KUALA LUMPUR: Residents at low-cost flats in Setapak here have urged the authorities to provide a new location for a temple following plans by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to demolish the 11-year-old temple currently located in their housing area.
According to Hindraf coordinator P Sivalingam, the Om Sri Vall Muni temple at the Kampung Baru Air Panas People’s Housing Project (PPR) was slated to be demolished today. However, this was subsequently postponed.
“We don’t know when it will be, but if they demolish the temple, where can the people go to pray?
“It is not only a place for Indians. Chinese residents also come here to pray,” he told reporters today.
In 2011, he said, DBKL had promised to provide a location for a new temple. However, there has been no news of this since.
“How can we all of a sudden get a notice from the land office informing us to clear the place without it being replaced with a new temple?”
He said the temple had been built using donations collected by the residents. At the time, he said, they were told that the land belonged to the government.
However, they recently discovered that half of the land had been sold to a developer, and that the temple would have to be demolished to make way for a high-rise building.
Resident Antharaj Periasamy, who leads the temple committee, said it was unfair to demolish the residents’ place of worship.
He said the location of the temple within the PPR housing area was convenient and easy to access for residents.
“We don’t know when the government sold the land to the developer,” he said.
“Now we are waiting for further notice from DBKL.”
Another resident, Kapila Andrew, urged the government to come up with a solution.
“This has nothing to do with DBKL,” he said. “We want to discuss this with the developer, and ask if they will build a new temple for us.”
He said the ideal location for a new temple would be near the housing area, about 50m away. However, the land next to the PPR is privately owned.
Kapila said the temple committee hopes that Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad can also intervene in the matter.