“I fear that if the current rash of instances of Hindu temple vandalism does not stop, heaven forbid, things leading to a recurrence of what happened in 1978,” said the MP of Ipoh Barat.
The federal legislator was commenting on the latest case of vandalism at a Hindu temple in Bayan Baru, coming as it had done after a brace of instances of temple vandalism in Penanti, on the Penang mainland.
“The authorties were tardy in perceiving the gathering threat in the initial stage of the deity-destroying spree that zealots were on to in 1978,” recalled Kulasegaran in remarks made in the wake of a destruction of a temple in Bayan Baru, on Penang island.
“These incidents have a way of snowballing because they are the work of a few zealots - rarely more than a fitstful - who count on the apathy of the authorities and the public to persist on the destructive path.
“Before long people are jolted into realising that what had begun as an aberration has grown into a rash and fatalites soon occur before most people are aware that a preventive stitch in time would have saved lives,” he said.
He said that preventive action taken early could be seen as much ado over what may appear as trifling distrubances but in the perspective of what happened in 1978 when four people died in the bloody instance of deity destruction in Kerling, in Selangor, “preventive haste is a safer option than complacent waiting”.
“Temple and deity destruction are matters are best tackled preemptively ratherthan tardily,” opined Kulasegaran.