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GEORGE TOWN, March 16 — Another Hindu temple in Kedah was issued a notice of removal by the Sungai Petani Municipal Council — the third Hindu temple to be subjected to enforcement action by the Kedah state government — said DAP’s P. Ramasamy.
The Penang lawmaker said the temple, located on Jalan Awam, near Pizza Hut’s Bandar Mutiara outlet in Sungai Petani, was issued the notice by the municipal council’s enforcement unit on March 15.
“The notice for the removal of the temple in Sungai Petani was signed by the enforcement officer by the name of Mohd Fauzi Mohd Ahadim,” he said in a statement today.
The Penang deputy chief minister II said the notice claimed that the temple was built in a restricted area without permission, adding that the name of the temple and the persons managing it have yet to be determined.
The notice gave the temple three days to be vacated before it is demolished by the authorities.
“In other words, if the temple is not removed by March 18, enforcement action will follow on March 19 which means that the temple structures will be forcibly pulled down along with the deities,” he said.
Ramasamy pointed out that two Hindu temples were demolished in Kedah last year, one a heritage temple in Alor Setar and another in Kulim.
He alleged that the PAS government in Kedah, which he has labelled as “racist and religious extremist”, has adopted a systematic approach to demolish Hindu temples especially those located on government or private land.
“I understand that more and more non-Muslim places of worship will be targeted for destruction in the coming months and years,” he claimed.
He labeled the Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor as an extreme and non-tolerant leader that had compounded the situation in the state.
“If Sanusi could unilaterally cancel the Thaipusam holiday without any feeling of guilt or remorse, then one can imagine the sad fate of non-Muslim places of worship, especially those that have breached the law,” he said.
He said Sanusi will not provide alternative places of worship for Hindus once the temple was demolished as he has no respect for the Indian community, its culture and religion.
He said Kedah is the site of the ancient Hindu-Buddhist civilisation of Sri Vijaya more than 3,000 years ago and yet Hindu temples in the state are being destroyed.
“The destruction of Hindu temples in Kedah is a serious blemish on its past,” he said.