STAKEHOLDERS concerned about a crematorium project in Ampang Jaya, Selangor, are questioning if it meets building guidelines. They also urge the local council to reconsider the proposal.
They claim that the project mooted by Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) to be sited at Jalan Kolam Air Lama, off Jalan Kerja Ayer Lama, was not suitable and could adversely affect the operations of two burial grounds there.
The facility will be on the grounds of the Ampang/Ulu Klang Hindu and Chinese cemeteries, and both associations managing the cemeteries are vehemently against the proposal.
Ampang/Ulu Klang Chinese Cemetery Association chairman Loo Lian Yong said an almost century-old tokong (shrine) at the site would have to be demolished to make way for the crematorium.
“The association managing the burial ground was registered only in 1972, but the community has been using the temple and area as a cemetery since pre-independence days.
“There are at least 3,000 human remains and we do not even know if any will need to be exhumed,” he said in a press conference yesterday.
Hindu Cemetery Crematorium Ampang Association adviser Balagurunathan Sambasivam questioned MPAJ’s move to consider the site in Jalan Kolam Air Lama after the earlier location in Bukit Antarabangsa.
“When the community there objected, it was moved to this location.
“But this is a smaller site and already has a burial ground. What is the rationale for having it here?” he asked.
Balagurunathan said a meeting between the two associations and MPAJ on Sept 14 turned out to be more of a briefing rather than a dialogue.
“We sent formal objections signed by about 70 other stakeholders to MPAJ on Sept 23 and are awaiting a response,” he said in urging MPAJ to be transparent about the project.
A communty-based initiative called “Ampang Jaya Deserves Better” also questioned if the crematorium project met the requirements.
Group founder Ariv Chelvam said the Selangor Planning Guidelines and Standards Manual (Third Edition) stated that at least 0.6ha of space was needed to build crematoriums.
“It also states that there must be a buffer zone of 6.1m around the crematorium, among other facilities.
“We are doubtful these conditions can be met at this location,” he said.
It was reported in August that MPAJ was setting its sights on Jalan Kolam Air Lama after Bukit Antarabangsa residents opposed.
MPAJ said the decision to consider another location was based on suitability of the site, traffic generation impact and real estate value, among other considerations.