No malice intended in covering up statue, says Negeri MB
Mohamad Hasan says it was done out of respect for the Indian philosopher.
GEORGE TOWN: There was no ill-intent in covering up an Indian philosopher’s statue at a Tamil school in Seremban, Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan said today.
This follows an uproar by opposition leaders over claims that the MB’s office had called SJK (T) Ladang Shanghai to cover up the statue prior to Mohamad’s visit recently.
Mohamad had gone to the school to announce a special land allocation to the school.
In clearing the air over the issue, Mohamad said his office had indeed asked for the statue of Thiruvalluvar to be covered up but had done so out of respect.
Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukkural, an all-inclusive ethical guide written several centuries ago, has been translated into many languages.
“The stage is placed directly in front of the statue.
“It is not nice to have our backs facing the statue, so it’s better off covered to respect the statue.
“I think this has been politicised by some quarters for no reason,” he told FMT when contacted by phone.
Mohamad said he was at the school to announce an allocation of a one-acre piece of land to the school by the state government and also a 17,000 sq ft piece of land at the school’s entrance to build a temple.
He said the federal government had approved RM4.9 million for the construction of a new three-storey school building for SJK (T) Ladang Shanghai on the land presented by the state government.
“The Indians in Negeri Sembilan know that I have done a lot for them.
“Over the years, I have helped legalise hundreds of illegally-built temples and also provided extra land for 11 Tamil schools in the state,” he said.
Pictures of a tent placed over the statue had gone viral over WhatsApp recently, with the Negeri Sembilan flag and Jalur Gemilang draped over it.
The opposition had questioned why the statue was being covered up and questioned whether this had anything to do with Mohamed’s visit to the school.
A spokesman for SJK (T) Ladang Shanghai told FMT yesterday it was never told to cover it up and had covered up the statue to protect the new coat of paint over it.