Violence as devotees scuffle over relocation of Seafield temple

Modified 26 Nov 2018, 12:45 pm

Violent scuffles erupted outside the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25 in the wee hours of today.

Subang Jaya police said the fighting erupted due to a misunderstanding between two groups.

"The cause of the incident was a misunderstanding between two groups over the temple relocation issue," the district police department said in a Facebook posting.

It said police were mobilised to contain the situation.

"Subang Jaya police advise the public not to do anything against the law. The situation is under control," it said.

Videos of the incident on social media showed large groups involved in the scuffle.

At least one pickup truck was overturned by the angry crowd. The New Straits Times cited a Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson as saying 18 vehicles had been torched.

Social media postings also showed a force of policemen at the scene.

Devotees had reportedly gathered at the temple to protect it from demolition. They were reportedly accosted by an outside group, sparking the scuffles.

The temple was supposed to have been relocated on Nov 22. Plans to relocate the temple have been ongoing since 2007, after the land it is located on was purchased by One City Development Sdn Bhd.

In 2014, a consent judgment was entered into in court, where One City and two rival camps vying for control of the temple agreed to relocate it to a plot of land three kilometres away.

One City had also donated RM1.5 million to the temple as part of the settlement agreement.

However, devotees have continued to resist efforts to relocate the temple, which was built in 1891.


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