Developer’s Lawyers Paid RM150K to Hired Thugs Behind Temple Riots

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Fifty men paid to encroach and secure temple.

The lawyers to the developer involved in the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple issue hired thugs that led to the riots, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Home Minister said police investigations revealed that the leader of the group which instigated the conflict was handed RM150,000 by the lawyers, which was used to pay the thugs involved from RM150 to RM300 each.

“Those linked to the developer have not followed legal processes to take over the temple land as planned, in accordance with the law.

“Police investigations found that the lawyers of the developer had hired a group of Malay men to barge into the temple and take control of it before developers and police can arrive (to facilitate the land transfer) on the morning of Nov 26.

“Based on investigations, RM150,000 was handed to the group leader to carry out the intrusion and take over of the temple.

“Around 50 people were hired to do this work, and each received a payment of between RM150 and RM300,” Muhyiddin said at a press conference in Putrajaya today.

It is understood that two lawyers were among the 21 individuals remanded by the police yesterday.

“Their irresponsible actions, which are against the law, triggered anger among Hindu followers who were in the area and caused chaos, fights and damaged properties.

“I am very upset over what happened due to such hasty and negligent actions by those related to the developer, which clearly violated the law,” he said, adding that the incidents were avoidable if all those involved have remained calm and patient.

“Because they hired Malays to ‘take care of things’ at a Hindu temple, you can imagine the reaction it would trigger.

“As an example, imagine what would happen if you send Hindus to take care of a mosque?” said Muhyiddin at a press conference here on Wednesday (Nov 28).

Muhyiddin said the two lawyers who paid the thugs were among the 21 arrested by the police.

In a statement Monday (Nov 26), One City refuted allegations that it was behind the temple scuffle.

It said allegations that it had orchestrated the incident were malicious lies, and that the company condemned both acts of violence and insinuations that it would resort to “such despicable acts”.

“Most importantly, One City is committed to adhering to the rule of law in addressing the temple which is sitting on its land,” the developer said in its statement.