Hindu temple demolished in Malaysia

via PTI published on April 21, 2006

Kuala Lumpur, April 21, 2006

Malaysian authorities have demolished a century-old Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, bulldozing the building as devotees cried and begged them to stop.

“The Malaimel Sri Selva Kaliamman Temple was reduced to rubble after Kuala Lumpur’s city hall sent in bulldozers,” an eyewitness said.

In a complaint to police the temple’s vice president, Subramaniam Ragappan, said about 300 devotees were praying on Tuesday when the machines arrived, accompanied by police and city hall officials.

“We were forced to stop our prayers and rituals halfway as they proceeded to tear down the temple,” Subramaniam said.

A copy of a letter from city hall to a local lawmaker, who had asked for the temple to be left intact, said the demolition was going ahead to make way for a building project.

City hall officials were not immediately available for comment.

Subramaniam admitted that the city hall had tried in 2001 and again in 2004 to tear down the building, which was on government land, but had been dissuaded by politicians on each attempt.

“Everybody was crying and saying how could the government do this, but they still broke the temple,” he said.

“For 100 years we prayed there. How could they come to remove the temple?” he said, adding that they were given just one day’s notice of the demolition.

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