Malaysia Urged to Protect Temples

December 7, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Al Jazeera English

A US congress-appointed panel has called for Malaysia to do more to protect sacred places and bring an end to alleged discrimination faced by the country's religious minorities. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom cited the destruction of Hindu temples as a particular cause for concern and urged the Bush administration to raise the matter with Malaysia's government. The commission's comments follow a protest last month by thousands of ethnic Indians against what they say are discriminatory policies by the Malaysian government in favour of the majority ethnic Malays.

The protest in Kuala Lumpur was broken up by police using tear gas and water cannon and several protest organisers have been arrested.

The Hindu Rights Action Task Force, the group which organised the rally, says an average of one Hindu temple is being demolished every three weeks.