Seafield temple faction says developer’s moral obligation to hand over land after riot

Chairman of the Save Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam temple task force S. Ramaji speaks to the media in USJ 25, November 27, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Chairman of the Save Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam temple task force S. Ramaji speaks to the media in USJ 25, November 27, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — S. Ramaji, the head of the faction against the relocation of the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam temple in Seafield, now wants One City Development Sdn Bhd to hand over the land to them.

He said the developer has a moral obligation to hand over the lot after many of the temple faction members were arrested following the November 26 riot and after undergoing much “pain” and trouble.

“I feel the developer has got his moral responsibility to hand over the temple land. After all the pain and agony we went through, I think it’s not right for us to purchase it from him. He should give it to us,” he added.

Ramaji said at one time they did consider the “Mid Valley solution” as a way out of the temple impasse.

“Actually we had given that as one of our options to the developer. One of the options was to re-engineer the whole project and allow both the project plus the temple to be there.

“We have not gotten any response from them.

“We talked to them once on October 15. A big group of us went to the developer and we had proposed indirectly to him that we can come to a win-win solution,” Ramaji, whose real name is M. Ramachandran, said.

The “Mid Valley solution” refers to the peaceful co-existence of a Hindu temple and the Mid Valley Megamall.

Last week, Klang MP Charles Santiago said that the Selangor government had suggested the same solution to solve the Subang Hindu temple issue.

“We proposed the idea to One City Development Sdn Bhd, but after it was taken over by (Phillippine-based) Ayala Corporation, they stopped talking to us. Whenever the Mentri Besar’s office tried to contact their chairman, he just replied with a text asking us to speak to their legal team.

“In other words, they are saying ‘We have consent judgement, so speak to our lawyers’,” Santiago had told reporters in Parliament.

After the riot, Berjaya Group tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan proposed a crowdfund to buy over the land where the temple is located and offered to contribute RM500,000 towards kickstarting the campaign.

Star Online reported Tan saying that this was the best way to keep the temple in its current home.

“The public can buy the land, pay off the developer and let the temple stay.

“It will be difficult to expect the Selangor state government to buy the land,” he was quoted as saying.

National newswire Bernama also quoted Tan saying that he is confident Ayala would co-operate with his initiative and sell the land.

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