PETALING JAYA: The Perak government has set up a special committee to look into the eviction of a century-old Buddhist monastery located in Gunung Kanthan, Chemor, near Ipoh.
Perak menteri besar Saarani Mohamad said the panel would be led by A Sivanesan, who is also the state’s human resources, health, Indian community affairs and national integration committee chairman.
“We have discussed this issue during the state exco meeting and I have handed over this matter to Sivanesan to look into it.
“I can’t announce anything yet, but we were informed of the Court of Appeal’s decision, and we take note of what they (the monastery) are asking for.
“We will assist in this case according to our law and constitution,” he said after attending the Karnival Mesra Anak Muda (Kamu) event in Ipoh, reported New Straits Times.
Saarani was commenting on the Court of Appeal’s Sept 8 decision to allow cement manufacturer Associated Pan Malaysia Cement (APMC) to evict the Buddhist monastery in Gunung Kanthan.
The bench, comprising Justices Azizah Nawawi, See Mee Chun and Zaini Mazlan, also rejected an application by the monastery for a stay of execution pending an appeal to the Federal Court.
In the appeal heard online earlier, the bench accepted the cement company’s argument that as registered owners they were entitled to succeed in a summary application for possession.
The case began in January last year when the company sought a High Court order in Ipoh for the eviction of all squatters from Lot No. 46497 in Hulu Kinta where Gunung Kanthan is located.
Gunung Kanthan is one of the last 12 remaining limestone hills in the Kinta Valley National Geopark, which is home to some endangered species of flora and fauna like the bent-toed geckos, snow-white orchids and tiny snails. About 80% of the hills have been cleared for quarries.
Saarani said he had instructed Sivanesan to go to the ground to meet representatives from the monastery and APMC to hold further discussions.
He said Sivanesan will submit a report on his findings within two weeks for consideration at the next exco meeting.