GOMBAK district officer Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said the Batu Arang Christian cemetery, where several foreigners are buried, as reported by StarMetro yesterday, had not been gazetted as a burial ground and remained state land.
Nor Hisham, who visited the site yesterday, added that the 0.6ha Christian cemetery was illegal.
However, he said the adjoining 1ha Hindu cemetery was legal as it had been gazetted as a Hindu burial ground.
“Because of this, all the bodies in the Christian cemetery, were buried illegally.
“I have also been told that there is a syndicate charging RM5,000 each to bury the bodies of foreigners here. We will investigate further as this is a very serious matter.
“During the visit, I saw graves with headstones of individuals from places such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and even parts of Africa. This should not happen as this is state land.
“There are also some shallow graves in the jungle next to the Christian cemetery.
“I will try to get the 0.6ha plot land designated as a Christian burial ground so that Christians will be able to carry out funeral rights legitimately, here,” he said.
Nor Hisham said he would organise a meeting next week with the relevant authorities such as the police, Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Immigration Department, National Registration Department, Selayang Municipal Council, land office and Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) in an effort to solve the matter.
Gombak assistant OCPD Supt Mohd Hasbullah Ali said effective today, those who wanted to bury foreigners in Batu Arang must report to the Batu Arang police station where its station chief would record the details of the deceased.
“If the station chief is not informed, then the burial cannot be carried out.
“However, for locals, the normal procedure will apply, where only the death certificate is needed,” he said.
Masjid Jamek Batu Arang imam Mohd Zainudin Abdullah, who was also present during the visit, said he had reported the matter to Jais about a month ago.
“If Jais finds that Muslims had been buried in the cemetery, it will exhume the bodies to be re-buried in a Muslim cemetery,” he said.
Selangor Perkasa special task force chairman Mohd Azizan Ismail added that burials which did not follow procedure should be stopped immediately.
“It should stop now. No one, especially foreigners, should be buried here if there is no proper documentation,” he said.