Vincent Tan starts temple fund to buy back land from developer


KUALA LUMPUR: Businessman Tan Sri Vincent Tan (pic) has proposed for a fund to be set up to buy the land where the Seafield Sri Maha Mariam­man Temple is located.

He said it would be the best way to ensure the temple remains there.

“The public can buy the land, pay off the developer and let the temple stay. It will be difficult to expect the Selangor state government to buy the land,” he said.

Tan pledged RM500,000 to kick off the fund.

He was also joined by Tan Sri Barry Goh, who previously headed MCT Bhd until it was taken over by Ayala Land from the Philippines.

Goh has also pledged the same amount of RM500,000.

Prominent businessman Tan Sri David Kong, founder and executive chairman of death care service provider Nirvana Asia Ltd, takes the fundraising to RM1.5mil by pledging RM500,000 as well.

Kong said the contribution was a gesture towards the “country’s harmony and peace”.

Tan is confident more Malaysians are prepared to donate to keep the temple at the present site.

“Malaysians are by nature respectful of all places of worship,” he said.

He said Malaysians believed in the freedom of religion and were tolerant of each other.

The temple land of 1.1 acres is said to be valued between RM14.37mil and RM15.33mil.

Goh, who is a non-independent and non-executive director at MCT, expressed his support for the proposal.

He is also the executive chairman of BGMC, a listed company in the Hong Kong Exchange main board.

Tan, a follower of the Tzu Chi Buddhist charity group, said he upheld the teachings of the group’s founder and leader Master Cheng Yen.

“Master has always advocated inter-religious harmony and tolerance. Tzu Chi has built many churches and mosques in many countries.

“Tzu Chi members are encouraged to be helpful to other religious organisations,” he said.

Tan said he would seek support from others for the proposal, saying he would provide more details and the support mechanism.

He said he would also use social media to get crowdfunding for the proposed exercise.

Those who wish to donate to the fund can make a donation by cheque payable to Sun Media Corporation Sdn Bhd with the words Save Seafield Temple written at the back to be sent to Lot 6, Jalan 51/217, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Donations can also be made via eBanking to Sun Media Corporation Sdn Bhd at Maybank account no 5081 7770 0420, with the words Save Seafield Temple entered into the additional info/notes section or similar.

Courts Crime , temple