Malaysia temple riot: Home Minister says developer’s lawyer paid ‘thugs’ to ‘take care of things’

Fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim (right) was critically injured in the line of duty. His fiancee uploaded a Facebook post urging the public to keep him in their prayers.
Facebook / Nurul Najihah

An officer on the emergency response team who was called in to deal with rioters at Subang Jaya on Monday (Nov 26) remains critically injured on Wednesday, but his condition is now stable, The Star has reported.

Fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, 24, suffered a broken rib and internal injuries, after rioters allegedly pulled him out of the emergency medical response vehicle he was in, The Star reported. According to the news website, the rioters are alleged to have whacked and stomped on him.

In a separate report, The Star reported that police had found leads in their investigations of the attack on Muhammad Adib.

A report by Bernama quoted Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun as saying that the fireman was attacked in an area that the police did not cover, about 1km away from One City Mall.

However, on Wednesday, the secretary of a taskforce put together by Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple claimed that video recordings show that the fireman was not beaten up, but hit by a fire engine.

On Monday, his fiancee uploaded a Facebook post, pleading netizens to keep the fireman in their prayers.

“You are strong. Wake up soon Muhammad Adib. Pray for my fiance. I am not strong, looking at you like this,” she wrote.

Later, she uploaded another Facebook post reassuring neitzens that he is “still safe“.

The couple is due to be married next month, reported The Star.

Home Minister: Lawyers paid “thugs” for attack

According to a report by The Star, the police have arrested four more men in connection with the incident, and are now closer to identifying the possible mastermind of the riot.

Among the 21 people who have been detained by the police, two are lawyers for a developer involved in the temple’s relocation, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reportedly revealed on Wednesday (Nov 28).

According to the Minister, the lawyers paid a leader of the group RM150,000, and each “thug” was paid between RM150 to RM300.

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

Read also: Many people were hurt and cars torched during a violent riot at a temple in Malaysia – here’s what happened

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has also responded to reports of the incident, making it clear that there was no racial or religious element, reported Bernama.

Instead, the riot, and the damage to property and injury to police personnel cause were all criminal in nature, the Prime Minister said.

“The government regrets the irresponsible acts of the criminals who caused chaos in the temple area and injured members of the security forces and rescuers in the riot,” he reportedly said, adding that perpetrators would be dealt with severely according to the law.

Water cannon not deployed

According to Bernama, the police did not use a water canon to disperse the mob at the time because the standard operating procedures disallow the use of the water cannons in the vicinity of houses of worship.

This was a house of worship. Don’t tell me you want to use a water cannon. Is it logical?” Mohamad Fuzi was quoted as saying.

He added that even though the police were providing assistance, using the water cannon would have subjected the police to severe criticism.