Batu Caves: THAIPUSAM criticized!

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2013 Penang Thaipusam goes Gangnam Style: Religion meets Modernity

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Malaysian Insider

Vell Paari: PM informed, Palanivel to call for MIC meet soon

By CLARA CHOOI
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
February 27, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Datuk Seri G. Palanivel informed the prime minister today of concerns over Barisan Nasional’s (BN) purported lack of action against “racist bigots” here, MIC’s S. Vell Paari has said, adding that his president will call a meeting with party leaders soon before announcing any further action.

Vell Paari told The Malaysian Insider that Palanivel had personally updated him on the matter this afternoon, after the latter attended the weekly Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“Datuk Seri Palani (Palanivel) has brought up the matter with PM and will be calling for a CWC meeting to brief the members and will announce MIC’s stand after the CWC,” he said in an SMS here, referring to the MIC’s central working committee (CWC).

Vell Paari: PM informed, Palanivel to call for MIC meet soon

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NOT SURPRISING, MALAY RACIST GROUP, PERKASA, COMES TO RIDHUAN TEE’S DEFENCE.

Free Malaysia Today

Go to the moon, Vell Paari tells Perkasa

RK Anand | February 27, 2013

Responding to Perkasa’s stinging criticism, the MIC leader says that it is them and not him who is the real liability to BN.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malay extremist group Perkasa has launched a scathing attack against MIC leader S Vell Paari and defended academic Ridhuan Tee Abdullah over his controversial article.

In an online news report, the movement’s secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali described the MIC strategy director as a publicity hound attempting to reverse his sinking political fortunes.

Calling Vell Paari a liability to Barisan Nasional, he said Indian community leaders close to Perkasa had advised the MIC leadership to ignore Vell Paari because his voice was no longer important.
………..

“It also seems that my voice was important enough to draw a reaction from Perkasa,” he told FMT.

Furthermore, Vell Paari said unlike Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali, who hopped from BN to the opposition, and then back again, he continued to remain with the ruling coalition.

“Their leader is a frog, who would never turn into a handsome prince no matter how many times you kiss him and these people have the audacity to talk about me. I find that amusing,” he added.

– See more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/02/27/go-to-the-moon-vell-paari-tells-perkasa/#sthash.k6So7mfD.dpuf

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Malaysian Insider

Perkasa: Vell Paari a publicity hound, Tee needn’t apologise

By Md Izwan
February 27, 2013

Syed Hassan labelled Vell Paari a “liability” to BN

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 ― Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has no cause to apologise for his controversial article that allegedly disparaged the Hindu community, Malay right-wing group Perkasa said yesterday when defending the Muslim academic.

The group also blasted S. Vell Paari as trying to boost his own popularity ahead of Election 2013, following the MIC strategy director’s criticism of Tee.

Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali said Vell Paari’s demands did not represent the views of the Indian community in Malaysia, adding that the son of former MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was a “liability” to the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
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Syed Hassan also defended Tee’s article, saying that there was truth in some of the matters that he wrote on, while warning Vell Paari not to challenge the patience of the Malay community.

“The words of Dr Ridhuan Tee has its truth; we see that only Vell Paari alone is earnestly demanding but other leaders didn’t.

“Furthermore, there are Indian community leaders close to Perkasa that have advised (the MIC) leadership to ignore Vell Paari, because his voice is no longer important,” Syed Hassan added.

Perkasa: Vell Paari a publicity hound, Tee needn’t apologise

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RIDUAN TEE TEACHES ETHNIC RELATIONS!

Free Malaysia Today

Shocking! Ridhuan teaches ethnic relations

RK Anand | February 27, 2013

Colleagues of the associate professor reveal how students have complained about the sensitive issues raised during his lectures.

KUALA LUMPUR: Ridhuan Tee Abdullah’s drivel in Sinar Harian incensed a MIC leader to the point of threatening to call on the Indians to vote for the opposition if the authorities failed to act against him.

Now, S Vell Paari was both shocked and horrified to learn that the Muslim scholar was assigned to teach ethnic relations to this nation’s future military leaders.

Ridhuan’s colleagues from the National Defence University, who met the MIC strategy director at his residence yesterday, claimed that the associate professor was preaching ethnic cleansing instead.

“I was told that there had been complaints from his students, including Malay students, about the sensitive things he mentions during lectures.

“This man’s views threaten racial harmony. Someone should lock him up in a dungeon and throw away the key, let alone give him a teaching job,” Vell Paari told FMT.

Read the article for other allegations:

1 There was also the allegation that Ridhuan plagiarised the works of other academics in seeking promotion.

2 Ridhuan, a Chinese Muslim convert, was hostile towards his Chinese colleagues and staff.

3 Ridhuan was close to a Cabinet minister, who is also a senior Umno leader, and therefore complaints against him went unheeded.

– See more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/02/27/shocking-ridhuan-teaches-ethnic-relations/#sthash.0xq1hBjy.dpuf

Shocking! Ridhuan teaches ethnic relations

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Jalil pledged that the daily would be publishing the apology tomorrow, and again when he writes his column on Thursday next week. In addition, he will be asking Ridhuan to apologise as well.

Malaysiakini

Sinar Harian apologises over ‘racist’ article

The Malay-language daily, Sinar Harian, has apologised over an allegedly inflammatory article written by one of its columnists, Ridhuan Tee Abdullah.

This came after representatives of several NGOs arrived at the daily’s publisher Karangkraf’s headquarters in Shah Alam to demand an explanation and an apology for the article, which had been published on Feb 18.

a

They were met at the gates by Karangkraf’s editorial executive advisor Abdul Jalil Ali, who expressed his regret over the article’s publication after the representatives explained their grouses.
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“On behalf of all Sinar Harian writers, I apologise for this mistake,” he said.

Sinar Harian apologises over ‘racist’ article

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Ridhuan, whose Chinese name is Tee Chuan Seng, is a committee member of the Islamic Consultative Council at the Prime Minister’s Department, the Malaysian Islamic Chamber of Commerce secretary-general, vice-president of the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association (Macma), national council member of the Muslim Welfare Organisation (Perkim). He is also the executive facilitator at the civil service integrity enhancement unit in the Islamic Development Department.

Free Malaysia Today

Bishop censures Muslim scholar’s ‘toxic’ remarks

RK Anand | February 21, 2013

Bishop Paul Tan criticises Ridhuan Tee Abdullah over his article which belittles Hindus and calls on the Muslim scholar to apologise.
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In sharing his thoughts on the article which belittled Hindus and Indians, Bishop Paul Tan did not mince his words when rapping the Muslim scholar’s knuckles.

Build, don’t burn the bridges

First and foremost, Tan said he was disappointed that such a learned and religious man would stoop to such a deplorable level.

Speaking to FMT, he said people like Ridhuan should draw upon their wisdom and religious knowledge to build and not burn bridges between the various communities.

He stressed that the issue was not one of belief but rather the simple fact of according respect to fellow human beings irrespective of colour and creed, which was the essence of all faiths.

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Free Malaysia Today

‘Under fire’ Ridhuan keeps mum

K Pragalath | February 20, 2013

The Muslim academic, who has drawn flak over his article, says that he is responsible for what he wrote.

PETALING JAYA: Muslim academic Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has refused to react to the stinging criticism against him over an article in which he has been accused of making derogatory remarks against Hindus.

“I am an academic. I have no comments. I am responsible for what I wrote,” he told FMT.

‘Under fire’ Ridhuan keeps mum

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Malaysiakini

Act on Ridhuan or face music, minister warned

RK Anand | February 19, 2013

MIC’s S Vell Paari wants the home minister to act against the Muslim academic for hurting the feelings of Hindus.

PETALING JAYA: Livid over the insensitive remarks of a Muslim academic, a vocal MIC leader has warned Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to act or face the repercussions.

S Vell Paari said that he would put forth a proposal to MIC’s all-powerful Central Working Committee (CWC) on this issue.

If the proposal is rejected, the MIC strategy director stressed that he is prepared to quit MIC and even call on the Indians to vote for Pakatan Rakyat in the next polls.

“If the CWC disagrees, then I would resign and take it to the members directly. Don’t underestimate my influence in the party,” he added, declining to elaborate on the proposal for now.

Vell Paari was responding to an article penned by Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, who is an associate professor with the National Defence University.

Act on Ridhuan or face music, minister warned

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In the column, Kesabaran umat Islam ada had (There is limit to Muslim patience), which appeared in Sinar Harian, Ridhuan commented on congestion in the areas surrounding Batu Caves before and during the Hindu festival.

Malaysiakini

PKR decries Ridhuan Tee’s ‘racist’ article
5:42PM Feb 18, 2013

PKR has lambasted an article by Universiti Pertahanan Nasional lecturer Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, which was published in a local daily today, labeling it as “racist” for questioning the Thaipusam festival.

The party’s human rights and legal bureau deputy chief S Jayathas said Ridhuan’s criticism of the festival contravened Article 11 of the federal constitution ensuring religious freedom of all Malaysians.

“The statement portrays a deep racist connotation and can create unrest as well as chaos among followers of the peaceful religion,” Jayathas said in a statement.

“We never question when there is traffic (jam) during Friday (Muslim) prayers, because we respect the rights of religion.”

PKR decries Ridhuan Tee’s ‘racist’ article

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RIDHUAN TEE ABDULLAH
Kesabaran umat Islam ada had
RIDHUAN TEE ABDULLAH
18 Februari 2013
……..

Pernahkah kita bersungut ketika perayaan Thaipusam? Seminggu sebelum perayaan, seluruh kawasan sekitar Batu Caves sesak. Kenderaan diparkir sesuka hati. Lautan manusia satu warna berhimpun, seolah-olah tidak ada warna lain lagi di negara ini.

Hari ini pergilah ke mana sahaja. Jika dahulu, rumah ibadat dan patung-patung tidak banyak kelihatan meriah. Kalau adanya pun agak suram dan tidak nampak tombolnya. Tetapi selepas PRU 12, keadaan jauh berubah. Mereka mendapat peruntukan sana sini, pusat dan negeri. Rumah ibadat kecil menjadi besar, tombol rendah menjadi tinggi dan berwarna-warni.

Apa yang saya lihat, kita sudah memberi segala-galanya bagi menagih simpati dan undi. Negara ini tidak ada lagi identiti. Agenda Islam dan Melayu entah ke mana. Saya amat yakin jika BN menang sekalipun dalam PRU 13 ini, keadaan tidak ada bezanya dengan apa berlaku hari ini. Kita akan terus menjaga hati orang lain daripada hati sendiri.

Kesabaran umat Islam ada had (

http://www.sinarharian.com.my/kolumnis/ridhuan-tee-abdullah/kesabaran-umat-islam-ada-had-1.132091

Google translation (with a little help from Blogger)
Have we grumbled when it is Thaipusam? A week before the festival, the whole area around Batu Caves is crowded. Indiscriminately parked vehicles. Sea of ​​people of one color gathered, as if there is no other color longer in the country.

Today, just go anywhere. In the past, temples and statues looked rather bleak and but after the 12th general election, the situation is different. Federal and state allocations have turned them. Small larger, taller and colorful.

We have given everything to get their sympathy and votes. This country no longer has an identity. This country has no identity anymore. The Islam and Malay agenda have since gone. I am confident that if BN wins the GE 13, the situation will be no different. We will continue to take care of others, not ourselves..

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Malaysiakini

Selangor cancels Batu Caves condo project
5:24PM Jan 24, 2013

Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has decided to cancel the controversial condominium project next to the historic Batu Caves after being briefed by an independent committee reviewing the project.

“After listening to the explanation (of the committee), I have made the decision that Selayang municipal council cancels the development planning approval that has been issued to Dolomite Properties Sdn Bhd to build the 26-storey Dolomite Park Avenue condominium,” Khalid (left) announced in a statement today.

Selangor cancels Batu Caves condo project

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Malaysiakini

Kamalanathan files RM1mil suit against Liu over condos

Hulu Selangor MP P Kamalanathan yesterday filed a RM1 million libel suit against Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu over the latter’s comments on the Batu Caves condominium issue.

Kamalanathan, who is also MIC Putera wing chairperson, filed the suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court through the firm of Joseph Iruthayam & Co.

In his statement of claim, he alleged that on Oct 23, this year, Liu had uttered the defamatory words to news portal Free Malaysia Today which in their ordinary meaning meant that Kamalanathan had participated in a Selayang municipal council decision to approve the controversial 29-storey condominium project on Sept 27, 2007.

Kamalanathan files RM1mil suit against Liu over condos

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Sundaily

Batu Caves controversy: ‘We are not buying’

Posted on 13 December 2012 – 05:26am
Last updated on 13 December 2012 – 09:07am

Karen Arukesamy and Michelle Chun
newsdesk@thesundaily.com

PETALING JAYA (Dec 13, 2012): Three children of a Batu Caves temple committee member who were listed as buyers of the controversial Dolomite Park Avenue condominium units had cancelled their purchases early last month.

Datuk A.T. Rajah’s son, Dr. A.T. Kumararajah Thambyraja, clarified that the bookings for three units purchased by him and his siblings were cancelled when they found out about its proximity to the temple.

Batu Caves controversy: ‘We are not buying’

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Hypocrisy? Datuk A. T. Rajah, a long-standing committee member of the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple, is among those who protest against the condominium but the names of Rajah’s children – A. T. Kumararajah Thambyraja, Geetha Thamby Raja @ A. T. Rajah and Rajakumar Thambyraja – appear in the list of purchasers.

Sundaily

Batu Caves controversy: ‘Ask my children’, says temple man

Posted on 12 December 2012 – 05:22am

Karen Arukesamy and Michelle Chun
newsdesk@thesundaily.com

A T Rajah.
An artist’s impression of the Dolomite Park Avenue project with the Batu Caves limestone hill nearby.

PETALING JAYA (Dec 12, 2012): While he has been part of a group protesting the construction of high-rise apartments in Batu Caves, his three children did just the opposite – they signed up to purchase units in the same project.

“Don’t ask me, you’ll have to ask my children,” said Datuk A. T. Rajah (pix), a long-standing committee member of the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple in response.

This shocking revelation came as both the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat continue trading barbs as to who was responsible for approving the two blocks of condominiums of 25 and 29 storeys on the fringe of the limestone caves.

The developer, Dolomite Industries Company Sdn Bhd, said that 70% of the 474 units in what has been named “Dolomite Park Avenue” has been sold and the first phase of development of 18 shophouses has been completed.

The names of Rajah’s children – A. T. Kumararajah Thambyraja, Geetha Thamby Raja @ A. T. Rajah and Rajakumar Thambyraja appear in the list of purchasers, a copy of which was obtained by theSun.

Kumararajah is also listed as the temple’s education sub-committee chairman.

However, the list is said to be incomplete as there is yet another list of “VIP purchasers” which includes officials of the local council and their relatives.

This contradiction of sorts comes in the wake of threats by the temple committee to initiate legal action against Dolomite.

Batu Caves controversy: ‘Ask my children’, says temple man

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Malaysiakini

Condo project: Fellow DAP rep asks if Liu willing to quit

M Manoharan (DAP-Kota Alam Shah) today raised eyebrows when he queried if fellow party member and exco in charge of local government Ronnie Liu, would resign if the controversial 29-storey condominium by Dolomite near a sacred Hindu site in Batu Caves, is not scrapped.

“Are you ready to resign if this project is not stopped? Because it threatens Hinduism, the caves that are millions of years old and the temple there which is over 100 years old,” he asked during question time at the Selangor Legislative Assembly this afternoon.

Responding, Liu said the issue of his resignation was a non-issue as the state government has made clear its intention to end the project.

“But we must stop it in a professional manner with reasonable justification because we understand that advertising for the project has begun and 60 percent of units have been sold.

“There is a big likelihood that the state or federal government will need to provide compensation so it has to be done the right and professional way.

Thus, this was why a task force was formed to look into the matter.

“Therefore the issue of resignation does not arise because Pakatan’s stance is that we do not want projects that threaten (heritage sites).

Condo project: Fellow DAP rep asks if Liu willing to quit

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Free Malaysia Today

MCA blames Pakatan for Batu Caves fiasco

G Vinod | November 19, 2012

The party’s Selangor chief says BN allowed only the plan for the condominium project.

KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor MCA chief Donald Lim insists that the current Selangor state government is responsible for the Batu Caves condominium fiasco, saying it could have overruled the project’s approval by the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS).

Addressing a press conference here today, Lim said the state government had the authority to cancel decisions made by local councils.

“The Menteri Besar cannot keep blaming the previous state government,” he said. “You cannot keep saying you don’t know anything about it. No wonder Azmin Ali wants to take over his job.”

MCA blames Pakatan for Batu Caves fiasco

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Malaysian Insider

Selangor MB says did not ask to sack MPS president

November 19, 2012

SHAH ALAM, Nov 19 — Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim today denied that he had written a letter to Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa to terminate the services of Datuk Zainal Abidin A’ala as president of the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS).

Khalid said actually he had only submitted an early plan to identify the candidate to take over from Zainal Abidin before he (Zainal Abidin) retired next year.

“I had not written a letter to the KSN to terminate the services of the Selayang Municipal Council president, because as the mentri besar, I also must see that what is called ‘succession planning’ can be carried out.
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“I only spoke to the officer at the office of the KSN that the state government wants to know who will become the Datuk Bandar… I also asked them to list the names of those who could be proposed as the Datuk Bandar.

“I don’t know whether my proposal has been approved or not until the announcement (termination of Zainal Abidin’s services) was made by the KSN,” he said.

Selangor MB says did not ask to sack MPS president

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Malaysian Insider

Ali Hamsa: Termination of council chief’s tenure at Selangor’s request

November 16, 2012

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 16 — The termination of secondment of Datuk Zainal Abidin A’ala as the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) president, which took effect yesterday, was made at the request of the Selangor government, said Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Ali Hamsa.

He said he was informed by the Selangor State Secretary, through a letter dated October 15, 2012, that Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had decided another officer would replace Zainal Abidin.

“Taking into account the decision made by the Selangor Mentri Besar and the local authority, the Public Service Department (PSD) had on November 6 issued a letter of approval for the proposed termination of secondment of Zainal Abidin as MPS president effective November 15, 2012.

“The transfer letter for Zainal Abidin was issued on November 9, stating that he will be transferred to the National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) effective November 15, 2012 is in line with the request from the Selangor government,” Ali told reporters here today.

Zainal Abidin’s sudden transfer to Intan had sparked controversy as it was said to be connected with a 29-storey condominium project next to Batu Caves, Selangor.

Ali Hamsa: Termination of council chief’s tenure at Selangor’s request

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MediaPerak

Another lie of BN to the Indian Community…Don’t fall for it!

| Nov 15, 2012

How genuine is Barisan Nasional when making its promises to the ‘rakyat?” Lie after lie that is what we often see. After 55 years of ruling what has BN got to offer the “rakyat?” We see so many promises are made only during the time of election. But after the election is over it is back to square one. Promises are forgotten and the “rakyat” suffer in silence.

Looking at the Star paper dated on the 14th of November 2012, a comment was made by the PM Datuk Najib Tun Razak to the Indians that he promise  Barisan Nasional will stop the controversial 29-storey condominium project in Batu Caves if the coalition regains power in Selangor.

The Prime Minister said this was because Batu Caves “is a revered and respected site” among the Hindu community worldwide.He said this assurance would be part of efforts to protect the site, adding that the Batu Caves temple complex should be preserved to protect it against elements that could threaten it.

The Star commented that the PM said,“I give you my assurance that if Barisan Nasional takes over Selangor, we will cancel this project,” he said.“We do not want development in the surrounding area to pose a threat to this place,” he said at the MIC Deepavali open house at the complex yesterday.
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First and foremost, my question here is, who approved the 29 storey condominium project in Batu Caves?
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It was the BN and not Pakatan Rakyat that approved the controversial condominium project near the Batu Caves temple, and this time the Selangor government has the documents to prove it.“Nobody, including the temple committee chairperson, should put the blame on Pakatan Rakyat because this was clearly done by the BN. It’s all there – chopped, signed, everything,” he said.(Hornbill Unleashed) For more info go to Hornbill Unleached on the article posted ‘Documents show BN okayed controversial condo’ dated Oct 28 2012.
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What I see in the statement made by the PM is that it is full of the conditional “if!” That is why I highlighted the conditional “if.”Meaning that the PM will only act on cancelling the project if the people vote the PR govt out in Selangor in the next 13GE. So there is already a condition put if ever the PM wants to cancel the project. It is like “You help me and I will help you!”

A genuine leader will act upon it genuinely by not putting any conditions. That is a true and genuine leader. Give a sound thought on the promises made by BN by putting conditions to it. Enough is enough and we are not going to buy that kind of conditional promises anymore!

jasmine.c

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Malaysian Insider

BN reps refute link between council head transfer and Batu Caves condo

By Md Izwan
November 14, 2012

Selayang Municipal Council president Datuk Zainal Abidin Aala was given a surprise 24-hour transfer notice to the Institute of Public Administration (INTAN).

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 – Gerakan and MIC leaders today dismissed speculation of a link between the sudden transfer of Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) president Datuk Zainal Abidin Aala and the ongoing row over the controversial Batu Caves condominium project.

BN reps refute link between council head transfer and Batu Caves condo

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Malaysiakini

Condo row: MPS head transferred, foul play claimed
  • Zulaikha Zulkifli
  • 5:55PM Nov 14, 2012

Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) president (YDP) has been transferred by Putrajaya with a 24-hour notice, sparking speculation that the move was designed to frustrate the state government.

According to Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu, Zainal Abidin A’ala’s sudden transfer could be due to his Oct 30 press conference, in which he cleared Pakatan Rakyat of approving a 29-storey condominium project next to the Batu Caves temple complex.

“I am sad to lose such a hardworking YDP who has the ability to handle important issues. He has suddenly been transferred, so you cannot blame me if I feel this is unusual …

Batu caves condo near temple ronnie liu

“As the exco in charge of local government, I am unsatisfied (with the transfer),” Liu (right) told reporters in Shah Alam today.

Checks with MPS confirmed that the transfer instruction was issued this morning and that he will report for duty at the National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) tomorrow.

Condo row: MPS head transferred, foul play claimed

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Malaysian Insider

Council head transferred amid row over Batu Caves condo

By Mohd Farhan Darwis
November 14, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 – Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) president Datuk Zainal Abidin Aala was today given a surprise 24-hour transfer notice to the Institute of Public Administration (INTAN), in a move that is believed to be connected with a controversial 29-storey condomininum project at Batu Caves approved in 2007.

The transfer notice, which was issued by the Deputy Director of the Public Service Department (PSD) and received by MPS via email early this morning, did not state in detail Zainal Abidin’s new position, but only ordered him to report to INTAN immediately.

Council head transferred amid row over Batu Caves condo

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Read

Stop work order for Bt Caves condo project

BN approved project near Batu Caves

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Malaysian Insider

Selangor likely to stop Batu Caves condo project, state exco hints

By Clara Chooi
Assistant News Editor
November 13, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 – Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu today hinted that the state government would likely pull the plug on the controversial luxury condominium project near Batu Caves, after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak promised this morning to scrap the project if the opposition Barisan Nasional (BN) came to power in the next general elections.

Najib, in his speech at MIC’s Deepavali open house at Batu Caves, had promised to stop the project should BN successfully recapture Selangor in the next polls.

In response, Liu said: “He already knows we are stopping it. So he announced it first.”

Selangor likely to stop Batu Caves condo project, state exco hints

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Malaysian Insider

Najib promises Indians no Batu Caves condo if BN regains Selangor

UPDATED @ 04:54:08 PM 13-11-2012
By Ida Lim
November 13, 2012

BATU CAVES, Nov 12 ― Datuk Seri Najib Razak promised today to cancel a controversial luxury condominium being built near Batu Caves that was approved by a Barisan Nasional (BN) administration in 2007, if the BN coalition wins back Selangor from Pakatan Rakyat (PR), stepping up the game in the battle for votes ahead of the coming general elections.

“I want to give an assurance that if BN is successful in taking over the Selangor state government, the 29-storey project will be cancelled by the new BN government,” Najib, who is also the BN chairman, told the crowd at the MIC’s Deepavali open house here.

Noting that the Batu Caves temple complex is “very close to the hearts of Indians who are Hindus”, Najib said that the complex must be defended from any threats to its position.

Selangor has ordered a temporary halt to the construction of the 29-storey condominium near Batu Caves pending the findings of an independent state-level task force to be set up soon, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said on Octber 30.

Najib promises Indians no Batu Caves condo if BN regains Selangor

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Samy Vellu at the Batu Caves protest

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Sundaily

Excerpts

Dark secrets of Selayang council

Posted on 11 November 2012 – 08:08pm

R. Nadeswaran

IN one of the good (or bad – whichever way one wants to interpret) old days, meetings of some local councils would be held in secrecy which prompted a former deputy minister to remark that they operated like kongsi gelap. Of course, the people involved knew it was true, but yet took umbrage at such comments in wanting to justify their actions or inaction on various issues such as planning, development and expenditure.
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On Friday, the thrice-postponed meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk A. Kohilan Pillai finally took place. He had wanted to have a look at the minutes of the meeting of Nov 29, 2007, obtained and in possession of this newspaper, which categorically stated that he and 18 other councillors endorsed the decision of the One-Stop Centre (OSC) committee to approve the construction of two tower blocks close to the limestone hills in Batu Caves.
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The conversation went something like this:

Kohilan: Did the minutes show that I approved the project?
theSun: Yes.

Kohilan: Did you look at the records and see if there were any objections to the project?
theSun: No. The minutes did not record anyone having objected or abstained from the discussion. If someone had spoken out, it should be reflected in the minutes.

Kohilan: Did you check the records, the “Hansard”?
theSun: What Hansard? As far as we are concerned, the minutes should reflect an accurate account on what transpired at the meeting. The minutes are official proceedings of the council’s meetings. We are not aware of the existence of other records and the law only states that the minutes should be kept and be made available for inspection. Are you telling me that the minutes are wrong and do not reflect what really transpired? If this is the case, this is something serious.

Kohilan: That is your opinion. You should ask the council for the deliberations before the approval was given.
theSun: What deliberations? Were they done in private or at the full board meeting? As far as we are concerned, we rely on the minutes which state that you were one of those who approved. The minutes do not say that you objected. The minutes are the official records of the council.
…………..

Something is certainly fishy. So many questions remain unanswered. The most important is: Why did the council, including its president and the councillors, defy the views of the Department of Environment which stated that development would cause imminent danger to the nearby limestone hills? Enough of pussy-footing. Let’s have some straight answers.

R. Nadeswaran is editor (special and investigative reporting) at theSun and can be reached at: citizen-nades@thesundaily.com

Dark secrets of Selayang council

———-

Sundaily

Batu Caves project: Kohilan stays mum

Posted on 12 November 2012 – 05:27am

Maria J. Dass
newsdesk@thesundaily.com

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 12, 2012): The central figure in the controversial Dolomite Park Avenue project next to the Batu Caves temple has decided to maintain stoic silence until he gets his hands on all the documents.

Former Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) councillor A. Kohilan Pillay said he will obtain and go through all the relevant documents and meeting minutes before making further comments.

Several newspapers and news portals had quoted Kohilan, now a senator and deputy foreign minister, condemning the current Pakatan Rakyat state administration for allowing the project to go on.

However, documents obtained by theSun showed that he had been present at the full board meeting where the project was endorsed.

Batu Caves project: Kohilan stays mum

———————————————————————–

Malaysiakini

Palanivel defends Batu Caves open house move
  • Bernama
  • 4:30PM Nov 11, 2012

MIC president G Palanivel has defended the party’s move to hold its Deepavali open house at the Batu Caves temple, saying that it is purely a joyful occasion for all Indians and visitors to celebrate.

He also rapped the opposition for politicising the issue to gain political mileage.

“Everyone is invited to the open house. Not only MIC people or the Indian community will attend it but also people from all walks of life including tourists,” he told reporters after presenting aid to 400 needy families from Petaling Jaya Selatan today.

Palanivel, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, was commenting on an article carried by a news portal criticising the party over the Deepavali celebration plans at Batu Caves.

He noted that it was  MIC’s tradition to hold open house celebrations for many years, and even last year, it was held in the vicinity of the temple and was attended by more than 10,000 people.

Palanivel defends Batu Caves open house move

———————————————————————–

Free Malaysia Today

‘Don’t politicise Deepavali’

G Vinod | November 9, 2012

Opposition DAP is against MIC holding its Deepavali open house in Batu Caves and has criticised the party’s attempt to use the festivities to gain political mileage.

PETALING JAYA: The Deepavali celebration this year turned political, as an opposition MP criticised MIC for its decision to hold its celebrations at the Batu Caves Temple.

DAP’s Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran said that no political party should use the temple ground to gain political mileage, especially during an auspicious day.

“Deepavali is a cultural and spiritual day. I urge all Hindus to avoid this political function. Let us go pray at Batu Caves before and after the event,” he said.

Yesterday, MIC president G Palanivel announced that the party would hold its Deepavali celebration at the Batu Caves temple on Nov 13, between 9am and 1pm.

They would also hold an open house event at the vicinity of the temple.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and other Cabinet ministers are scheduled to grace the function.

‘Don’t politicise Deepavali’

—————————————————————————————-

Sundaily

Kohilan, three MIC reps gave nod to Batu Caves project

Posted on 7 November 2012 – 05:23am
Last updated on 7 November 2012 – 01:54pm

PETALING JAYA (Nov 6, 2012): It’s official – all 19 members who attended the full board meeting of the Selayang Municipal Council voted in favour of approving the Dolomite Avenue Park project in Batu Caves in 2007.

Despite earlier denials and assertions by some councillors that they were neither party nor privy to the approval process, minutes of the meeting held on Nov 29, 2007 – obtained by theSun – show otherwise.

Deputy foreign affairs minister Datuk A. Kohilan Pillai, who was a councillor between 1997 and 2008, had voted in favour of the project.

So did the three councillors from the MIC – Rajakupal Sinnathamby, Jayakumaran Govindasamy and Rajandran Muniandy.

Both Gerakan, of which Kohilan is a member, and the MIC, have recently accused the current Pakatan-led Selangor government of approving the project.

On Oct 26, former MIC president and works minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, spearheaded a demonstration at the Sri Subramaniar Temple at Batu Caves – which is beside the project site – calling for a stop to the project.

Kohilan, who had joined the scores of protesters, has since vehemently denied his involvement in the project’s approval, claiming that only a “planning permit” was issued during his tenure. Such a permit is also referred to as a “development order” which allows immediate development.

Kohilan has reportedly claimed that the application from Dolomite was basic and did not indicate details.

But documents show that the application was submitted with detailed layout and building plans.

The minutes also show that approval was given for dual-development – 18 units of three-story shop-lots and two tower blocks – one of 25-storeys and another of 29.

———–

Kohilan, three MIC reps gave nod to Batu Caves project

————————————————————————————

Critics are pointing their finger at Samy Vellu, who led a protest on 26 October: he had, in fact, approved the project, they claim…

Samy Vellu leads condo building protest in bid to save Batu Caves

Samy Vellu Is The Person Responsible For Approving The Batu Caves Condominium ProjectFormer MIC president Samy Vellu has been named by parliamentary opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as the person responsible for approving the Batu Caves condominium project which has come under heavy criticism.Speaking at a ceramah in Kuala Langat last night, Anwar said 29-storey project near the Sri Subramaniam Swamy temple was approved by MIC and UMNO leaders in 2007.
The PKR de facto leader hit out at Samy, who led the protest along with other MIC leaders by blaming the PR-led Selangor government for the fiasco, saying he was deceiving the Hindu community.
“Samy led the protest when he was the one who approved it in 2007. He thinks God doesn’t know? It’s not enough that he tried to hoodwink the people, but he even tried it with God,” jibed Anwar.
On MIC’s challenge to Selangor to cancel the project, Anwar, who is state economic advisor, said he advised Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim to conduct an investigation.
“We will investigate and find out who approved it and will charge those responsible,” he said.

——————————————————————————————

Malaysiakini

‘Duo not at meeting that okayed Batu Caves condo’
  • Lu Wei Hoong
  • 4:24PM Nov 2, 2012

Deputy Foreign Minister A Kohilan Pillay and Hulu Selangor MP P Kamalanathan were absent from the Selayang Municipal Council’s (MPS) full board meeting that approved the controversial 29-storey condominium near the iconic Batu Caves temple when they were councillors.
“Yes. Kohilan and Kamalanathan were not at the full board meeting,” a reliable source in MPS confirmed when contacted by Malaysiakini.

It is expected that MPS president Zainal Abidin Aala will issue a statement on the matter soon.

———-

‘Duo not at meeting that okayed Batu Caves condo’

———————————————————————-

Malaysiakini

Kohilan cannot exonerate himself, says MPS councillor
  • Kuek Ser Kuang Keng
  • 8:18AM Nov 1, 2012

An incumbent councillor with the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) has refuted Deputy Foreign Minister A Kohilan Pillay’s claim that he had played no role in approving the controversial 29-storey condominium near the iconic Batu Caves temple.

According to Kohilan, when he was serving as a local councillor in Selayang, he was not part of MPS’ One Stop Centre (OSC) which gave the green light to the project.

However, MPS councillor Lee Khai Loon said that all approvals from the OSC must be endorsed by the council before the projects can be executed.

Lee said the role of the OSC in the local council was to facilitate the application process for development projects and cut down on red tape.
…………..
However, Lee stressed that all approvals by the OSC must be endorsed by the full board meeting of the MPS, consisting of all the councillors, before the projects can be implemented.

Kohilan cannot exonerate himself, says MPS councillor

———————————————————————

Malaysiakini

Kohilan washes his hands off Batu Caves condo
  • Abdul Rahim Sabri
  • 9:14AM Oct 31, 2012

Deputy Foreign Minister A Kohilan Pillay has contended that he was not involved in the approval of a controversial 29-storey condominium near the Batu Caves temple, although he was a local councillor when the decision was made.

Denying the allegation by Selangor exco member Ronnie Liu, the senator claimed that the approval was given by the One Stop Centre (OSC) of the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS).

“I was only a councillor. It was not me who gave the approval. It was the OSC in the council that gave the approval. I was not involved. If he (Liu) wants to accuse, (he should provide) the facts…

nothing to do with it

———————————————————————-

Free Malaysia Today

Cancel Batu Caves condo project, says Kula

G Vinod | October 27, 2012

DAP vice chairman also urges the state government to find another strategic site for the developer as compensation

PETALING JAYA: Scrap the proposed condominium project slated near the Batu Caves temple, said DAP vice chairman M Kulasegaran.

In a statement today, he said that both the Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders and Pakatan Rakyat leaders agree that the project should be relocated to a different site.

“The temple committee and the public are okay with this. Even the Malaysian Nature Society pointed out that it was unsafe to build high rise buildings in the area,” said the Ipoh Barat MP.

Cancel Batu Caves condo project, says Kula

———————————————————————-

Free Malaysiakini

‘Documents show BN okayed controversial condo’
  • Koh Jun Lin
  • 4:58PM Oct 27, 2012

It was the BN and not Pakatan Rakyat that approved the controversial condominium project near the Batu Caves temple, and this time the Selangor government has the documents to prove it.

During a visit to the site for the condominium’s construction, Selangor exco member for local government Ronnie Liu brought with him the building plans approved by the BN-era Selanyang Municipal Council (MPS) on Nov 29, 2007.

“It says very clearly that the development is a 29-storey service apartment, a 25-storey service apartment, and in front are shophouses that have already been built…

“Nobody, including the temple committee chairperson, should put the blame on Pakatan Rakyat because this was clearly done by the BN. It’s all there – chopped, signed, everything,” he said.

protest at batu cave temple 261012 condo drawing

The plans included architectural drawings of the tower block that the nearby Sri Subramaniar Temple committee members yesterday complained would obstruct view of the iconic limestone hill where it is situated.

———————————————————————-

Asked who should be blamed for the saga, the temple chairman (R Nadarajah) who sat beside ex-MIC president S Samy Vellu paused at answering, glaring at the journalist who asked the question.

“You ask me who should be blamed, I also don’t know I should blame who,” he said.

Free Malaysia Today

Only 300 turn up for Bt Caves protest

Leven Woon | October 26, 2012

Saying that a stop work order is not enough, they want the Selangor government to scrap the project permanently.

FULL REPORT

BATU CAVES: Falling way below the organiser’s grand 100,000 target, only some 300 people flocked to the Batu Caves temple to protest against a proposed high-rise development project.
………………
Meanwhile, he also defended the low turnout, considering the hot weather and Hari Raya Haji holiday.

———–

Only 300 turn up for Bt Caves protest

———

Nadarajah acknowledged that the state government has issued a temporary stop work order after meeting his committee, but said he was not satisfied.

Malaysiakini

S’gor given 1 month ultimatum to halt condo
  • Koh Jun Lin
  • 2:19PM Oct 26, 2012

The Batu Caves temple has given the Selangor government one month to issue a permanent stop-work order for the construction of a neighbouring 29-storey condominium.

“We will give some time for the state government to see whether they will stop permanently or not,” said Sri Subramaniar Temple committee chairperson R Nadarajah.

When asked which parties they would sue should their demands be ignored, he said he would have to seek legal advice on the matter first.

Nadarajah was speaking at a press conference today after leading a 300-strong protest against the condominium close to the historic temple just north of Kuala Lumpur.

S’gor given 1 month ultimatum to halt condo

———————————————————————

26/10 Batu Caves protest: Temple committee gives one-month ultimatum to state govt to scrap condo project, failing which it will pursue legal action/STAR

26/10 Crowd gathers at Batu Caves compound to protest 29-storey condo project in the area; temple committee members getting signatures for petition/STAR 

_________________________________________________

Malaysian Insider

Samy Vellu leads condo building protest in bid to save Batu Caves

UPDATED @ 03:19:57 PM 26-10-2012
By Md Izwan
October 26, 2012

Samy Vellu (standing in front, fifth from left) with the protestors at the Batu Caves demonstration on October 26, 2012. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — Former MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu spearheaded today a demonstration at the Batu Caves Hindu temple, objecting to the construction of a 29-storey condominium project, in what is seen as a bid to pressure the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) administration ahead of the 13th general election.

The former works minister accused the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) of having approved the construction project without a proper study. He said legal action could be taken against the council.

“This construction is not detailed and was not studied holistically by referring to the proper authorities,” Samy Vellu told a 300-strong crowd of Hindus and non-governmental activists who had turned up at the famous Lord Murugan temple this morning to protest the condominium construction.

“MPS itself did not meet the temple committee to discuss or inform about the project,” he added.

The Sri Maha Mariamman Devasathanam temple committee chairman, Datuk R. Nadarajah, who was among the frontliners in today’s “Save Batu Caves” rally, had criticised the state government for failing in its duty to act responsibly and passing the buck over the approval of the condominium project to MPS.

Samy Vellu leads condo building protest in bid to save Batu Caves

———————————————————————-

Kohilan, who is also deputy foreign minister, was speaking at a press conference after a protest today at the Sri Subramaniar Temple over the plans for the condominium.

Malaysiakini

Kohilan blames Pakatan for Batu Caves condo
  • Koh Jun Lin
  • 1:21PM Oct 26, 2012

A former Selangor local councillor has passed the blame back to Pakatan Rakyat saying they are to blame for approving a 29-storey condominium near the iconic Batu Caves temples.

Former Selayang Municipal Council councillor A Kohilan Pillay said what was approved in 2007 during his tenure was a planning permit (kebenaran merancang), the first of many permits needed before a building could be erected.

“Its requirements were basic. It does not say how many storeys, what they want to do, none of that.

“However in 2008, they submitted to the (local council) One Stop Centre that they wanted to build a 29-storey building.

“Only after that they were given the other permits and the marketing permit was given last July and extended to July next year,” he said.

Kohilan blames Pakatan for Batu Caves condo

———————————————————————-

Star

Friday October 26, 2012

Batu Caves at risk of caving in

By LOSHANA K SHAGAR
loshana@thestar.com.my

Risky business : The limestone walls of Batu Caves are under threat if the condominium project is given the green light.
Risky business : The limestone walls of Batu Caves are under threat if the condominium project is given the green light.

PETALING JAYA: Batu Caves could cave in if a 29-storey condominium project near the area is given the green light, said Selangor Malaysian Nature Society committee member Lim Teck Wyn.

He said the project would expedite the limestone massif’s natural erosion process, causing it to possibly cave in sooner.

“Every year there is a small amount of limestone falling away from the structure, causing skylights.

“The piling and construction work for the building will increase this amount, causing the structure to collapse sooner rather than later,” he said yesterday.

Batu Caves at risk of caving in

———————————————————————–

Free Malaysia Today

Launch nationwide protest, Indians urged

G Vinod | October 25, 2012

MIC president G Palanivel has called on Indians and NGOs to hold peaceful demonstrations tomorrow against the proposed condominium project near the Batu Caves temple.

PETALING JAYA: MIC president G Palanivel has called on Indians to launch a nationwide protest against the proposed condominium project slated to be built near Batu Caves temple.

In a statement today, Palanivel also urged non-governmental organisations, irrespective of their political leanings, to voice objections against the 29-storey condominium project.

“The Selangor state government should stop this project. A mere stop-work order to conduct soil tests at the vicinity is not enough,” he said.

On Monday, the Sri Subramaniar Swamy temple chairman R Nadarajah raised objections against the proposed condominium project by Dolotime Industries, slated on a land beside the temple.

The project was approved by the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS).

Selangor state executive councillor for local government, Ronnie Liu, later issued a temporary stop- work order to conduct soil tests on the land to ensure the construction would not damage temple statues.

Launch nationwide protest, Indians urged

———————————————————————-

Malaysiakini

‘BN-era local council okayed Batu Caves condo’
  • Aidila Razak
  • 6:03PM Oct 25, 2012

Approval to construct a 29-storey condominium next to Batu Caves was renewed by the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) before a new councillors were appointed in 2008, Selangor state executive councillor Dr Xavier Jeyakumar said today.

The renewal was made by the Selayang Municipal Council on May 31, 2008, but the new Pakatan Rakyat nominated councillors were only sworn-in and briefed on their duties on July 5, 2008.

Xavier said the approval for the condominium was first given by the BN government of Selangor in August 2007, but this approval had lapsed.

Pakatan Rakyat took over Selangor on March 8, 2008.

“If you recall, there was a quarry there run by Dolomite Corporation Bhd and there was a huge protest for the quarry to stop operations.

“The BN leaders then stopped the quarry, but the land was okayed for development,” Xavier said when contacted.

He said preliminary checks by the state government showed that the condominium project received approval from all relevant agencies except from the Department of Environment.

“The Department of Environment objected to it in 2007 but yet the approval was granted,” he said, contradicting the claim by MPS yesterday that the developer had fulfilled all necessary requirements.

‘BN-era local council okayed Batu Caves condo’

———————————————————————

Batu Caves
About Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam
The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam is a religious charity organization in Malaysia. Proudly situated at No. 163, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, 50000, Kuala Lumpur, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam is also the oldest and richest Hindu organisation in Malaysia. Founded in 1873, it provides an important place of worship for early Indian immigrants and is now an important cultural and national heritage.This organisation has metamorphosed since its inception to become the largest Hindu institution in Malaysia under the present honourable and distinguished chairmanship of Yg. Bhg. Datuk R. Nadarajah, PJN, DPTJ, KMN,AMN,PJK.The Board of Management of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Devasthanam administers and manages Sri Subramaniar Temple Batu Caves, Kortumalai Pillaiyar Temple, two Hindu Community burial grounds in Kuala Lumpur and two vernacular Tamil schools known as SRJK Tamil Batu Caves and SRJK Appar Tamil .This religious organization is the only temple in Malaysia that operates under the 1930 Supreme Court Order and performs the role of Hindu religious advisory to the Government of Malaysia in determining the Hindu yearly calendar.

———————————————————————-

Batu Caves

In 1878, the expansive jungle encapsulating the tiny town of Kuala Lumpur was impenetrable to most except the ‘orang asli’ (local tribes) and a few local Malay folk who entered the area in search of food, attap, wood, rattan and medicinal herbs to trade. Batu Caves, about 13km North of the city centre (reachable only by a gruelling pony track in those days) was left to its pristine, undisturbed slumber. One day out hunting, the intrepid American Naturalist, William Hornaday noticed an undeniably strong odour, a mixture of guano and durian. Intrigued by the stench he followed the trail to a towering limestone ridge. His guides of several local aborigines (called Jakun) and an elderly Malay led the hunting crew up the 40foot(12m) face cliff. The climb was made easy by a pile of angular rocks that over the years of wear and tear had chipped off the cliff. Soon after they arrived at a huge cavernous mouth. The pungent odour must have been overpowering as they trudged into the darkness of the cave, sinking into the dry, loose guano covering the cave floor. The Jakun were more than familiar with the area, using the cave as a shelter from wild, marauding elephants and other dangerous creatures and also to trap bats for food.

Hornaday was awestruck by the size of the cavern and the creatures living within. For the next few days, the group spent much time exploring other caves in the area. There they found Gua Lambong (Lambong Cave). He described his find, ‘We found ourselves in a grand cathedral. We walked along a grand gallery with clean and level floor, perpendicular walls and gothic roof, like the nave of a cathedral, 50feet(15.2m) wide and 60feet(18.3m) high. At the far end, the roof rose in a great round dome 90 or 100feet high perfectly resembling St.Peter’s in Rome.’

This perfect setting was indeed a place of worship later – the worship of Lord Murugan.

Hornaday and his crew returned to town with wonderful stories about the ‘find’ and soon picnic parties to the caves were the ‘rage of the month’ for the colonial socialites. Guests were transported to the caves on elephants. While the servants laid out a sumptuous spread of food and drinks, the guests lazed in the shade of the forest canopy and marvelled at the glorious backdrop of the limestone cliffs.

Then the Hindu devotees began making pilgrimages to the caves, clambering up the jagged rocks to the Temple Cave in 1890s. They turned the cave into a shrine for Lord Murugan.

To read the whole article, click on:

Batu Caves & Thaipusam, Selangor : journeymalaysia.com
www.journeymalaysia.com/MHIS_batucaves.htm – Cached

——————————————————————–

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