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Samy Vellu: Have Alternative Sites Before Demolishing Temples

Contributed by Anonymous on Friday, November 02 @ 09:40:48 CDT

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 (Bernama) -- Alternative sites must be provided before any action is taken to demolish temples in the country, said Works Minister and MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

In a statement issued here today, he said he had raised the issue of the demolition of temples at a meeting with Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Putrajaya yesterday.

At the meeting, Samy Vellu had also referred to the demolition of the Sri Maha Mariammam Temple in Padang Jawa, Shah Alam on Oct 29 by the local authorities.

He stressed that such action should not be repeated as the strong relationship between the people and government might be affected if the situation persisted.

He also said that there was a need for a detailed study before taking any action on religious matters.


Forgotten victims in Kg Rimba JayaAndrew Ong and Ng Ling Fong
Nov 2, 07 Malaysiakini 
Over the past few days, there has been much attention on the clashes between Hindu devotees and enforcement authorities at a temple in Kampung Karruppiah near Shah Alam.

The temple, said to have been in existence for more than 40 years, was almost completely demolished on Tuesday by enforcement officers from the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA).

A stone’s throw away from the site of the incident lies the ruins of Kampung Rimba Jaya, a primarily Malay enclave with a small Indian population.

On the same day the temple was demolished, some 150 houses in Kampung Rimba Jaya were also brought to the ground by enforcement officers.

Malaysiakini visited Kampung Rimba Jaya today and found that at least 10 families were still camping in the area without proper amenities, water and electricity.

'No place to go'

One such family, includes a seven-month old toddler. With three of his elder sisters and their parents, the family is living in a shack made out of loosely tied steel poles, discarded plywood and metal sheets.

Up until Tuesday, they had sufficient living space. The children’s father Mudzakir Mustapar, 37, had earned a living by welding metal parts in their backyard.

“Most people here have moved in with their friends and relatives. We are forced to stay here because we have no where to go,” said Mudzakir, who has been living in Kampung Rimba Jaya since 1980.

Mudzakir claimed that most of his possessions were destroyed during the demolition exercise, including a boat which he uses to catch fish during the weekends to supplement his income.

“It has just been one week after Hari Raya. I cannot understand why the government would allow this to happen,” he lamented.

Staying in tents

Another family, who did not identify themselves, said they bought three camping tents yesterday.

They hoped that there would be some form of compensation soon from the land developer or the government as they cannot afford to move out of the area.

Village chief Mohd Yassin Hashim (photo), 62, has also chosen to stay behind in Kampung Rimba Jaya.

His children and wife had already moved elsewhere, but Mohd Yassin insists on living amidst the rubble.

“This is where I’ve lived for the past 30 years and this is where I will breath my last breath,” said Mohd Yassin, who is semi-retired.

Federal Court decision

Like other residents, Mohd Yassin’s house was completely destroyed. He is left with some clothes, several chairs and a briefcase containing his important do*****ents.

He has also used Barisan Nasional flags which are strung together, to form the perimeter of what was his former home.

The fate of the remaining residents of Kampung Rimba Jaya is unknown.

Mohd Yassin claimed that the residents were not offered any temporary accommodations or offers to buy low-cost houses elsewhere.

Kampung Rimba Jaya residents have tried for years to stop their eviction through the courts. They were challenging the use of emergency laws used to evict them.

They pursued the case all the way to the Federal Court, which ruled against them on July 31, 2007.



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