Malaysia is home to 523 Hindu temples but only 25 of them are situated on their own land. According to The Star report, the rest of the Hindu temples have been built without proper permission.
These temples may face the risk of being demolished sooner or later.
This information was shared by the Kedah Menteri Besar’s special officer during a Facebook interview. He also said that a new committee has been set up to resolve the issue.
Earlier this month, the Alor Setar City Council demolished the Sri Raja Muniswarar Temple in Taman Bersatu, Kuala Kedah, which is said to be over 50 years old.
It was reported that other temples were also built without the permission of the landowners.
This was seen as very unethical on their side and caused great anger among the Hindu community nationwide, said Malaysia Hindu Unity Association President V Kandasamy.
“The Menteri Besar must apologise for the unethical remarks he made against the Indians and Chinese following the demolition issue of the temple,” he said at a press conference in Brickfields.
The alliance of Malaysian NGOs is demanding that Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor apologise to the Hindu community for the destruction of the temple in Kedah.
He also said they needed assurance that the demolished Raja Muniswarar Temple in Taman Bersatu, Kuala Kedah, would be relocated to a new location agreed upon by the temple management and local leaders.
“As far as the Menteri Besar is concerned, he should have consulted the temple authorities and local leaders to avoid religiously sensitive demolition by local authorities,” he said.
He said that the action demonstrated how Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor was less respectful of the Hindu sentiments. Kandasamy said that most of the temples were built before independence, and because of that, they should be regarded sensitively.
Kandasamy also claimed that they appealed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Kedah Sultan to take necessary action against Sanusi as an example that such an act against the Hindu community or any other minority groups in Malaysia will not be repeated by him or any other leaders.
However, after the demolition of the shrine in Kuala Kedah, Sanusi accused MIC and DAP for behaving like those “drunk on toddy.”
He suggested that Putrajaya set up a non-Muslim religious affairs department under the Prime Minister’s Department to resolve these problems.
Previously, Lawyers for Liberty had slammed Sanusi for his “heavy-handed” and “unacceptable” defense in regards to the demolition.
Sanusi in defense also stated that the houses of worship must be constructed with the consent of the local authority, adding that the MIC should be outlawed since it allows people to violate the law.
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Source: The Star & Malaysiakini & Free Malaysia Today