KUALA LUMPUR: Four ministers and a deputy minister on Tuesday (Nov 27) demanded a full and independent police inquiry to identify the culprits behind the violence at a Hindu temple in Subang Jaya, in the Malaysian state of Selangor.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy, reading from a joint statement, said those responsible for the violence at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple must be caught and punished.
The minister also questioned the response from the Subang Jaya police.
"The question is why only one Subang Jaya police patrol car was at the scene at 4.15am, while the FRU (Federal Reserve Unit) arrived at 6am," he said, referring to the violence on Monday.
Rioters gathered near the temple for a second night on Tuesday, torching burnt cars and damaging a fire truck. They also marched to One City Mall nearby, smashing glass panels and damaging a car.
A fireman was seriously injured when he was dragged out of the fire truck and beaten.
Waytha Moorthy also took issue with an earlier statement from Subang Jaya district police that described the incident as a fight between two groups which was sparked by a disagreement over the relocation of the temple.
"This statement is false and irresponsible. It has created much tension among the Indian community, especially in light of the late and ineffective response of the Subang Jaya police force," the minister added, calling for a corrective statement to be immediately issued.
"This investigation should be conducted by Bukit Aman and not left to the Subang Jaya police to handle," he said.
The others behind the joint statement were Human Resource Minister M Kula Segaran; Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister A Xavier Jayakumar and Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo. The deputy minister was Sivarasa Rasiah, who is in charge of rural development.
Waytha Moorthy, who is in charge of national unity, said he was informed that at least 50 people armed with iron rods and machetes had entered the temple and attacked devotees, including women.
He said the ensuing violence resulted in a number of people injured and hospitalised while several vehicles were also torched. The police reported that 18 cars and two motorcycles were set on fire.