About 30 Hindus held a rotating vigil at a 60-year-old temple near the Malaysian capital to prevent it being relocated to make way for development, an activist said on Friday.
"We are prepared for a standoff. The devotees are taking turns to guard the temple to ensure the statues are not removed," said Uthaya Kumar, legal advisor to the Hindu Rights Action Force, a non-governmental organisation opposing the destruction of temples.
Uthaya said the temple, built on land owned by the Selangor state government, was being forced to shift to make way for housing.
Authorities were trying to force it to a controversial location across a highway next to a sewerage pond and a power station, he said.
"Some 5,000 families pray at the temple. If it shifted, it will cause problems to the devotees," he said, adding it was the only temple in the area.
The temple is in Lindungan village, west of Kuala Lumpur, where most residents are manual workers. In recent weeks, activists have held rare demonstrations to protest temple destruction.
They say that in the past three months some 17 temples have either been destroyed or threatened with demolition.