Anger Sparked Over Hindu Temple Razings

June 21, 2006

Source: Al-Jazeera

On June 21, 2006 Al-Jazeera reported, "The destruction of Hindu temples by Malaysian authorities is inflaming religious tensions. Rights groups and politicians say that anger is growing among the country's minority Hindu community as temples, many of historic value, are bulldozed at the rate of at least one every few weeks to make way for new developments. Hindu groups have appealed to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the prime minister, to halt the destruction and respect the rights of religious minorities in mainly-Muslim Malaysia, but concern is growing that the situation will become volatile... About half of Malaysia's 26 million people are Malay, who are almost all Muslim, 8% are Indians - mostly Hindus - and 24% Chinese, with indigenous and others making up the rest. The country has thousands of Hindu temples and shrines, many built on private or plantation land by Indian migrant labourers before the country gained independence from Britain in 1957."