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Monday November 26, 2012

Devotees want 121-year-old temple saved

THE 121-year-old Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Shah Alam has been caught in a turf war between the developer and the temple committee.

The land dispute was further complicated by politicians who joined in the fray for their two-minute of fame, but this is to be expected when the fault lines of the political divide have extended to all sectors of the community.

Somewhere in this dispute an alternative site in Putra Heights for a new temple was negotiated and built, but now when this new temple is ready for occupation there appears to be no takers. However, there now appears to be another temple committee that is pulling all the stops against the relocation.

When more than one party stakes a claim to represent the temple, the stage is set for a political tug-of-war. But for whose interest are these different temple committees fighting?

When the front entrance to the temple was sealed and Rela members were stationed to protect the temple against anticipated attacks by thugs hired by the developer, the temple seemed to have lost its significance as a place of worship as symbolised by peace and serenity.

But what were the Rela members really protecting — the temple or some men’s greed? When man starts to think that he is in a position to protect God, then it’s a clear indication that their greed has got the better of them.

The developer in this dispute should look at the developers of MidValley, who have shown the way for modern development and pre-existing temples to co-exist by embedding the then existing old temple within the overall development of MidValley’s mega mall.

Today, many have attributed the tremendous success of MidValley to this co-existence. When God is made a pawn in men’s foolhardy tussles to satisfy their greed and power, the collateral damage is often extended to devotees whose place of worship gets compromised.

But who represents the interest of these devotees, who are the very reason for these temples?

KALAICHELVAN

Subang Jaya

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