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Demolishing temple during Chinese New Year

Demolishing temple during Chinese New Year.

For the past few days, Facebook is abuzz with a post about two Chinese temples that would be demolished this Chinese New Year at Kampung Kasipillay, Jalan Ipoh. Since I’m in the area, I’ve decided to investigate the matter further. Below are my short write up about what is happening.

A bleak Chinese New Year has befallen two registered Chinese temples at Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur: Tokong Choo Sing Tong/ 聚星堂, and PERSATUAN PENGANUT DEWA SHAN LING GONG / 善靈宮 respectively.

On 21 January 2014, Officers from the The Wilayah Persekutuan Department of Land and Mines (Pejabat Pengarah Tanah dan Galian Wilayah Persekutuan) came to ISSUE and PASTE a notice of PEMBERITAHUAN MENGOSONGKAN TAPAK (Site Clearing Notice). The notice stated that the recipients should clear all their belongings before 9.45 a.m., 4th February 2014. No reasons or explanations were given. Also, there was no official stamp and signature by The Wilayah Persekutuan Department of Land and Mines authority on the Notice issued.

Tokong Choo Sing Tong / 聚星堂 , is a very famous Kuan Ti Chinese temple established since 1954. The Site Clearing Notice stated that the beautiful Nine-Dragon wall (which also has been featured on many television programs in Malaysia) along with its fishpond crafted by artisans from China, is to be demolished.

Another notice issued to a smaller Chinese temple registered as PERSATUAN PENGANUT DEWA SHAN LING GONG / 善靈宮 and the caretaker’s living squatter. This temple too has operated here for many years already. They are told to remove all belonging by the said date above.

Through inquiry about the incident with the committee members of both temples, I came to know that there was never any form of advance notices given or any discussions involved between the government authorities and the temple committees with regards to this Site Clearing orders.

Personally, I find that the Government Authority is seemingly being insensitive and totally being insensible to issue such notice. Firstly, it is highly difficult, if not impossible to pack and relocate on a two weeks notice (between 21 Jan – 4 Feb, 2014), when every Chinese people in Malaysia is busy in preparation to celebrate their traditional Lunar New Year. Secondly, 4th February 2014, this day is marked as Li Chun, an important date to the Chinese communities. Li Chun traditionally signifies the beginning of spring in East Asian cultures. Chinese New Year is celebrated around this time. Farmers often celebrate the beginning of Lichun with special village events, worship and offerings to the gods and ceremonies for a blissful and prosperous new year. (Source from Wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichun)

To issue a notice with plans to demolish two Chinese temples by the government authority on 5 February 2014, the government bodies are not upholding the spirit of 1Malaysia—Unity and Racial Harmony; that is to respect, act sensibly, to listen to each other’s view, and proceed with sensitivity toward other people’s beliefs and religious faith.

This notice of PEMBERITAHUAN MENGOSONGKAN TAPAK (Site Clearing Notice) issued by Pejabat Pengarah Tanah dan Galian Wilayah Persekutuan only serves to threaten and destabilize Malaysia’s cultural melting pot with no voice of reason involved. The insensitivity displayed, seeming religious intolerance would further add strain to the harmonious relationship shared and enjoyed by the various races in Malaysia, thereby creating negative sentiments among the mass public.

Updated 7 Feb 2014:-

06 February 2014 – The demolition has been temporary put on hold with help offered by the public along with Dato Chan Kim Leong (Kuala Lumpur Welfare Society) and Jayanthi Devi Balaguru (Gerakan Wanita Secretary General / BN Segambut). The SLG temple management would like to thanks all parties for helping in this matter. Post will be updated when we receive further news and we are in the progress of writing up a post on what MAY have cause these unfortunate events.

Updated 22 July 2014:-

21 July 2014 – Based on conversation with SLG committees, i was inform that Both the Shan Ling Gong temple and the dragon wall of Choo Sing Tong is still located at the current place. Negotiation is still ongoing.

Others on print media :-

China Press Malaysia / 中國報
Sin Chew Daily / 星洲日報
Oriental Daily / 東方日報
The Sun Daily
Malaysia Chronicle

Demolishing temple during Chinese New Year1

Demolishing temple during Chinese New Year2

Demolishing temple during Chinese New Year3

Demolishing temple during Chinese New Year4

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Below:- A News Article on China Press Malaysia published on 30th January 2014 –> http://www.chinapress.com.my/node/495567

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Below:- News Articles on The Sun Daily published on 5th February 2014 –> http://www.thesundaily.my/node/239990

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My Time – my.72dragon.com – A web blog cataloging chinese temples in malaysia / 記錄馬來西亞廟宇文化.

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