Thursday, February 7, 2008

Indians angry over temple demolition in Malaysia

Indians Angry Over Temple Demolition In Malaysia

February 7, 2008 11:54 a.m. EST

Jupiter Kalambakal - AHN News Writer

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (AHN)- Anti-government dissent against Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from ethnic Indians in Malaysia is growing after November's street protests triggered by a demolition of a Hindu temple.

After an Indian slum settlement was razed in Shah Alam, which included the razing of the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in November, about 20,000 ethnic Indians trooped to the streets of capital Kuala Lumpur in protest of the temple's destruction.

The Malaysian government issued an apology and steps have been undertaken by Badawi's government to appease the Indian community through anti-poverty programs.

As another gesture of reconciliation, the government declared January 23 a public holiday for Thaipusam, an annual Hindu festival. But many Indians stayed away from a ceremony at a Hindu temple in the capital after activists called for a boycott.

With Badawi expected to hold elections in March, the Malaysian Indian Congress, the third largest party in Badawi's ruling National Front coalition, is under pressure from its Indian constituents. The Indian congress has become corrupt and has not done enough to improve the situation for Indians.

Ethnic Malays dominate 60 percent of Malaysia's 27 million people, while ethnic Chinese at 25 percent, and ethnic Indians at eight percent.

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