Batu Caves temple renovation gets the go-ahead from MPS

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PETALING JAYA : The Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) has given the green light for renovations to proceed at the iconic Batu Caves temple.

The Star reported that the decision was made after MPS president Suliman Abd Rahman met with the temple’s committee yesterday.

Suliman attributed MPS’ earlier opposition to the “makeover” at the temple, to “miscommunication”.

He said the temple committee had submitted a notice of the renovation to the council last year, but while the application was being processed, some misunderstanding cropped up because some parts belonged to the government, and some to the temple.

“The process of clarifying the land ownership status and finding a Principle Submitting Person (PSP) to monitor the works somehow got lost in the mix, leading to the miscommunication,” he was quoted as saying, adding that the council was now in the midst of poring through the application papers.

He said his visit to the temple yesterday was not “to punish”, but to ensure the temple, famed for its tourism, takes its precautions seriously.

“Batu Caves is our main product for tourism. We don’t want to jeopardise the safety of visitors who come here.”

Suliman added that MPS officers will monitor the ongoing renovation, which includes a fourth set of staircase to the hilltop, extension to the temple at the bottom of the stairs, and concrete grading by the stairs to allow water to flow down from the hilltop to prevent landslides.

Earlier reports stated that MPS was not in favour of the renovation, as the temple had not sought permission. Safety concerns were also raised.

The temple’s committee had then insisted that they had sent in the relevent paperwork last year, and said work was being done to accommodate the rising number of tourists at the temple during Thaipusam, and to “beautify” it for the consecration ceremony next year.