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Sunday January 20, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 3:56:09 PM
by a. letchumanan
PETALING JAYA: The Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) has ordered the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple committee in Pekan Bangi Lama to reduce its level of noise and cease religious activities after 6pm.
In the Jan 8 compound notice issued to the temple, the council claimed that the noise from the temple and its religious activities had disturbed the neighbourhood.
Temple Chairman R. Pannirselvam said MPKj enforcement officers ordered the temple to adhere to the notice, failing which he could be fined RM1,000 or jailed six months or both under Section 82(5) of the Local Government Act.
He said the notice had caused uneasiness among the thousands of Hindus who congregate for prayers at the temple every Tuesday and Friday and also for other festivals.
“Prayers are conducted between 6pm and 9pm and we ring bells during the prayers. How can we stop the ringing of the bells,” he asked?
MPKj councillor Senator S.T. Chandramohan however said the notice was rescinded late Friday following reports in a Tamil paper.
Pannirselvam had sought the assistance of MIC Youth chief T. Mohan who assured them that the council did not have the right to impose such conditions.
“This is a breach of the constitution which allows everyone to practise his own religion,” Mohan said.
He urged Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Selangor exco member Dr Xavier Jayakumar to publicly apologise to the Indian community.
Explaining the notice, Chandramohan said it was issued without the knowledge of council president Datuk Hassan Nawawi and other councillors.
“We have asked the council's audit and good governance committee to look into the matter because there is a standing instruction that any action against religious places has to be referred to the council's full board meeting,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hassan clarified that the notice urging the temple to reduce the level of noise had nothing to do with the ringing of bells.
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