Fireman in temple issue gets hero's burial

The body of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was flown home to Kedah yesterday. He died in a Kuala Lumpur hospital on Monday, three weeks after being attacked in a fracas at a temple in Selangor.
The body of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was flown home to Kedah yesterday. He died in a Kuala Lumpur hospital on Monday, three weeks after being attacked in a fracas at a temple in Selangor.PHOTO: BERNAMA

ALOR SETAR • Fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, 24, was buried as a hero in his hometown in Kedah yesterday, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of people.

He died on Monday evening, three weeks after being attacked in a fracas at a temple in Selangor, when his team of firefighters arrived to douse burning vehicles following a riot there hours earlier.

Nearly 400 policemen yesterday secured the Subang Jaya temple and business complex of developer One City Development, owner of the temple land, against possible trouble following news of his death, The Star Online reported.

In Kedah, hundreds of people, including Mr Adib's relatives, friends and colleagues, flocked to a mosque to pay their last respects to the firefighter, who died four days before his planned wedding.

He was to wed Ms Nurul Najihah Mohd Radzi, 25, on Friday.

His remains were earlier flown from Kuala Lumpur, where he died in a hospital after being treated for internal injuries sustained in the Nov 27 fracas at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Subang Jaya, Bernama news reported.

Condolence messages from many Malaysians, including Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, began to pour in immediately after news broke of Mr Adib's death.

"I am saddened to hear the news. Condolences to Muhammad Adib's family," Tun Dr Mahathir said in a tweet.

Others urged the authorities to nab and charge those responsible for the young man's death.

MAHATHIR'S MESSAGE

I am saddened to hear the news. Condolences to Muhammad Adib's family.

PRIME MINISTER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD, in a tweet.

The riot raised racial tensions for weeks in Malaysia.

It occurred when some 50 men stormed the temple in the wee hours of Nov 26 with weapons, threatening temple devotees and asking them to leave the premises.

The land on which the temple sits is owned by One City, and the company said it had court authorisation to take it back. But one faction of the temple devotees had refused to move out. One City denied it had any links to the men who stormed the temple.

The Malaysian government last week announced that One City had agreed to transfer the plot on which the temple sits to a trust.

The move to pass ownership to trustees who will manage the 0.4ha plot is expected to resolve the land dispute. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2018, with the headline 'Fireman in temple issue gets hero's burial'. Print Edition | Subscribe