We have no ju­ris­dic­tion in tem­ple land is­sue: PM

> It’s a state mat­ter, fed­eral govt can only take ac­tion on ri­ots, says Tun M


KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad said it is not un­der the fed­eral govern­ment’s ju­ris­dic­tion to in­ter­fere in the land is­sue re­gard­ing the Sri Maha Mari­amman Tem­ple in Seafield, Subang Jaya.

“This is a state mat­ter. We have no right, we only have the right (to take ac­tion) re­gard­ing the ri­ots,” he said at a me­dia con­fer­ence at the Par­lia­ment lobby yes­ter­day.

Ma­hathir added the re­lo­ca­tion of the tem­ple can be post­poned if the case is el­e­vated to the Court of Ap­peal.

He was com­ment­ing on the Shah Alam High Court’s de­ci­sion ear­lier yes­ter­day re­ject­ing a bid to post­pone the re­lo­ca­tion of the tem­ple which has seen ri­val fac­tions ri­ot­ing to oc­cupy the land.

“We have three lay­ers of courts,” Ma­hathir said, re­fer­ring to the High Court, the Court of Ap­peal and the Fed­eral Court.

“If the first layer makes a de­ci­sion, you can ap­peal to the sec­ond, and then you can ap­peal to the third. Fi­nally, if the third layer says some­thing, that is fi­nal.”

He added the fed­eral govern­ment may in­ter­vene as a me­di­a­tor be­tween the de­vel­oper and the tem­ple.

“We will see first,” he said.

Ear­lier, when speak­ing in Par­lia­ment dur­ing the mo­tion to de­bate the tem­ple is­sue, Ma­hathir said those in­volved in the in­ci­dent will face the full force of the law.

This would in­clude the mas­ter­minds be­hind the vi­o­lence and those who at­tempt to take ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion, he said.

Ma­hathir said the govern­ment would not treat such in­ci­dents lightly as it could cre­ate greater prob­lems and af­fect racial har­mony.

“Ac­tion taken against any party or in­di­vid­ual will be fair and eq­ui­table.”

He said it is im­por­tant we all re­alise that the coun­try’s peace and se­cu­rity is our re­spon­si­bil­ity and must strive to main­tain it.

Ma­hathir urged mem­bers of the pub­lic not to take any ac­tion or is­sue provoca­tive state­ments that could cause dis­sat­is­fac­tion.

“I would like to em­pha­sise again – this (the tem­ple in­ci­dent) was not a racial or re­li­gious is­sue but a crim­i­nal act that should not be given any space to spoil re­la­tions among races.”

He urged the pub­lic to stay calm and avoid en­gag­ing in ac­tiv­i­ties that could be the ba­sis for in­sti­ga­tion and sedi­tion.

On a sep­a­rate mat­ter, Ma­hathir said he has no of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion on the wed­ding of Yang di-Per­tuan Agong Sul­tan Muham­mad V re­ported on so­cial me­dia.

“I don’t know. I don’t have any of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion, so I can’t say any­thing,” he said when asked about the re­ported wed­ding.

Ma­hathir re­ply­ing to ques­tions on the tem­ple is­sue posed by re­porters yes­ter­day. With him are min­is­ters (from right) P. Waytha Moor­thy, M. Ku­lasegaran and Dr Xavier Jayaku­mar.

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