Wednesday June 27, 2012
Row between Indian DAP leaders heats up as Karpal ‘loses face’
GEORGE TOWN: The feud over the Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) between two DAP leaders here flared again just days before the consecration of a new hilltop Hindu temple, touted as the largest Murugan shrine outside India.
DAP national chairman Karpal Singh has literally “lost face” in banners put up at Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Jalan Utama to promote the maha kumbabishegam (consecration ceremony) for the new RM9mil Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga on Friday.
Karpal’s face was cut out of the banners, which also carried the images of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo, Uban assemblyman S. Raveentharan and Bagan Dalam assemblyman A. Thanasekaran.
The faces of Karpal and his strong supporter, Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer, were also cut out of a similar banner put up in Jalan Utama.
Their images were also sliced out from another banner near the Jalan Tunku Kudin roundabout promoting the Cleaner and Greener Penang project. The photos of Lim and Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mansor Othman were left intact.
Rayer said it was upsetting to find out that people would do such things but he was not sure who was responsible.
“We will definitely lodge a police report and replace the banners. It’s very disturbing and disappointing,” he said.
The bad blood between Karpal and Dr Ramasamy, who is also DAP deputy secretary-general, began last year when Dr Ramasamy listed himself and three others as candidates in the general election.
An infuriated Karpal said it was not for Dr Ramasamy to decide on the candidates.
In the ensuing clash between the two leaders, Karpal labelled Dr Ramasamy a “warlord”, and the latter responded by calling Karpal a “godfather”.
On April 24, the grudge continued to simmer with Karpal’s supporters crying foul that they were kept out of an event organised by an NGO aligned with Dr Ramasamy.
Last month, three persons aligned to Dr Ramasamy – Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer Datuk Dr K. Anbalakan, lawyer K. Mangleswary and Makkal Osai journalist S. Gunalan – were dropped as PHEB commissioners.
The PHEB, under the state government, manages several major temples in the state.
On a separate matter, Penang MIC Youth chairman J. Dhinagaran alleged several committee members of PHEB, who are also Pakatan Rakyat leaders, were against the attendance of MIC leaders for the consecration of the temple.
“Although he has received an invitation from the temple committee, certain PHEB members do not welcome the attendance of MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.
“There should not be any attempt by any political leader to hijack the religious ceremony for political mileage,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He urged the board to accord equal respect to leaders from all parties.