JOHOR BARU: The state government should take over the land in Bandar Seri Alam near Pasir Gudang where a Hindu temple, which was demolished by the existing landowner, is located.
Johor MIC chairman Datuk M Asojan said this is to ensure the existence of the temple and to enable worshippers to continue praying at the temple.
"The state government can do so under the National Land Code. Moreover, the land where the temple sits measures less than an acre (0.4 hectare).
"The temple has been there for more than 80 years, so I think it is only appropriate that the state government do so. According to state Unity and Human Resources Executive Committee chairman R Vidyananthan, who have contacted Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin on this matter, he (Khaled) has agreed to consider this," said Asojan.
He was commenting the demolition of the Sri Sinna Karuppar Temple in Bandar Seri Alam by the owner of the land where it is located on Thursday.
Asojan said the owner land, which is believed to be a Singaporean, does not understand the sensitivity of religion-related matters in Malaysia.
"To me, the owner does understand the multiracial and multi-religion concept that we practice in Malaysia. You don't just simply demolish a place of worship, there is a way to do it," said Asojan.
However, he admitted that legally, there is no action that can be taken against the owner since it is a private land and the owner have received a court order in July last year for the land to be vacated.
"All we can hope for is for the state government to take over the land where the temple is located."
He said the state government have also agreed to allocated a 0.4 hectare land in Bandar Seri Alam Gudang to relocated the temple.
"However, the caretaker of the temple prefer to remain at the location. This (moving to another location) should only be second choice," said Asojan. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd