Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today expressed regret over the violence at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple on Monday, stressing that the government is not taking the disturbance lightly.
Mahathir told the Dewan Rakyat today the serious bodily harm inflicted on a fireman and damage to public and private property as a result of irresponsible rioters could not be taken lightly.
“As has been explained by the home minister, what happened at the temple is a criminal act by irresponsible quarters. The issue of racism or religious strife does not arise at all.
“In a criminal act, all those who are involved, whether directly or indirectly, or those who mastermind the incident, or those who try to take advantage of the situation, will face stern action based on existing laws.
“The government does not take such incidents lightly, as it could lead to bigger problems involving peace and harmony among the races,” he said.
Mahathir (PH-Langkawi) said he had been briefed on the latest developments in investigations into the incident, as well as follow-up action to be taken by the authorities.
“I am satisfied and I thank the police who have acted to control the situation from spreading elsewhere. However, any action taken against anyone must be fair and just,” he said.
Mahathir said the country was now being helmed by a government which had only just taken over the leadership, and that there were weaknesses which some quarters would like to jump on.