Monday, September 9, 2013

Between Tengku Adnan’s piety and a temple - The Malaysian Insider

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Between Tengku Adnan’s piety and a temple - The Malaysian Insider

September 09, 2013
Latest Update: September 09, 2013 02:25 pm
Question: Which part of Tengku Adnan Mansor's statement on the Sri Muneswarar Kaliyaman Temple in Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle is laughable?

That it was a shrine and not a temple, and therefore all the controversy surrounding the Kuala Lumpur City Hall to reclaim some land on which the religious structure sits was much ado about nothing.


The correct answer: "I am a pious man."

These five words would sit well with most people but surely a man who was found guilty of judge-fixing should not be too quick to claim piety.

Let us return to the year 2008 and revisit the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the VK Lingam video clip. In that eight-minute clip taken in 2002, the lawyer is heard expressing the urgent need to push through a plan to get certain judges promoted.

To do that, Lingam, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Tengku Adnan were to meet the then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The video-clip was exposed by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in 2007 and the resulting controversy made it necessary for the Barisan Nasional government to set up an RCI. After an exhaustive hearing, the commission found that there was enough proof of misbehaviour by those implicated in the video and that action should be taken against them for offences under the Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act and Legal Profession Act.

The commission noted that Tengku Adnan's name was mentioned 11 times in the video clip. Not once or twice, but 11 times.

When asked about this during the commission hearing, Tengku Adnan denied the truth of the content and said he never had a conversation with Lingam about these matters. Later he suggested that Lingam was drunk when captured in the video clip. That is why he kept bringing up Tengku Adnan's name.

"This explanation is too facile to be accepted. The Datuk VK Lingam we saw on the video clip was certainly not drunk... so why give such an explanation which was no explanation at all? Again, it was one man's word against another, and in all the circumstances of the case, we regret to say that it is our opinion that Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was too economical with the truth to be believed," the commission concluded.

So Mr Pious, save your pitch for another audience, another country. Because anyone who participates in a scheme to circumvent the proper appointment of judges and is then accused by a respectable panel of shading the truth under oath should not coat himself with a religious veneer.

As the minister-in-charge of the Federal Territories, Tengku Adnan is entitled to defend his officers who attempted to pull down/dismantle the temple. But do so by talking about the law, ownership of land and so forth.

Do not speak like a religious authority because you do not qualify as one, as it is evident by the attempt to call it a shrine instead of a temple.

The definition of a shrine is this: a place regarded as holy because of its association with divinity, a sacred person or relic, typically marked by a building.

The definition of a temple is this: a place of worship or some place regarded as the dwelling place of a God or other objects of reverence.

The decision on whether a place is a shrine or temple must surely be left to priests, the religious body associated with that place of worship or structure. Not the minister, not even one who calls himself a pious man. - September 9, 2013.

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