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All suspects in Tuesday’s KL temple fracas have been arrested

The Cheras police said they have arrested all suspects believed to be involved in rioting outside a temple in Salak South, Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

This came after police surrounded the temple at 1.30am yesterday to make arrests.

“However, the temple side surrendered and handed over a letter of apology that was shown to the police. As such, the police arrested 12 (ethnic) Chinese men and six women aged about 18 to 84 years old.

“Following these arrests, police have successfully caught all suspects involved in the riot,” said Cheras OCPD Muhammad Idzam Jaafar.

This is in addition to four arrests made during the riot and another two on the following day, bringing the total to 24 people.

The commotion on Thursday is believed to have stemmed from a land dispute, as part of the temple compound purportedly occupies government land that has been earmarked for a secondary school that is under construction.

Police claimed that when the Kuala Lumpur Land and Mines Office PTG came to set up construction hoarding next to the temple on Tuesday morning, a group of 20 to 30 people attacked an excavator and the police personnel on duty.

According to posts on social media, the group believed the authorities were about to demolish part of the temple. The temple committee had refused to speak to the media about the incident.

Investigation complete, ball in prosecutors’ court

The commotion was broken up at 2.30pm after four men aged 18 to 50 were arrested.

Muhammad Idzam said police had sought a remand order against the four on the following day, and all of them have been remanded until yesterday.

On Sept 29, two suspects aged 38 and 56 were arrested at 8.30pm.

Altogether, police have released two suspects on a police bond due to their age. Meanwhile, a remand order was sought against 18 suspects yesterday, following which, a one-day remand order was granted for 10 of them to assist investigations.

The Cheras police chief said the investigation papers are now complete and have been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for further action today.

He said police are recommending charges under Section 148 of the Penal Code (Possession of weapons at a riot), Section 186 of the Penal Code (Obstruction of public servants’ official duties), and Regulation 17 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (National Recovery Plan) Regulations 2021 (Violation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures).

Muhammad Idzam said police are recommending charges under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (National Recovery Plan) Regulations in view of the alleged gathering in a public place, which he said constitutes an SOP violation.

Meanwhile, in relation to a video of the alleged riot that has gone viral, he reminded members of the public not to speculate on the issue and reiterated there was no demolition of any part of the temple.

Members of the public who have further information on the case are urged to contact the investigating officer Mohamad Sukri Ishak at 013-2165881, the Kuala Lumpur police hotline at 03-2146 0584 / 585, or come forward to the nearest police station.