Malaysia police beef up security at Selangor Hindu temple, as fireman killed in riot buried

Fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, 24, was buried as a hero in his hometown in Kedah on Tuesday (Dec 18), in a ceremony attended by hundreds of people.
Fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, 24, was buried as a hero in his hometown in Kedah on Tuesday (Dec 18), in a ceremony attended by hundreds of people.PHOTO: BERNAMA

SUBANG JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, BERNAMA) - Nearly 400 Malaysian police personnel have moved to secure a Hindu temple and the business complex of a property developer that is at the centre of a land dispute which sparked clashes at the religious site late last month.

The 392 police personnel included uniformed and plainclothes policemen as well as anti-riot police detachments.

Several anti-riot police vehicles were parked at the business complex of One City Development in Subang Jaya, Selangor. One City Development is the owner of the plot of land occupied by the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple.

According to police personnel at the temple, which is located near the developer's business complex, three checkpoints have been set up on the roads turning into the temple site, although one is not in use to ensure smooth traffic flow.

The temple, however, appeared quiet and deserted with only the police and a few media personnel observing the scene. Priests earlier held prayers at the temple.

On Monday night, a fireman who was gravely injured in the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple fracas died from his injuries.

Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim died on Monday (Dec 17) - four days before he was due to be married - at the National Heart Institute (IJN).

 
 
 
 

The 24-year-old, who was on duty with his team, was critically injured on Nov 27 after being attacked by a mob near the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Subang Jaya during the riots caused by a dispute over its proposed relocation.

His body was on Tuesday flown by a Fire and Rescue Department helicopter from Kuala Lumpur to his home town in Kuala Kedah, where he was laid to rest.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, earlier paid their respects to the fireman at Subang airport. He had expressed sadness at learning of Muhammad Adib's death, writing on Twitter on Monday night: "I am very sad to receive this news. May his soul be placed among the righteous."

Malaysia's Upper House of Parliament held a minute's silence to honour him and expressed its condolences to his family members. 

Senate president Tan Sri S Vigneswaran represented the Dewan Negara in expressing sadness at the passing of Muhammad Adib. "The fireman had sacrificed his life for the nation. "May the incident be a lesson for all Malaysians," he said. 

Selangor deputy police chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahab said Muhammad Adib's death will be reclassified as a murder case, reported Bernama news agency.

In a statement on Monday, he said Muhammad Adib's death will now be investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

It was previously investigated under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder.

The Save Seafield Mariamman Temple Task Force's committee chairman S. Ramaji has extended the group's condolences to Muhammad Adib's's family.

Urging a thorough investigation to book those responsible, Ramaji also stated that the authorities should go after those behind the perpetrators.

Their act of "violence or scheming", the task force chairman said, had not only taken the life of a public servant, but also compromised the nature of the struggle to keep the temple in its current location.

"Violence is not, and will never be a solution for any problem," Ramaji said, adding that those who indulged in violence for any reason had to be investigated and punished accordingly.