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Published: Thursday December 12, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday December 12, 2013 MYT 9:37:33 AM

Developer agrees to rebuild candi

ALOR SETAR: The developer allegedly responsible for the demolition of a candi at the Lembah Bujang archaeological site has agreed to rebuild and locate the structure at its orginal site in Sungai Batu, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said.

He said Bandar Saujana Sdn Bhd had agreed to bear the costs to rebuild the structure, marked by archaeologists at the site as candi No 11.

The company had reportedly said it did not know it had encroached into a historical site until the media carried the news.

The state government issued a stop-work order on the housing development there on Dec 2. A special committee set up to investigate the matter had given their report to him, Mukhriz told newsmen after chairing the state executive council meeting here yesterday.

He added that the developer had cooperated well with the committee in the course of their investigations.

“They (developer) regret their action and have agreed to cordon off the site from their housing development project.

“The company agreed to rebuild the candi structure based on the original plan, at the original site 11,” said Mukhriz.

He added that to avoid similar incidents in future, the state government had directed that any development on private lands that had historical remnants should first get the state’s approval and feedback from the National Heritage Depart­ment.

Mukhriz said the state executive councillors were briefed on the current and future excavation works in Sungai Batu by Universiti Sains Malaysia Centre for Global Archaeo­logical Research director Prof Mokhtar Saidin yesterday.

The Mentri Besar said he had asked Prof Mokhtar to provide an estimated cost for the excavation work, to enable the state to seek financial assistance from the Tourism and Culture Ministry.

Mukhriz said Kedah would apply to Unesco to list Lembah Bujang as a world heritage site soon.

“To ensure Lembah Bujang makes it to the list, the state needs to meet the criteria set by Unesco, which includes providing carbon-dating on the sites.

“We need to complete this ­carbon-dating first before we can send a dossier to Unesco with the latest academic study on the valley.

“Correct data is needed for the experts in the United States and Europe to give the correct reading on the age of the remnants found in Lembah Bujang,” he added.

Tags / Keywords: Government, Candi controversey, Lembah Bujang, Mukhriz, Candi 11, Kedah, Bandar Saujana Sdn Bhd

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