Selangor tells Seafield temple to give back alternative site, compensation

A general view of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Putra Heights November 26, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
A general view of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Putra Heights November 26, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

SHAH ALAM, Dec 15 ― The Selangor government has asked the management of the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ25 near Subang Jaya to return a piece of land and compensation money in keeping with a comprehensive settlement that is being worked out to solve the temple relocation issue.

Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari today requested the return of a 0.405-hectare piece of land and RM1.5 million compensation money given by the developer, One City Development Sdn Bhd.

“The Selangor government welcomes the statement by the Attorney-General (Tommy Thomas) on the Seafield temple issue and is in agreement with the solution offered by the Attorney-General which upholds the principle of the rule of law,” he said in a statement.

In outlining the comprehensive settlement agreed upon by the lawyers of all the parties involved in the dispute, Thomas yesterday said in a statement the settlement contemplates the following steps:

1. Subject to terms to be agreed upon, One City Development Sdn Bhd will transfer the one-acre plot of land on which the temple is located to a trust to be administered by the High Court.

2. The Attorney-General, in the exercise of his powers as guardian of the public interest with regard to charitable trusts, will apply to the High Court, pursuant to Section 9 of the Government Proceedings Act  1956, for orders to constitute the trust and the appointment of trustees to manage the trust and the temple.

3. The High Court will be invited to appoint a Receiver, who will be a person of repute, standing and integrity acceptable to all the disputants, who as an officer of the Court will have control and direction over the trustees of the temple, and subject to Court supervision.

4. At the appropriate time, the High Court will be invited to transfer the ownership of the land on which the temple is situated to the trustees.

5. In order to ensure impartiality and neutrality amongst the various groups in the temple, the Attorney-General hopes to be represented in all the applications before the High Court.

Riots took place on Nov 26 and 27 in the vicinity of the temple, located in USJ25 near Subang Jaya, arising allegedly from a dispute between parties for and against the proposed relocation of the house of worship as per a consent judgment.

Under the consent judgment of March 11, 2014, at the Shah Alam High Court, four parties agreed to the relocation of the temple and to return the present temple site vacant to the owner, One City Development Sdn Bhd.

 

The four parties are the state government, One City Development and two individuals claiming to be the temple administrators.

In the consent judgment, One City Development agreed to deposit RM1.5 million with the temple. The state government handed over a 0.4-hectare piece of land, located about three kilometres away, for the relocation of the temple.

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