Temple relocation turns chaotic as dissenters dig heels in


PETALING JAYA: Thursday morning quickly turned chaotic at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ around 10am as police officers and Federal Reserve Units lined up outside the gates of the temple.

According to Malaysian Indian Education Transformation Association chairman Elangovan Annamalai, the temple committee had planned to remove the main deity in the temple and relocate it to the new 0.4 ha temple grounds, some 2.7km away.

However, temple devotees who opposed the decision to move the deity and relocate the temple gathered at the temple grounds, with some shielding the deity and others standing guard to ensure no relocation would take place.

The gates to the temple were shut, and the shutters to the main deity were pulled down.

Videos of the commotion at the temple were shared on Elangovan’s facebook page.

The videos also show the men who are on a hunger strike to save the temple lying by the main temple gate.

Elangovan said the police had informed them that they were just carrying out a court order.

At press time, Malaysian Hindu Sangam President Datuk Mohan Shan, Sentosa assemblyman Gunaraj George, Sungai Buloh MP R. Sivarasa, the developer and their lawyers were in a bus outside the temple, discussing the issue.

Sri Maha Mariamman Hicom Temple Management Committee in a press statement said the relocation of the temple to its new site was based on a consent judgement recorded in the Shah Alam High Court on March 11, 2014.

It was agreed by all parties, including the temple committee, landowner One City Development Sdn Bhd, the Selangor state government, the temple’s opposing committee led by Nagaraju Meganathan, and other relevant parties.

On Sept 28, 2018, a notice to vacate the land was placed by the Court bailiff on the current site of the temple, directing the occupants to vacate the site on or before Oct 15.

The opposing committee want the temple to be preserved as a heritage site and they are digging in.