Ayala Corp Tells PMO It will Cooperate Fully in Temple Incident

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Philippines-based Ayala Corporation, the ultimate owner of the land on which the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ25 sits on, has denied the company is involved in hiring thugs to take possession of the site.

The company has sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to inform their role and investments in the country, lawyer Haniff Khatri said at a press conference on Thursday (Nov 29).

“The letter is directed to the PMO and they are sending it through the embassy,” he noted.

“They will cooperate with the country on this matter. Full cooperation will be given,”

Haniff, who was appointed by developer One City Development Sdn Bhd to represent two of the detained One City staff, said.

“They are sad that there are accusations that they are involved in the alleged hiring of thugs, which they deny,” he said.

Haniff was responding to a question on whether his client, One City Development, is concerned about its image as it was implicated in the incident.

“If they think their image is not tarnished, they won’t be sending out such letter,” he explained.

The land on which the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple scuffle erupted ultimately belongs to Ayala Corporation, via Malaysian company MCT Bhd.

The developer at the centre of the saga, One City Development, is wholly-owned by Bursa Malaysia-listed MCT Bhd through MCT Consortium Bhd.

The temple was the scene of violence earlier this week when a large group of masked men with weapons stormed the temple and held some people hostage, before clashing with another group that had come to the devotees’ aid.

Several people were injured in the incident, which spilt over to the next day when a group smashed windows and damaged property at One City Mall.

Police detained a total of 30 people in connection with the incident, including a lawyer for One City Mall who is alleged to have paid money to hire men to “guard” the temple to facilitate its relocation.

The developer has denied the allegations. – The Star