KUALA LUMPUR: Dhamma Sakyamuni Caves Monastery abbot Chiong Sai Tin says the 30-odd monks will not leave Gunung Kanthan, even though the Court of Appeal has granted Associated Pan Malaysia Cement (APMC) the right to evict them.
“No matter what happens we will never move until we reach a win-win solution. The win-win solution is, we continue our religious practice peacefully in zone C and D, while YTL Cement (which owns APMC) continues at zone A and B.
“The monastery’s existence is currently ensuring there is no destruction to the biodiversity and sanctity of Gunung Kanthan,” Chiong said at a press conference today.
Mining takes place in Zone A and B, while zone C & D is where the monastery is located.
Present were former Malaysian Nature Society president Salleh Nor and architects John Koh and Lim Take Bane.
Salleh said they will file another appeal on behalf of the monastery soon.
“We need to take some additional steps like sending letters to ministers and the YTL chairman,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Court of Appeal granted APMC the right to evict the monks and other settlers from Gunung Kanthan, following the dismissal of the original bid by the Ipoh High Court.
The case had begun 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 hill has been cleared for quarries.
Salleh, currently a senior adviser to MNS, recommended developing a social body among the “cave communities” to find a legal mechanism on how to handle this issue and give the monks their rights.
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