At least this story, unlike most stories of Islamic supremacy in Malaysia, has a happy ending — the temple in question was not completely destroyed. Every week seems to bring news of another church or temple somewhere in Malaysia demolished on the flimsiest of pretexts. For this near demolition of yet another Hindu temple, there seems to be no pretext whatsoever. Muslim officials seem to have just showed up, ordered everyone out of the temple, and promptly proceeded to start destroying it before being stopped. If history is any guide, the Muslims with sledgehammers and bulldozers won’t be gone for long. “Hindu temple saved in nick of time,” B Nantha Kumar, Free Malaysia Today (FMT), 20 June 2012:
Timely intervention of minister stopped DBKL officers from tearing down the place of worship.
KUALA LUMPUR: A temple, which was in the midst of demolition by the
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), was saved in Kepong today, after timely
intervention of Federal Territory and Urban Wellbeing Minister Raja Nong
Chik Zainal Abidin.
The Veppam Kaliamman Amman temple, along Jalan Kepong, received an
eviction notice only at 8.30 this morning, and work to break down the
temple began 15 minutes later.
The temple committee, stunned at the speed of the whole exercise,
immediately called the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Deputy
Minister M Saravanan, who is in charge of temples in the federal
FMT learnt that the deputy minister had in turn called top officials
of the Federal Territory land office under the purview of the ministry
but they refused to take orders to stop the demolition.
Saravanan was told that the land division was only answerable to the
minister and when he contacted the minister, Raja Nong Chik Zainal
Abidin, the latter immediately ordered the demolition stopped.
“Luckily the minister was available to talk”¦ otherwise, I do not know what would have happened.
“But within 15 minutes, before I could reach the spot, DBKL
enforcement officers had already torn off the temple’s awning. I am very
disappointed with DBKL. They know if any temple was to be demolished, a
proper discussion must be held but in this case this was not done.
“The eviction notice was prepared only yesterday and handed to the
temple committee at 8.30am this morning and demolition started at
8.45am. This is utter nonsense”¦ this is a classic case of little
Napoleons running the show,” said Saravanan, who was clearly irked with
Who changed land status?
The deputy minister said he did not even ask the demolition be
cancelled but just asked for it to be postponed until a proper
discussion was held.
The temple even had a letter from Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak
allowing it to operate on a temporary basis as it sits on government [Muslim]
land, he said.
“The land was originally reserved for place of worship”¦ but somehow
along the way the status of the land was changed to a Muslim place of
worship“¦ it can’t be because the land is beside a sewerage treatment
plant. I don’t think Muslims would want a surau or a mosque there.
Funny how the ‘status of the land’ just changed like that. Followers of which religion dominate the ranks of the Malaysian government exactly? And yes, the Muslims may not have been looking to build yet another surau or mosque. After all, that could be done practically anywhere. Would anyone be willing to consider the idea that perhaps the Muslims’ main objective here was the removal of another infidel house of worship?