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PM to get temple report from MIC

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has asked the MIC to monitor all the temples in the country and periodically submit a report on their status to the Cabinet, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.

He said the Prime Minister had specifically wanted the MIC to forward to him and the Cabinet the list of any temples that may have to be demolished for various reasons.

“As temple issues are sensitive, a new approach is necessary to resolve them and the MIC will completely take over this task,” Samy Vellu, who is also Works Minister, said in a statement here yesterday.

He said he would be travelling to all the states soon to prepare a report on the number of temples in the country and their problems.

“We will identify the illegally-built temples first and check on their status. We want to know if there have been any moves or notices to demolish or relocate them,” he said.

Following Abdullah’s directive, Samy Vellu has asked the Federal Territory MIC chief Datuk M. Saravanan and Selangor state executive councillor Kamala Ganapathy to organise a meeting of temple heads in their respective states.

He said the meetings were to verify the status of the land on which the temples were built, to secure land reservations in all new housing development areas and to seek the registration of all temples.

“What is more important is that suitable alternative sites will have to be allocated first before any temples are relocated,” he said.

He said similar meetings would be held in other states, with the third meeting scheduled in Perak.

“I will scrutinise all matters concerning temples to ensure that no temples are demolished in the future and if they have to be demolished, suitable alternative sites must be allocated.

“No temple will be demolished without a thorough check and discussions with the MIC,” he said.

Samy Vellu said Abdullah had given assurance that the Government would provide the necessary support in resolving matters involving temples.

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