While the homes of labouring class may have been replaced by elevated highways, luxurious condominiums and monumental buildings, modest temples remain as the living remnants of an intangible heritage, observes Yeoh Seng Guan.
Malaysia does not need another communitarian party that caters to the primary concerns of a particular ethnic or religious community, says Farish A Noor. We already forced have too many parties based on ethnic and religious loyalties, and yet another sectarian party like Mindraf will hardly bring us any closer to a Malaysia where identity is based on universal citizenship and equal rights.
There are some lessons we can learn from India whose medieval society was more religiously tolerant and open, says Asghar Ali Engineer. But divide-and-rule colonial tactics and politically divisive forces have created communal and religious divisions in their competition for power, threatening India’s secularism in the process.
As an organisation championing and promoting freedom of expression and of religion, Aliran is deeply disturbed by the reported demolition of three Hindu temples by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) over the last few months. The latest of these demolitions involved the Aum Sri Siva Balakrishnan temple in Setapak.