Posts Tagged ‘temples’

Community mapping project at Brickfields

October 18th, 2012
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 This is an interesting project by Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita and Kota Kita. I was surprised (or was I?) to read that “based on a survey they carried out among the participants, the majority had not entered places of worship other than their own”.  How true is this? I’ve been inside most places of worship except mosques. Had climbed the stairs inside the minaret of a mosque though…

I think there’s no genuine initiative to expose or teach about the various cultures to others. Mostly its one-sided only.


THE founders of Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita and volunteers took to the streets of Brickfields last weekend to carry out a community-mapping project to promote religious understanding between different faiths using the arts.

The project involved 17 volunteer-participants aged from 18 to 30 years old from different ethnicities and faiths. There were also four facilitators and two project coordinators project.

“For three months, from August to October, we explored the Brickfields community through a series of different workshops comprising research, photography and video. Through these workshops, we learned and discovered the many treasure troves and stories this small community has to offer,” co-founder and project manager Lew Pik-Svonn said.

They also produced educational materials such as Have a Holy-Day — a colourful booklet for self-guided walking tours to the places of worship in Brickfields.

Interesting sight: The participants stopping at a temple during the walking tour.
Interesting sight: The participants stopping at a temple during the walking tour.

“We felt it was important for people to know and understand different religions. Many cultures are also intertwined with religion. Misunderstandings happen when there is a shallow perception of other religions. We want to fill in this gap,” Lew said.

She said the community-mapping project in Brickfields was the first in a series of three. Their next destination is Tuaran in Sabah.

The organisers are from Kota Kita, non-profit arts collective with a mission to empower community members and enrich their relationship with the community. Their most notable project is Projek Chow Kit Kita, which was a similar community-mapping effort in Chow Kit.

The event also saw cultural performances from the Malaysian Indian Arts and Culture Association and a choir from the Tamil Methodist Church. Along the way, the participants had opportunities to sample food and observe photo and video exhibitions. In collaboration with Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita, Lew said they have also launched BrickfieldsEats ( which is a project to map the food found in Brickfields and their stories.

Welcome: Performers from the Malaysian Indian Arts and Culture Association.Welcome: Performers from the Malaysian Indian Arts and Culture Association.

Fahmi Reza, who is the co-founder and project designer of Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita, said based on a survey they carried out among the participants, the majority had not entered places of worship other than their own.

“What is worse is that they do not even ask questions. We wanted to approach this serious subject on a lighter note where they can ask questions and learn from community members. If you observe the situation in our schools nowadays, there is so much segregation. How does one know the other person’s culture and faith without communication? ” he asked.

Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita consists of 24 people from different ethnicities and faiths who want to promote their belief in a society that embraces diversity.

The community-mapping tour started outside YMCA along Jalan Tun Sambathan 4 with more than 100 people attended the three-hour walking tour which covered visits to places of worship that included the Orthodox Syrian Church, Church of Our Lady Fatima, Madrasathul Gouthiyyah Surau, Tamil Methodist Church, Seng Hong Temple, Sri Sakthi Vinayagar Temple, Buddhist Maha Vihara, Sri Krishna Temple, Sri Maha Muneswarar Temple, Sri Kandaswamy Kovil and Sree Veera Hanuman Temple.



Temple being demolished in Kepong

June 21st, 2012
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Yup, in KL which under federal government. And this pisses off Deputy FT Minister Dato Saravanan. Because now they (MIC) can’t say no temple demolished under BN since PM Najib took over. Yup, its that serious.

Yup. (Just wanted to make it three  “yup”s).

Interestingly, a directive was issued saying temple issues in FT was to be referred to Deputy Minister, but wonder why it was not adhered to this time. Looks like not only in PR-managed states have this problem.

And according to article below, the land has been gazetted to be used for non-Muslim religious purpose. So, what gives?

DEPUTY Federal Territories Ministry Datuk M. Saravanan was incensed by the demolition of the Maha Veppan Kaliamman temple in Kepong early yesterday morning.

Saravanan said he was made to “feel like a fool” negotiating with the group of government officers despite being in charge of non-Islamic religious land issues in the Federal Territory after a directive was sent out two years ago.

“The FT Land and Minerals Department went on with the demolition despite the directive that no temples should be demolished without prior discussion with me, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and FT Secretary-General Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib,” he said.

Taking control: Saravanan discussing the temple demolition issue with some of the devotees.

When he was informed about the demolition process that morning, he contacted the FT Land deparment director Hashim Ismail.

Saravanan said he had asked for the demolition process to be postponed until he could discuss the issue with Nong Chik but Hashim said he could not do anything.

Temple priest Periasamy Batumalai said 40 devotees tried to stop some 50 officers from DBKL and the police force from demolishing the temple.

Roads leading to the temple wereclosed off and devotees were barred from entering despite pleading with the officers.

According to the temple’s laywer Datin Anit Kaur Randhawa, the temple was not issued any order to vacate.

The officials used the notice from the Land and Minerals Department dated June 19, 2012 and the bulldozers moved in the very next day at 9am, barely 20 minutes after pasting the unsigned notice on the two gates of the temple.

“The DBKL officers and the police came at 8.30am and pasted the notice on the temple before proceeding to demolish it within 20 minutes. They only managed to tear down the fence surrounding the temple as the devotees formed a human barricade to halt the proceedings,” she said.

The demolition was later stopped by Saravanan who arrived at 10am.

The temple was initially located at the Jalan Kuching roundabout before moving to its current site in 2011.

The land in Kepong had been gazetted as religious land and set aside for non-Muslims.

“When I called Nong Chik, he said he was unaware of the demolition. I am surprised at the arrogance of the officers. They seemed to be in a rush to demolish the temple,” he said.

He added that the small plot of land was useful for the temple.

Anit Kaur said letters of support were sent to the Prime Minister’s Department on May 31 last year to apply for the land.

MIC Taman Fadason branch chairman K. Jayaraman said the demolition move was disrespectful.

Non-governmental body, the New Indian Welfare and Charity Malaysia, will donate RM2,000 to put up a barricade and secure the temple.



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.


Guidelines for temples by MHS

January 13th, 2012
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Wonder how many of them will follow the “guideline” since its just a guideline. Is MHS going to come out with some compliance sticker or publish a list of compliant temples on its website? Would the community be interested in such compliance?

BTW, someone said got 20,000 thousand over temples, but MHS says got only 3,300.  We have 222 parliament constituencies. Can we find an average of 100 temples each parliamentary constituency?

All the Hindu temples in the country will have guidelines by the end of this month, Malaysian Hindu Sangam (MHS) president RS Mohan Shan said today.

He said the guidelines would comprise the suitable rules and regulations that a temple should practise in order to preserve the rituality.

“So far, there are no suitable guidelines for a temple to follow, and they are free to do all kinds of programmes at any time they wish.

“We are going to bring out the guidelines on how a temple should be positioned, which temple to conduct which celebration, and how to manage a temple,” he told Bernama.

The guidelines, among others, would encourage all the temples in the country to start providing community service, he said, adding that the management of temples should also think of the community, and not just religion and rituals.

“The guidelines will be prepared by a religious advisory board involving all Hindu association presidents and also religious experts,” he said.

So far, Mohan Shan said, only 2,000 of the 3,300 Hindu temples in the country have registered under the MHS.

“We are asking all our local council members to approach the temples to become members of the MHS as we are the only organisation that deals with temple issues,” he said.

31 Dec deadline for govt fund applications via MIC

November 29th, 2011
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Do spread the word around. Hope the schools, NGOs and temples are aware of this.

 All state MIC liaison committees have until Dec 31 to submit applications for Federal Government allocations to assist Tamil schools as well as Indian places of worship and NGOs in the respective states.

MIC president Datuk G. Palanivel said the deadline was to enable funds to be disbursed next year.

After receiving the applications, MIC’s headquarters would prepare a budget for allocations to be given out, either once or twice a year.

“It is difficult when they keep asking us for funds all year round.

“We cannot be going to the Prime Minister’s Department every now and then asking for allocations on their behalf,” he said after presenting RM185,000 in federal aid to six temples, a church and an NGO at the Penang state library auditorium here yesterday.

Palanivel, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said once he knew the amount, it would be easier to obtain the allocation.

He said the money was usually for minor projects such as repairs and extensions, upgrading of toilets, electrical wiring, water pipes and drainage systems as well as for community programmes.

He encouraged Indian community leaders to contact MIC division leaders in their respective areas to submit proposal papers for the projects they planned to carry out.

“Some temples and NGOs miss out on the allocations because they submit their applications late and all the funds have been disbursed,” he said.