Malaysian government has said that 28 Hindu temples, which are currently situated on disputed land around the national capital, will be relocated by next month.
The caretakers of 28 temples have agreed to relocate to several locations provided by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Deputy Federal Territories Minister M Saravanan said.
However, the committee members at Sri Muniaswarar Temple located in Setapak have refused to relocate it. “It is the government’s policy not to demolish any house of worship without first giving it an alternative area to relocate to. To those who refuse to relocate, they will be given 30 days and an alternative location, following which we may proceed to demolish the building,” Sarvananan, an ethnic Indian leader, told reporters on Monday.
Saravanan said 29 temples had been given notices to relocate last year but many had refused to do so until the DBKL issued the last notice on March 1. “We did not force them to move out without giving them another place to go; several alternatives had been suggested.”
The demolition of a temple in 2007 by authorities and the massive ethnic Indian rally in November 2007 had largely led to the main ethnic Indian party Malaysian Indian Congress losing support of the minority community.
Ethnic Indians form eight per cent of Malaysia’s 27 million population and most of the Indians are Tamil Hindus.