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.