Friday, December 14, 2007

Demolition of Maha Mariamman Temple, Oct. 2007
30th October 2007



The Malaysia Hindu Sangam is gravely shocked at the sudden demolition of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Taman Karuppiah, Shah Alam. This has happened suddenly when the Mayor of Shah Alam told the temple to be demolished today because of a Court Order. It is most disturbing that the former Chairman of the temple is the late YB Dato' K. Sivalingam who passed away early this year. We are shocked at the manhandling of devotees by the Police force. Barbaric act of assault by the enforcement officers on the Chief Priest Siva Sri Ramalingga Gurukal touches on the sensitivity of Hindus in Malaysia. The devotees were able to carry the deities to a temporary canopy tent nearby through the commotion risking their lives.

We understand that the Court Order was taken about 3 years ago for all the squatters and buildings including this temple and the places of worship to be removed. The temple until to date had not received any official notification on this matter other than verbally being told last night that they have to move to a new site within a few days. The representatives from the State Government and Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam had informed last night that they will be given a few days to move the temple. They were also told that a "Surau" near by will also have to move.

The temple informed the Malaysia Hindu Sangam this morning just before 10.00 AM about the order to demolish the temple immediately. The President of the Sangam, Datuk A.Vaithilingam made immediate approach to YB Dato' Seri S. Samy Vellu, President MIC who's attempt to halt the demolition for at least 2 days giving the temple ample time to remove the deities to the new site with a religious ceremony was turndown by the Menteri Besar YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Khir Mohamad Bin Toyo stating that he had received a Court Order this morning saying that the land has to be cleared immediately today and there was nothing he could do to stop the demolition. Another appeal was made through YB Dato' Seri S. Samy Vellu to the Menteri Besar who insisted that he had no other choice but to follow the Court Order. Several appeals by all concerned have gone into deaf years.

We are unable to understand how a Court Order which was issued about 3 years ago was not notified to the places of worship. It is a duty of the land owner to have issued proper notices to the occupants well before the time of demolishing to the occupants the houses and the management committees of the respective places of worship. We would like to know why this was not complied with.

The Hindus are very angry with the authorities especially the State Government and the City Hall for not complying with the normal process of serving reasonable notice to the management committee of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple.

We also condemn the developer for taking such drastic action of demolishing without giving due consideration to pleas made by the devotees of the temple. We call upon the State Government to take immediate action to pay all expenses to build the new temple in the site which was offered to the temple management and take the necessary action against the officials who did not follow the procedures.

Finally we appeal to the Prime Minister YAB Dato' Seri Abdullah bin Hj Ahmad Badawi to treat places of worship as places of divinity and stop cruel acts of demolishing temples. The assurance given by Prime Minister to treat people of all religion with respect has been ignored by the authorities both government and developer.

Thank you,

Datuk A.Vaithilingam
Malaysia Hindu Sangam

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