Perak drawing up development guidelines at cave, hillside temples

IPOH: Perak will be drawing up development guidelines at cave or hillside temples, says Perak state executive council member Sandrea Ng Shy Ching.

The state housing and local government committee chairman said the guidelines and standard operating procedure would ensure everything is in order before any development project is approved.

She said guidelines would require all cave temple committees and operators to engage professional consultants to do a comprehensive technical report and develop a mitigation plan to ensure safety.

"In fact, we are doing that for one cave temple as a pilot project. If that is successful, we will apply it to all similar places.

"Is extremely unfortunate that the accident at the Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village happened before the guidelines were enforced," she said when contacted on Tuesday (April 16).

Ng said the state government had expanded the existing committee for houses of worship located in Perak cave areas to include foothills as well.

She said the committee met on Monday (April 15) to discuss the cultural village issue and a report would be forwarded to the state executive council for further action.

"The state government is aware of the long-existing controversy over the operation of the cultural village and the concerns raised by residents.

"That is why the state government put a stop to plans by the Ipoh City Council to build an alternative road and other sports, tourism, commercial activities in the area.

"We know all activities at limestone and hillside areas need a comprehensive study to ensure it is safe," she said.

Ng was responding to residents of Taman Saikat who are urging Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad to scrutinise tourism and commercial activities at the foot of some limestone hills.

The residents association (RA) said they had written numerous letters to the Ipoh City Council and even approached their assemblyman, MP and other politicians to put a stop to activities by the cultural village operator as they feared a tragedy would happen, but without success.

On April 8, a man from Pangkor who was visiting the cultural village was killed by a falling rock.

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