City Hall must revoke notice to demolish Hindu structure in Setapak, says a memorandum submitted to the mayor.
KUALA LUMPUR: Protesters today demanded that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) revoke a notice to demolish a Hindu shrine in Kampung Baru Air Panas, Setapak.
The group, consisting of about two dozen residents of the area, burned camphor during the protest and afterwards submitted a memorandum addressed to the mayor. A DBKL official received it on his behalf.
The memorandum seeks an assurance that the Sri Vaal Muniswarar Alayam shrine would not be demolished and contains a demand for an acre of land to serve the needs of Hindus in Setapak.
“We can use the land to build a temple, a wedding hall and funeral service hall,” said Hindraf official S Thiagarajan, who led the protest.
Kampung Baru Air Panas consists of eight blocks of government low-cost flats. About 1,000 Hindu families reside there.
The City Hall notice was dated May 2 and stated that the shrine must be demolished within three days. Enforcement officers appeared in the area on May 2 itself, but residents prevented them from proceeding with the demolition.
He said the Hindu residents of the area built the shrine about five years ago because the government had ignored their spiritual needs.
“This is very embarrassing,” he said. “The government built a mosque in the same area and also granted land for a Chinese temple, but we the Indians were overlooked.”
Today’s demonstration, held outside the DBKL office here, began at 11am and lasted for about an hour. The protesters held up placards saying, “Don’t Destroy Hindu Shrine”, “Don’t Oppress the Indian Community”, “Umno Demolishes Hindu Shrine”, “Umno is Cruel, DBKL is Cruel”. They also chanted “One Malaysia, two systems”, “DBKL arrogant”, “KL mayor coward”.
About 20 policemen kept watch, but arrested no one.
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