Hands off Batu Caves temple affairs, group tells activist amid graft probe

Devotees and tourists walking up the stairs leading to the Batu Caves temple.

KUALA LUMPUR: Sixteen Indian organisations have come to the defence of the committee in charge of administering the Batu Caves temple, following calls for heads to roll in the wake of a graft investigation into development of lands belonging to the Sri Maha Mariamman Devastanam temple.

The 16 Tamil NGOs also hit out at an activist who called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to remove eight members of the 69-member Sri Maha Mariamman Devastanam temple committee.

Spokesman Mythreyar Mutturamalinggam said Arun Doraisamy, who heads the Reform Batu Caves Task Force which has accused temple committee chairman R Nadarajah of corruption, should not get involved in the temple affairs.

Mythreyar Mutturamalinggam.

Arun has alleged that eight committee members, who are trustees for a plot of land belonging to the temple, are involved in a suspicious land deal.

“Arun is being manipulative. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is still investigating the case. He should not be involved,” he told reporters today.

Mythreyar also urged Arun to apologise within three days and accused him of trying to take over the temple’s funds.

“He said the task force wants to go through the bank accounts. Why does he need to focus there? Because it is big money.

“His main aim is to take over the management and the accounts. But I wish to warn him. Do not try to manipulate the situation,” said Mythreyar.

On Monday, MACC officials raided Nadarajah’s home in Kota Damansara.

The officers confiscated cash and valuables amounting to about RM1 million and also searched the temple committee’s office in Batu Caves.

Nadarajah and two others have since been released on police bail.

The raids were linked to a tip-off linked to the development of 4.5-acre plot along Jalan Kuching in Kuala Lumpur.

The RM250 million project involved the construction of serviced apartments, offices and retail outlets, under a deal in which the temple would receive 25% of the sum from the developer.