Watch Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said those involved in the ‘cow-head’ protest in Shah Alam last week cannot be blamed for the controversy.

On Friday, a group of about 50 men, agitated by plans to relocate a 150-year-old Hindu temple to their neighborhood, made their feelings clear by staging a protest march from a mosque to a government building.

Amidst the usual cries of “Allahu Akbar” and “takbeer,” the protesters deposited the freshly severed head of a cow–an animal sacred to Hindus–before the building’s gate.

The group’s leaders made threatening speeches and, perhaps caught up in the spirit of the moment, hammed it up for the cameras, stepping and spitting on the cow’s head.

The police–who have been known to arrest people for such crimes as attending a candle light vigil or wearing black in support of the opposition–stood by and watched.

Agreed, if Barisan Nasional would like to know why a growing number of people are pessimistic and cycnical about the coalition, go no further than Umno’s Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.