY DATO SRI S.K.DEVAMANY ON IPOH TEMPLE DESECRATION JUDGEMENT
Judgement has been passed today in the case of the desecration of a Hindu temple in Ipoh in April 2016, with the verdict stating the accused, a Muslim medical student, is free to go because he is of unsound and unstable mind, suffering from Bipolar Disorder. As such, the 2 charges against him, defiling a place of worship and armed with a dangerous weapon, has been dropped. In my view, until he is deemed medically fit he should be under care of a hospital and not set free.
The Hindu community is appalled with the audacity of the court to allow a man who has clearly committed an atrocious act in a premise sacred to us, hence done a great injustice to our community. What kind of a precedent is the court setting? How can a multi-faith country like Malaysia condone this kind of unfair and blatant discrimination towards the Hindu community? It cannot be accepted!
The assailant's mental health should not be used as an excuse to commit atrocities. What guarantee is the court giving our community that he will not commit such an act again? What if he injures a Hindu, or fatally attacks, one day? Can the court be held accountable? This will definitely open the flood gates to more attacks on our Hindu temples because the future assailants knows they only have to plead mental instability and they are safe. As we speak, attacks on our temples are more rampant.
The Hindu community needs assurance that this act of disrespect will stop now. We do not want a wave of discontent to fester into something unpleasant and cause disharmony, all because a wrong verdict was given. A proper judgement should be delivered to hinder this. Measures must be taken to protect our place of worship. We must look into the legal process and rectify loops which can excuse religious violations.
Vandalising and trespassing into a place of worship is strictly forbidden. Our community must now work towards an appeal of this ruling. Justice must be served. It is morally wrong and offensive. A fair and just judgement should be meted out, to act as a deterrent to curb the rise of hate crimes in Malaysia. We should instead focus on promoting a culture of religious and social tolerance.
YB Senator Dato Sri S.K.Devamany
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and MIC Deputy President