Selangor to Take Over Temple Land

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Selangor will take over the land under dispute in Subang Jaya and hand it over to the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple, government sources said today.

They said the instruction had come from Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and that Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari was informed of the decision and agreed to it.

“The menteri besar will be making the announcement tomorrow. The state will alienate the land to the temple. It will be acquired in the interest of the public,” said the source.

“As a result, the temple need not relocate. It can remain there.”

TMI

The state is also expected to compensate the developer for the land takeover, the source said.

According to the sources, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy and Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran met Dr Mahathir after their visit to the temple yesterday.

“The PM wanted to know what was happening. After he was briefed, he told the ministers to address the people’s concerns as soon as possible,” said the source.

The source said the PM then agreed for the land to be taken over by the government and given to the temple.

Following that, Waytha Moorthy, Deputy Rural Development Minister Sivarasa Rasiah and state exco V Ganabatirau met with Amirudin today and informed him of the prime minister’s decision as land concerns were a state matter.

“The MB agreed and will be making an announcement tomorrow.”

Amirudin, meanwhile, said he will hold a press conference at Dewan Annexe Negeri Selangor at 1pm tomorrow to announce the solution agreed upon as a result of the Selangor government meeting today.

“The Selangor government is committed to the rule of law and guarantees the public it will find the best solution to this issue,” he said in a statement.

Yesterday, Waytha Moorthy told temple devotees that he would raise their concerns with the prime minister.

“The federal government guarantees that the temple will not be demolished until the matter is properly resolved.

“We will discuss this matter at the highest level, as well as with the attorney-general and Selangor menteri besar, to resolve the issue amicably,” he had said.

The temple dispute has been making headlines since Monday when a large group of men attacked the temple with the intention to demolish it in the early hours that morning, but devotees had fought off the attempt.

One City Development, which bought the land in 2007, had denied ordering groups to intimidate devotees.

However, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin earlier today said a lawyer linked to One City Development hired Malay thugs to “secure” the temple before work to demolish it was to have taken place.

Despite the court order on the eviction and temple relocation, two groups of devotees vying for control of the temple are currently at odds over the move. – TMI