Johore Baru – MIC Johor State liaison Chairman and State Assemblyman for Gambir (Johor) Asojan Muniandy has explained the various steps and measures taken by MIC Johor to stop the demolition of the Hindu Deity in Masai.
The following is the full text of the Press statement issued by M.Asojan today in respect of the demolition issue:-
“MIC regards with great sadness on the demolition of a Hindu Deity in Masai Johor yesterday.
We recognise that this was executed by the owners of the land on which the deity was built upon getting a Court Order.
Without going into the legal arguments pertaining to the case, MIC would like to emphasise the need for respecting and honoring religious sensitivities in Malaysia.
We are told the plantation where this deity stood had been bought by a person who resides in a foreign country and managed by someone who lives in Singapore. It is conceivable that they are not familiar to the religious harmony, respect and tolerance which we practice in Malaysia and decided to impose their own values here.
The Pasir Gudang MIC leader, Mr Adhavan Sabapathy had taken very serious steps in trying to resolve this issue.
He in fact had gone to the house of the Manager in Singapore and tried to convince her to postpone the demolition. She was however arrogant and abusive.
When he approached the police he was advised that the only way to stop the demolition was to get a stop order from the Court. He seeked legal advise and managed to get a stay order on the 11th of January afternoon on having received information that the demolition was scheduled for the 13th of January.
However the demolition was conducted on the morning of 11th itself. Furthermore, the State MIC had with the support of YAB Menteri Besar had obtained an alternative land for relocating the deities.
It is true that some of those who were managing this shrine were adamant in not wanting to move. Nevertheless, the MIC was continuously engaging them and convincing them to move to the new site.
Whilst this engagement was going on the shrine and deities were demolished. Being a Singaporean the Manager might have been indifferent to religious tolerance and harmony as practiced in Malaysia.
The MIC holds strongly to the view that no temple or shrine should be demolished or destroyed forcefully in Malaysia.
We recognise however that we have many issues pertaining to ownership and legality of temples throughout the country.
These issues have to be managed through consultation and discussions.
The Hindu religion do allow for the relocation of religious structures but it should be done in accordance with prescribed religious procedures. Organisations like Hindu Sangam and Hindu Tharma Mamandram must educate the Hindu Community on the proper and legal constructions of religious structures to prevent such occurrences.
We will continue in our efforts to solve this problem consistent to Hindu religious practices.
We will provide all support to the temple committee to transfer and build a new temple in the land provided by the Johor state government.
Meanwhile, at the meeting held with the temple committee, they request to remain at the existing land. MIC in the process to have meeting with Menteri Besar to convey and convince on the request with the high hope the State Government will agree with it.”