Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Saravanan: Don’t use religious issues for political gain


DO not use religious issues as a platform for political gain, said Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk M. Saravanan to non-governmental organisations (NGO) and Opposition leaders.

“If you want to help sincerely, come and talk to the relevant authorities instead of using the media and the blogs to create hype,” Saravanan said.

He said this in the wake of articles published on the allegations of 120 temples missing from the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020.

“I challenge these people who make allegations to come up with the list of the missing temples.”

All Hindu temples on government land situated in commercial zones in the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 will not be demolished, he said. However, the prior approval of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) was required for new temples to be built, even on private land, he said.

“If there are temples on private lands, it is up to the owner whether they want to maintain the temple of tear it down for commercial purposes.”

In the future, custodians of temples affected by development projects would be given alternative land to relocate the houses of worship.

Saravanan said there had been no demolition of temples on government land in the Federal Territory.

He also said that the ministry would allow the various communities to build their houses of worship in housing estates.

“Please don’t use religion as a tool for publicity or political gain,” Saravanan said during the launch of the 51st Merdeka celebrations by the MIC Youth of Batu constituency at Sentul. During the launch he also addressed other issues concerning residents of Sentul.

Saravanan told residents that the land surrounding the area belonged to Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) and it (KTMB) has given the land to the YTL company for development purposes.

StarMetro reported the plight of KTMB quarters residents who were asked to evacuate their homes for development purposes by YTL.

“It is up to the owner of the land to give compensation or proper housing to the affected families in the area. The responsibility does not fall back on DBKL to find housing for all of you,” he said.

However, Saravanan has met up with the YTL group to discuss the best possible method to help the residents. “It is our duty as the government to help as much as we can and we are trying our best for you,” he said


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