Malaysiakini NEWS

MPKj opens up access to disputed road to Bangi temple

Published:  |  Modified:

The Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) has forcefully opened the access road to the Sri Maha Karumariamman temple in Ladang Bangi, which has become the subject of dispute between a developer and former estate workers.

PSM central committee member S Arutchelvan, in a statement today, said the operation to break open a lock put up by the developer on a gate leading to the temple, was done by MPKj officers and district police before 5pm yesterday, just before the deadline given by the former estate workers, to do it themselves.

"When the residents and former workers reached the gate at 5pm, it was wide open.

"The people also brought in heavy machinery to clear a sand bund outside the tunnel, put up by the developer to prevent cars from entering," he said.

Arutchelvan chides the "arrogant" developer for not heeding to the directive given by the municipal council, councillors, state exco and even International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Ong Kian Ming, to remove the lock put up on May 8.

He also claimed that MPKj was "sluggish" in resolving the issue as it was under the impression that the "adamant" developer could have strong backing from those in positions of power.

"In Malaysia Baru, we expect the rights of the rakyat will not be trampled by any powerful developer or his connections.

"For now, the bells in the temple are ringing," he said.

Alternative road

On Thursday, Arutchelvan, who is also the Bangi estate committee adviser, expressed concern that the Bangi temple issue could lead to an incident akin to the Seafield temple issue.

"I am worried. Like the Seafield temple incident, a small issue can escalate if what needs to be done is not done," he had said in a statement.

According to him, the developer had given an assurance not to close the access road pending the completion of an alternative road.

The temple, which is not in dispute and gazetted by the Selangor government, was constructed on land provided by the developer as compensation to estate workers there.

It was part of a settlement agreement in 2016, which included a promise to provide each family with a low-cost apartment, as well as rental subsidy in the interim.

He had expressed concern that the dispute over the temple access road could escalate if not swiftly addressed.

In November last year, an attempt by a developer to evict worshippers at the Sri Maha Mariamman in USJ 25, Subang Jaya, temple using thugs led to two nights of rioting and the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim. 

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