Authorities allegedly cracking down on shrines in Alor Setar

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 09 May 2019

ALOR SETAR: Enforcement officers from a local council demolished a shrine built on private land near here Thursday (May 9), a day after news of it being sealed went viral.

Eap Kim Kui, 54, who owns both the shrine and the padi field it sits on, said he built the shrine in 2003.

"Recently, we carried out some beautification works on the site. We also shifted the shrine further in, away from the road,"

Eap, a retiree, says this cost him RM3,000.

"We will rebuild the shrine soon," he said.

Pang Chee Keong, 68, a resident in the area, said there was no reason to demolish the shrine.

KD Munisinghe, a Sri Lankan in his 40s, said the shrine had been here for 16 years and nobody complained about it.

Two other shrines in Taman Gunung Ledang have also came to the attention of council officers.

A 65-year-old man known only as Uncle Thiam said: "The shrine in front of my house was sealed Wednesday (May 8) and they tried to demolish it today."

Thiam said he asked for some leeway and was allowed move it after the Hari Raya celebrations.

However, he said a moveable shrine belonging to his neighbour was taken away.

"The owner was told to claim the shrine on Sunday from the city council," said Thiam.

Kedah Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Tan Kok Yew claimed in a statement that questionnaires were distributed to local authorities to gather data on these shrines.

"All enforcement actions on Non-Muslim places of prayer must be postponed till a policy is decided by the state government,"

"For any new structures or any attempts to build such structures without approval, local government authorities can carry out enforcement action," he said.

Request for statements from both Alor Setar Mayor Datuk Mohd Zohdi Haji Saad and Alor Setar City Council (MBAS) enforcement chief Mat Lazim went unanswered.

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