Malaysian Police Fire in Temple Demolition Protest

November 18, 2006

Source: Gulf Times

A bid by Malaysian officials to raze an ethnic Chinese temple turned ugly yesterday with police firing warning shots to quell protests, a witness said, just a day after the premier sought curbs on religious disputes.

About 40 people scuffled with about 80 police and municipal officials at the Taoist temple on the northern island of Penang, soon after the structure was cordoned off for demolition, the parliamentary deputy for the area said.

Municipal authorities say it was built without planning approval.

“They didn’t allow anyone to go in and pick up the statues and deities of the gods and that made people angry,” Chong Eng, a lawmaker and member of the opposition Democratic Action Party, said.