PETALING JAYA: The sultan of Johor has taken on the role of peacemaker to resolve the controversy over the demolition of an 80-year-old Hindu temple in Seri Alam, Johor, earlier this month.
A statement on the official Facebook page of Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar today said he met representatives of the Dewa Shree Sivasakthi Shree Sinnakaruppar Devotees Association at his palace in Bukit Pelangi this morning.
It said he would personally ensure a new site is made available expeditiously by the state government for rebuilding the temple.
Also present at the meeting was Johor prince Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim.
It said Sultan Ibrahim and Tunku Idris each offered cash handouts of RM100,000 and RM70,000 respectively to the committee to facilitate the cost of the temple’s relocation.
“His Majesty further urged all concerned to extend full cooperation to resolve this unfortunate incident amicably, adding that there was no need to blow the matter out of proportion,” the statement said.
The temple representatives were accompanied by state executive councillor R Vidyananthan.
On Jan 18, Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin had called for calm over the dispute and appealed for an end to speculations about the temple, which was built on private land.
He said the landowner had issued notices and warnings to the temple’s management since 2015.
The owner then initiated legal action and obtained a court order in July last year to gain full authority over the plot of land.
Pictures of the demolition have been spread far and wide through WhatsApp.