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DBKL should not act unilaterally in temple issues


jalan p ramli temple2In a recent statement, DBKL has reasserted their intention to continue to demolish temples or relocate within Klang Valley as they consider them squatting on land illegally.  

HINDRAF finds this statement is without basis as the government is aware that those temples are neither squatting nor illegal as they had pre-existed within the enclave of Indian community who had toiled for the nation in the plantation, railway, JKR, water works and national electricity board from the British colonial era.   

The failure of the government to draw up clear policies for those temples that had existed pre 1957 without heeding to the importance of a place of worship and its sanctity to the Malaysian Indian community does not constitute those temples illegal.

During the development years, the federal and state governments as well as the private developers had acted in heavy handed methods in addressing the issues relating to the temples without consulting or engaging the community in a fair and just manner nor created any provisions to safeguard the interest of the Indian community in maintaining their temples.

Based on the research done by HINDRAF, the above conduct by the authorities had contributed to over 79 temples being demolished amongst which 15 in the Klang Valley during the period from 2006 to 2007.  

One of the key elements in the MOU between BN and HINDRAF is ensuring that temples should not be demolished in an arbitrary manner but to engage HINDRAF in resolving such issues in a win-win situation for the government as well as the community.  

Although the BN had made a firm commitment to HINDRAF in regards to the temples, the recent lacklustre attitude depicted in the recent Jalan P. Ramlee temple and the statement regarding future demolishment reasserted again would without doubt cause unwarranted anguish and anxiety amongst the Malaysian Indian Community.   

HINDRAF urges Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan to seriously consider the impact of any further demolishment’s on the Indian community trust in BN in implementing its election promises. We call upon the Minister to reconvene the long due meeting that was cancelled with Hindraf to find a permanent and comprehensive solution to this long standing problem. He should not be worried about setting new precedents as long as it benefits the public interest pursuant to what had been inked in the MOU between BN and Hindraf. We belief there are a further 20 temples in similar predicament in the Klang valley vicinity. BN should not further aggravate the Malaysian Indian community by their demolition of places of worship.

P. Waytha Moorthy