UPDATED As suspicion swirl over the motivation behind the latest vandalization of a surau or Muslim prayer house nearby to Seremban, Pakatan Rakyat leaders have called on the public to remain calm, urging the police to investigate immediately to prevent racial tensions from flaring up.
“Seremban has a very mixed population. Whenever there are attempts to ignite racial violence, irresponsible people will always think of using Seremban as a launching pad,” PKR leader Badrul Hisham Shaharin told Malaysia Chronicle.
“But we urge the people to remain calm - jangan layan. We believe this is a planned attack and gauging from recent events, it is not impossible that Umno and BN have a hand in it. So far all their efforts, their manipulation of the press and their use of the NGOs have not worked. They are now desperate and it has come down to this level.”
Immediate police action
Indeed, in the past weeks, Umno has launched an offensive against not only Pakatan leaders but also non-Malay components within its own BN coalition, in particular MCA and Gerakan. Apart from wishing to shore up their self-appointed roles as defender of the Malay community and Islam, Umno is also believed to be gearing up for elections due soon and to deflect attention from the weakening economy.
In Taman Pulai Impian, Temiang, vandals splashed red paint on the walls and the back door of a one-month old surau. Several liquor bottles with red paint still inside were found in the compound. The mess was discovered by surau committee members when they arrived for their subuh or dawn prayers at 5.45am this morning.
DAP Youth chief Anthony Loke has urged the police to speed up investigations. He visited the surau with his colleagues Ng Chin Tsai, the Temiang assemblyman, and Aminuddin Harun, the Sigamat assemblyman, this morning.
“I strongly condemn such irresponsible act of attacking places of worship especially to a surau in the holy month of Ramadhan. To prevent irresponsible persons from using this issue to pursue their own agenda, police must investigate immediately. If not handled properly, it may spark tension in society,” Anthony tweeted.