‘Politicking’ futile on issue of temple, church guidelines


By Hannah Yeoh

We refer to the various media reports on the uproar against Selangor’s manual guideline and planning standard restricting non-Muslim places of worship.

The contentious clauses on distance (zon pemisah) and height (kawalan ketinggian) limitations in Selangor are not exclusively found in Selangor.

In fact, the Federal Department of Town & Country Planning Peninsular Malaysia under the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing & Local Government issued a draft guideline containing the same clauses for “tokong, kuil, gereja dan gurdwara” in 2010 that has since been adopted by Pahang, Terengganu and Perlis:

DISTANCE LIMITATION – sekurang-kurangnya 100m daripada kediaman majoriti penganut agama lain melainkan mendapat persetujuan daripada jawatankuasa penduduk setempat]

HEIGHT LIMITATION – Di kawasan majoriti penganut Islam, ketinggian arca dan bangunan tempat keagamaan selain Islam perlu disesuaikan dengan ketinggian bangunan, kubah dan Menara masjid sekitar.

We have done a comparison study between a few states in Malaysia and the same clauses have been in existence and implemented in Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Kedah.

For Johor:

DISTANCE LIMITATION – Clause 4.4.2(ii) Tempat Ibadat Bukan Islam, Manual Garis Panduan dan Piawaian Perancangan Negeri Johor states that: Penyediaan zon pemisah adalah perlu bagi memisahkan tempat tersebut dengan kediaman masyarakat islam sekurang-kurangnya 50 meter.

HEIGHT CONTROL – Clause 4.4.2(iii) Ketinggian arca dan bangunan perlu disesuaikan dengan ketinggian persekitaran dan tertakluk kepada PBT iaitu ketinggian 1 tingkat bangunan atau maksimum 5 meter.

For Negeri Sembilan & Kedah:

DISTANCE LIMITATION – Gunatanah Persekitaran, Garis Panduan Perancangan dan Pembangunan Sejagat states that : Penyediaan zon pemisah adalah perlu bagi memisahkan tempat tersebut dengan kediaman mayarakat Islam sekurang-kurangnya 50 meter.

HEIGHT CONTROL – Rekabentuk Luaran dan Landskap, Garis Panduan Perancangan dan Pembangunan Sejagat states that : Saiz dan ketinggian patung atau arca tidak boleh melebihi ketinggian satu tingkat bangunan atau maksimum 5.0meter.

MCA minister Wee Ka Siong alongside politicians from Barisan Nasional have been milking the issue in the media, especially BN-owned and BN-friendly media, blaming DAP Selangor while completely ignoring the elephant in the room or in this case, the elephant in his own backyard.

As a Member of Parliament representing Ayer Hitam in the state of Johor, Wee Ka Siong should have done his homework by checking the guidelines in Johor. Or, was there a deliberate intention to mislead the public?

For the period of 2008 to 2017, the Selangor State Government approved 112 temples, 105 kuil(s), 27 churches and 8 gurdwara(s).

This approval of a total of 252 non-Muslim places of worship in Selangor reflects our commitment to preserve the freedom of religion as provided for in the Federal Constitution.

I strongly urge BN politicians to fix the said guidelines in their respective states instead of wasting time in futile politicking.

Hannah Yeoh is vice chairman of DAP Selangor and assemblywoman of Subang Jaya.

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