Enough is enough. It is time to set the record straight on the demolition of the Hindu temple in Padang Jawa, said Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo.
The former Selangor Mentri Besar claimed it was MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu who asked for it to be torn down.
“I have been silent on the issue long enough. Datuk Seri (Samy Vellu) met me two days before Deepavali at the Grand Bluewave Hotel in Shah Alam where the Prime Minister (was attending a function.
“The Prime Minister was there when Samy Vellu asked me to put off the demolition of the temple in Padang Jawa in the interest of the Indian community and we stopped the exercise despite having a court order to go ahead,” Dr Khir said yesterday.
However, several days after Deepavali, he said, Samy Vellu called him at 11pm and told him that the temple had been infiltrated by Hindraf supporters who planned to carry out a 40-day fast and prayers there to rile up nearby residents.
“It was during this conversation that he told me that we (the state government) should move in and demolish the temple to deter Hindraf supporters from capitalising on the temple issue,” Dr Khir said.
“It is unfair for him to now blame the whole episode on me since I had only taken his suggestion as the leader representing the Indian community to carry out the demolition.”
When contacted Samy Vellu said the temple was already “considered” as demolished when the deities were removed on Oct 30.
“How can it be a temple, when the deities had been removed. It is only a structure,” he said.
It is believed that the deities were removed after the enforcement personnel tore down the illegal extension of the temple on Oct 30.
It was reported that the enforcement officers came to the temple at 10am on Oct 30 to tear it down but they did not produce any court order when requested.
The temple committee was given until 2pm to remove the deities.
After the enforcement officers came back at 2pm, they said that the order for the demolition came from Dr Khir and a free for all started at 4pm.
Samy Vellu said he went to the temple at 4pm after part of the temple had been demolished and later rushed off to meet Dr Khir and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“My request to him (Dr Mohd Khir) is to stop talking about all these and let us rebuild the Barisan Nasional and the component parties to regain the support of the people,” he said.