Karpal Wants Police Protection For All Places Of Worship

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Jun 17, 2004
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Karpal wants police protection for all places of worship

By Adib Zalkapli


Karpal Singh and Gobind Singh being briefed by Sentul Gurdwara president Gurdial Singh on the attackKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 * DAP chairman Karpal Singh today urged the police to provide protection for all places of worship following the latest stone throwing incident at the Sentul Sikh temple near here.

In yesterday’s incident, a barrage of stones had cracked the sliding glass door to the entrance of the temple.

“The whole world is watching Malaysia,” Karpal told reporters today at the temple.

Following the firebombing and arson attacks against churches in the past week, police have stepped up security but have admitted they do not
have enough manpower to guard all places of worship. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan had asked churches to beef up security.

“What has happened is unprecedented. There is concern among the Sikh community and to their credit they have remained calm,” said the Bukit Gelugor MP today.

Karpal was accompanied by his son Gobind Singh Deo who is also the Puchong MP. The duo are the only Sikh representatives in the Parliament’s lower house.

Gobind said he hoped that the police would launch a thorough investigation.

“Just to generalise this as a job of naughty boys is not sufficient,” he said.

The attack on the temple last night has made it the first non-Christian house of worship hit since the controversial landmark “Allah” ruling.

The Sikhs also use the term to describe God in their Punjabi language and had unsuccessfully sought to be part of the Roman Catholic Church’s legal suit to use the word in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of its Heraldnewspaper.

Eight Christian churches and a convent school in Selangor, Perak, Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak have been hit so far in the attacks which
followed the Dec 31 High Court decision allowing the church to use the word “Allah.”

The stoning of the gurdwara near the former Sentul Railway Yard comes a week before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak makes a three-day official visit to India on Jan 19 to meet his counterpart Manmohan Singh, a Sikh himself, and reflects the government’s struggle to contain the issue and keep it from spiraling out of control.

On how the latest attack would affect Najib’s trip to India Karpal said the Prime Minister owes the world an explanation.

“The PM has a lot to explain to the Prime Minister of India, I hope he has prepared an acceptable explanation not only to the Indian PM but also to the foreign press,” he said.
 
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