Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Sri Ramalingeswarar temple Bangsar gets approval letter after 30 years

February 1st, 2012
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Good news for the temple. Through their perseverance, they managed to get their land approved, even though it took 30 years.

 

AFTER 30 years of waiting, the Arulmigu Sri Ramalingeswarar temple in Jalan Maarof, Bangsar finally got their approval letter last Sunday.

The 100-year-old temple, which has been operating without proper documentation, had approached Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin to solve the issue.

It took two years for the process to be completed since the temple was situated on private land.

“We had to contact the landowner and negotiate with them and the process is also a long one,” added Nong Chik.

He said it could not have been done without the assistance of the various parties including the Land Office which was sensitive about religious sites as well.

Nong Chik handed the gazette approval letter for part of Lot 61 Section 916A Kuala Lumpur under Section 62 of the National Land Act during a special consecretion ceremony (kumbhabhishegam) at the temple.

The land has been gazetted for temple use and will be run by the temple committee members.

Temple president A. Velayutham said they were grateful for the assistance provided by Nong Chik and that now they would only have to solve their parking woes.

“Previously our devotees used to park by the road until City Hall built pavements as part of the beautification process. Since there are now three-and-a-half lanes we will write to DBKL to ask permission to use the last lane for parking,” he added.

During the event, Nong Chik also presented a RM100,000 grant from the Federal Territories Ministry to the temple.

Velayutham said the money would be used for their renovation work which was nearing completion.

“Every 12 years the temple will be renovated and we estimate this year’s work to cost about RM1.5mil.

“We managed to collect RM800,000 from the public,” he added.

Apart from the grant by Nong Chik, Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Subramaniam also presented RM100,000 on behalf of the Government.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/1/31/central/10562583&sec=central

New Sikh temple in Section 18 Shah Alam

January 13th, 2012
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 Happy to hear that a Sikh temple is being built. Interesting to note that it took them 21 years to get the application approved after several rounds of negotiation. Quite fast eh? 🙂 Good luck to the community in building the gurdwara. Hope they will get sufficient funds from federal and state governments. Election coming soon, so better squeeze them for much fund as possible.

Also I hope the gurdwara doesn’t become an issue since I believe about 90-over % of the population in Shah Alam are Muslims.

 

SOME 400 Sikh families in Shah Alam can soon look forward to performing their prayers and carry out other related activities in a more conducive environment once their long-awaited new place of worship in Section 18 is completed in November.

The community, who had been holding their religious activities under cramped conditions at a corner unit of a low-cost double-storey house in Section 25, Taman Sri Muda since 1993, will no longer have to travel all the way to other gurdwaras in Klang or Petaling Jaya as the new premises will be sufficient to accommodate larger congregations.

The New Building Fund committee chairman Patminderjit Singh said work on the new place of worship began last month and some RM1.1mil had been raised to-date.

For a smooth-sailing project: Priests performing prayers before the commencement of the construction of the new Gurdwara Sahib Shah Alam project in section 18.

“The Sikh community desperately needs a new gurdwara as the present premises is unable to accommodate us. We have had to put up tents outside the present premises whenever the crowd was big,” he said.

Patminderjit said Sikh families were also unable to hold weddings or other major events such as Vaisakhi, which was the most important event in the Sikh calendar on a big scale at the present premises due to this.

“The residents here had also complained to the authorities several times particularly when we put up a tent to allow the congregation to partake in langgar (vegetarian meals),” he said adding that the Sikhs had never intended to inconvenience their neighbours but were left with no choice.

Patminderjit said the new gurdwara would be able to serve the growing Sikh community with more new townships opening up in surrounding areas.

Apart from Shah Alam, Sikhs from Taman Sri Muda, Bukit Rimau, Kota Kemuning, Bukit Kemuning, Bukit Jelutong and other nearby areas in Petaling Jaya, Kelana Jaya, Subang Jaya and Klang thronged the present premises during religious celebrations.

Soon to be ready: An artist’s impression of the new Gurdwara Sahib Shah Alam.

Patminderjit said the community would also be able to hold Punjabi language and music classes, particularly for the children once they moved to the new premises.

Sikhs, he said, first submitted an application for a parcel of land in 1984. After several rounds of negotiations with the state government, the present site was approved on Dec 20, 2005.

Patminderjit said the committee had also written to the Inland Revenue Board to seek tax exemption for those who donate to the cause.

“Piling work has been completed and work is in full swing now.

“We have now invited tenders for the main building and are hoping that more donors would come forward to help us,” he said, adding that the Sikhs had also written to the federal and state authorities for financial aid.

Those who wish to know more about the progress of the construction or to make donations can visit www.gssabuildingfund.com.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/1/6/central/10190913&sec=central

Father of Hindu Youth passes away

October 27th, 2011
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My experience with HYO is way back nearly two decades ago, when I attended their computer class at Port Klang branch while waiting for SPM results. After that, I’ve seen them at some of the religious festivals at temples, but never been involved in their programs.

One of the founders of HYO passed away yesterday. Condolences to his family. Read about the late Mr Vijayaratnam here.

Malaysian Hindu Youth Organisation (HYO) founder, Vijayaratnam Saravanamuthu, passed away Wednesday at the Gleneagles Hospital here from respiratory complications.

He was 77.

Vijayaratnam, fondly referred to as the “Father of the Hindu Youth”, founded HYO in 1949 and had contributed immensely to its growth, which has some 90 branches nationwide now.

During his lifetime, Vijayaratnam had organised many Hindu Youth conventions in various parts of the country and he was elected the first secretary-general of the Malaysian Youth Council in 1962.

HYO in a statement said Vijayaratnam leaves behind a wife Pushpavathy Chinniah and two sons, Datuk Vijay Eswaran, 51, and Vijaya Vicknesh, 49.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/10/26/nation/20111026192456&sec=nation

Parliament sitting on Deepavali eve cancelled

October 21st, 2011
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Parliament sitting on eve is cancelled. All questions for the day to be replied in writing. The request was made by DAP MPs to Speaker and Minister Nazri last week, which the cabinet also discussed and agreed to postpone in view of the religious festivals the next day. As you may know, parliament sittings can drag to night, especially nowadays. So, not only MPs affected, but also various other staff, journalists, drivers, etc.

While the decision is good, one should always take in the “lesson learnt” so that its not repeated in future. As per my suggestion, time to send officials for sensitivity and common-sense courses. No point talking about creativity and innovation when much more simpler things also we are lacking.

Read about my earlier article on the parliament sitting issue here.

source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/10/19/no-parliament-sitting-on-deepavali-eve/

Confusion over Deepavali holiday in IPTAs

October 14th, 2011
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The 1Malaysia Indian Students Movement (1MISM) launch at UM July this year by PM Najib saw an important announcement regarding extra holidays for Deepavali. It seems, the letter from JPT MOHE to IPTAs on 15th September stated that such holidays are to be given for Indians students only (There’s a copy of the letter here but not sure if untampered). Meaning, Indian (actually should be Hindu, this also don’t know means who la???) students will miss out classes because the classes will still go on.

Worse still, according to one FB entry, there was a comment “Najib bukan VC UKM” (refer here) when students asked why got class on 25th evening and 27th morning.

This will reflect badly on PM Najib and MIC since they were touting extra holidays, but actually its like time off only in some IPTAs. MISM (MIC) better clarify before they cause more damage.

Obviously the IPTAs are in a bind because PM already promised, but to implement, they are the ones who have to figure out ways. I think the IPTAs can do it like schools, by declaring “cuti peristiwa” (event holiday) and replace the classes on Saturdays. If they think that tolerance/sensitivity/acceptance/understanding of various cultures is important, they will find a way and not use reasons like MQA rules as an excuse.

Coming to the question: is convenience of the majority is of more importance than the convenience of the minority, even if the convenience of the minority doesn’t cost/affect much? We talk about national unity and sacrifices, but it doesn’t work for others?

It is very sad that education institutions that are supposed to instill good values of understanding others cultures, acceptance, tolerance etc is in the forefront of being ignorant, apathetic, intolerant and insensitive. What kind of impression are they giving to the students and staff? Should we blame the IPTA management entirely, or the education and social system that they grew up in? Being minority is not easy, and to think its going to get worse is indeed scary.

Even want to implement in IPTA is difficult, imagine want to ask IPTS to provide extra days off for Deepavali! So far heard that MSU having exam on the eve, while Segi KL is closing on eve (half-day) and 27th.

Certain universities are ignoring the government’s directive to give Indian students a longer break to celebrate Deepavali, said the Human Rights Party (HRP).

HRP sec-gen P Uthayakumar (right) in an open letter to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today complained of the “year in and year out recurring problem” for Hindu students who fail to enjoy similar accomodations granted other holidays such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Christmas.

According to him, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was only exempting Indian students from lectures rather than giving an official break.

“This would cause the Indian students to miss their lectures for three days,” said Uthayakumar.

“Apart from UKM, we are also receiving complaints from in particular Indian students studying in Unimas and UMS that lectures will be conducted as usual even on Deepavali day, which is not even a public holiday in Sarawak,” he added.

Najib, he said, had at the launch of the 1Malaysia Indian Students Movement at University Malaya on July 27 announced that the government would direct  universities to make provisions for the Hindu festive period.

The Ministry of  the Higher Education followed up with a circular on Sept 15 to all public universities to reschedule classes and examinations to allow for a longer break for Indian students.

“In that circular, Indian students nationwide were promised a longer break from 25 to 28 October to celebrate Deepavali which falls on 26 Oct,” said Uthayakumar.

He added that they have received complaints that universities are not implementing other provisions cited by Najib, such as a students’ shuttle service to nearby Hindu temples for students and making available vegetarian food.

“Or is this part of ‘the government policy was good but it’s  implementation was bad’ political play gimmick?” said the HRP sec-gen.

source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/178646

 

Excerpt from a report in FMT is below:

… In an open letter to Najib, HRP’s pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar, named Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) as among those defying the directive.

“UKM’s deputy vice chancellor, Professor Noor Azlan Ghazali, even told the student leader, Kok Kiong Lum, that there are too many holidays in Malaysia,” he stated.

“He said that even Hari Raya and Chinese New Year holidays are only two days long so it is only fair that just one day be given for Deepavali.”

Uthayakumar further said that UNIMAS was conducting lectures on Deepavali day itself as it isn’t a public holiday in Sarawak.

“The Indian students there must also be given the opportunity to return home and be with their families on this auspicious day,” he said.

source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/10/14/keep-to-your-word-hrp-tells-pm/