KUALA LUMPUR – No more temples would be demolished if Barisan Nasional (BN) wins Selangor in the upcoming 14th general election (GE14), according to Special Officer to the Prime Minister Isham Jalil.
In a special interview with Tamil Nesan editor-in-chief K. Padmanabhan recently, Isham said the BN government now is strongly against wrongful demolition of temples.
“Religious tolerance and mutual respect among ethnic communities in this country are paramount. Since Datuk Seri Najib Razak became Prime Minister in 2009, a lot of emphasis had been given to the importance of understanding and tolerance among the multi-ethnic communities,” he said.
Isham said a huge sum amounting to more than RM50 million had been allocated for the upgrading and maintenance of temples in the country for the Hindu community.
“However, I am sad to hear that on the contrary in Selangor, since Pakatan took over the state government in 2008, twenty temples have been demolished by the state authority,” he added.
Isham was responding to a question posed by Padmanabhan on the recent demolition of a Hindu temple in Masai, Johor, that was purportedly done by the Johor state government, but in actuality was carried out by the private land owner.
On another note, Isham reiterates his confidence that the government would reduce taxes on houses to lower new house prices, so that more young people could afford to buy homes and to lessen their burden in meeting the cost of living, if BN were to retake Selangor in the coming general election.
“Because of the tremendous increase in home and business taxes imposed by the Pakatan governments, property prices and rental for residential and business premises have significantly gone up.
“This has led to the increase in the prices of goods and services, hence affecting the cost of living and suffering borne by the people in Selangor,” he explained.
Isham said the predicament had also led to a situation where Selangoreans, especially young people, could no longer afford to buy homes in Selangor, or they would have to pay huge amounts for home loans that negatively impacted their disposable income, hence the cost of living.