The demolition of the 70-year-old Hindu temple along Jalan Stesen by the Alor Setar City Council (MBAS) was done according to the law, said Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.
He denied the enforcement authority was discriminating against the Hindu community in the temple demolition on July 9.
"We were not treating one particular ethnic unfairly. This is not racist but it is about law and regulation," he said in a video clip that was taken in a press conference in Kedah earlier today.
He said the temple was built for Hindu workers who were recruited to build railway tracks decades ago but a new temple site had been given to them at another place when the need for the double-track project to be carried out arose.
He explained that the community at the temple was issued four eviction notices between January 2019 and June 2020.
He acknowledged that the 30 days time frame given to them to move the temple had been shortened to 17 days.
"My special aide asked them to meet me. At first, I said one month but after a discussion, (we found) that to be a violation of the law so it (time frame) has been shortened," he said.
On the early morning of July 9, the Sri Madurai Veeran shrine, which sat under a tree opposite the Alor Setar rail station, was demolished by the authority despite protests from its caretaker C Vijhay Mohen.
Vijhay had lodged a police report against the authority.
Elaborating, Sanusi noted that the relocation work could be done easily as it was a small temple and the statue was about knee-high.
"I asked my Hindu friend who said Hinduism does not teach its followers (to act as such)," he said.
He then trained his gun at his critics, particular DAP's P Ramasamy who questioned the demolition of the temple, for attempting to create disharmony in Kedah.
"Kedah is in harmony and the people here follow the rules and regulation. If you want to violate the rules and regulations, then go to other states," he said.
Sanusi also apologised to the Hindu community for such an unpopular move and said the matter requires attention before the temple being expanded to a bigger structure.
"I apologise to the Hindus who pray at this temple because an action has to be taken according to the law. (People can) have their worship at any place," he said.