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Published: Tuesday December 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday December 3, 2013 MYT 7:14:04 PM

Candi controversy: Work at ancient site halted

ALOR SETAR: The developer who demolished a candi in Sungai Batu, Bujang Valley has agreed to temporarily stop work, says Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.

The Kedah Mentri Besar said he had asked state exco member Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain to get the developer to do this.

“I was told the developer has verbally agreed to temporarily cease operation. I will hold a discussion as to what had happened,” Mukhriz said.

“I found that there were two different views on the incident,” he added. The developer reportedly demolished the candi, located at site number 11 in Sungai Batu, about a month ago.

In Kuala Lumpur, Culture and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz directed the Commissioner of Heritage to save the archaeological site from being destroyed.

The commissioner, he said, could invoke the National Heritage Act 2005 to save the ancient temple, which dated as far back as the first century.

“Even if it involves private property, we can use the Act to impose a stop work order and conduct an investigation,” he said, adding that Candi Lembah Bujang had a historical significance similar to Candi Borobodur in Indonesia.

Calling for Unesco to declare Bujang Valley a heritage site, MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel wanted both the state and federal governments to halt the destruction.

“The Prime Minister should instruct the relevant authorities to declare the site as a heritage site. Private owners can be compensated,” said the Natural Resources and Envi­ronment Minister.

MIC Central Working Committee Member Datuk S. Murugessan expressed shock that the state government had sold the land upon which the candi was located to a developer.

PKR vice-president N. Su­rendran said Bujang Valley was the most important archaeo­logical site in Malaysia, and was famous throughout SouthEast Asia.

Related stories:

Expert We can rebuild if there are plans

Developer We did not know it was a candi

Tags / Keywords: Government, Property, Candi Lembah Bujang, Heritage cOmmissioner, Nazri Aziz, Kedah

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