1Mob for 1Malaysia


Dust has yet to settle on the Section 23 temple relocation issue…

The police after earlier much inactivity at cow head protest (this was blamed on having a ‘junior’ officer onsite) and then later at the resident dialogue (where insults and threats of violence were uttered in public) have started to round up the protesters to be booked under the law (but whether they will be punished accordingly will be another big question)

The State Government have started to look for alternative site and found one within Section 23. The location of the new site from MP Khalid Samad’s blog:-

Hopefully the temple is not short-changed by having it close to the oxidation plant. Despite the fact that the new location is even further from the residential area, this has drawn some protests – something we had expected – why stop half way in their unconstitutional attempts to wrestle back the State. Hopefully the PR led State Government will stay firm and make the right decision without any intimidations.

But if there is any silver lining in the recent Section 23 temple fiasco, it has to be the lessons to be learned by all Malaysians, namely:-

1. 1Malaysia concept for now is only looks good on paper – Najib, if he is really sincere, (which many doubt after the coup in Perak) has a long way to go in ensuring Malaysians recognises each others religions and cultures, no matter what side of the majority they are in. Considering the protest was ‘poorly’ timed during the month of Ramadan and Merdeka, it only shows that mob rule has prevailed and won this time around.

2. Existing temple committees cannot continue to play ignorant especially when the surrounding areas are continuing to be developed. Get the temples properly registered or get it relocated to a more preferred area or get it forcefully relocated.

3. There is influx of massive migrations in near future – so what may look like deserted area today, may be dominated by certain groups in the future. The government need to look at this seriously – are we going to integrate Malaysians from all walk of life more comprehensively or leave pockets of Malaysians claiming to represent the majority and ask the minority to butt off?

4. There is always danger of racial confrontation if it is not handled carefully. The very delay of the police and Home Ministry in arresting the protesters (not mentioning the initial support from the Home Minister) only shows that not all is well and square in the Bolehland. 52 years of independence and we are still on ground zero – we hardly moved as one nation (and still fall for the cheap political game of colliding Malaysians against Malaysians – all in the name of power, greed and corruption).

It’s time for Malaysians to wake up and accept the diversity in this country

Read Also

RPK’s A Tale of A Cow

Shar101’s UMNO’s 21st Century Cavemen

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Temple Fiasco Revisited


Almost a year ago, I talked about the temple fiasco faced in the state of Selangor and the latest protest by Section 23 residents had somehow prompted me to revisit this delicate issue

In my post titled ‘Temple Fiasco & MP Resigning”  I laid down 6 steps that the state government could look at when dealing with the many Hindu temples in the state.

The steps, nothing new, are as follows:-

Step 1

Register all temples and proper classify them into large, medium and small temples. Just how many temples are there in Selangor or in other states – anyone has the right figure? And how many of it is illegal? When it comes to registration of temples, the temple committee cannot act ignorant and wait until it is too late – there is no way the Government is going to know each and every temple before registration. The committee members must be proactive to get their temples registered and ensure the existence and future expansion of the temple is done by the book. So that if there is any dispute in future, the temple will have a stronger case to fall back to.

Step 2

Verify the number of years the temple has been in existence – we cannot afford to have a temple sprouting out every time someone decides to worship different deities. 100 years old temples on the hand should be relooked from the angle of preservation of heritage and tourism as well

Step 3

Verify the status of land where the temple is situated – this is one of the biggest issue in the past – it’s funny how 100 years old temples are “overlooked” by some officials and reclassify them as “squatters”. It is not like the temples been hidden somewhere for the past 99 years and decide to pop up in recent years!

Step 4

If the temple is “wrongly” situated in the land, then what’s next? Make a study and decide whether the status of the land need to be changed to accommodate this temple OR whether the temple need to be demolished and merged with another temple in the same area OR relocated with a proper documents and better facilities.

Step 5

If demolishment is really, really needed, then define what would be the right way of doing it? High-handed tactics must be strictly avoided and a closer working with the devotees, temple committee and representatives from the State and NGOs must be done

Step 6

Proper guidelines must be drawn out for future development. The existence of legal and registered temples must be acknowledged and the developer needs to revise the development layout plan that takes these temples into consideration. No more having major highway or future commercial development running in the middle of 100 years old temples

The question is what has been done todate?

Has the temples in the state has been duly registered? Has some kind of studies been made with the help of various NGOs and temple committee members so that ‘feasibility’ of having too many temples in certain areas and so on. Has some guidelines been drawn-up?

The State Government, to be fair, have taken the necessary steps in handling this sensitive issue – read here on steps taken todate

But then again, there is a limit on what the state government can do. The rest is up to the various temple committee members themselves. And one major step that the committee members can do is to consolidate.

Let me illustrate the problem with the temples in Puchong:-

Temples1

Listed here is the many temples situated within about 5 kilometres radius.

Temple 1 is about 2.6 kilometres away from Temple 2 and Temple 3 is about 4 kilometres away from Temple 4. Out of the 5 temples listed, let’s focus on Temples 1, 2 & 3. From the start Temples 1 & 3 (both are more than 100 years old)  has been ‘screwed’ by the previous BN led government when the layout for the LDP Highway was laid down for approval. The highway squeezed the said temples and they are now precariously situated at the edge of a busy highway.

I recall several years ago when Litrak wanted to expand the lanes and they wanted to relocate / demolish Temple 1. There was a huge protest and Litrak backed off – end result, a tight bottle-neck near the temple. Temple 3 faced a similar problems.

With plans to relocate / demolish disbanded, one would have expected that the temple committee members would  now have enough time to properly save the temple from potential problems. Nothing much spectacular came out from this. The temple remained as it is but increasingly being squeezed by surrounding developments, making traffic and travelling to pray a nightmare.

temple2

Look at Temple 1 (red) closer – it is surrounded by the LDP highway, commercial buildings (green) and a police station (blue). There is no more room for further development. And when there is religious celebrations, there is hardly any place for the devotees to pray comfortably.

As for Temple 3 (remember the “snake magically appearing” incident couple years ago), there is some space for expansion at the back of the temple but having the temple at the fast corner of the highway seems way too dangerous. This is so during certain temple festivals where the worshippers simply park their cars along the side of the highway and put the other highway users in danger.

Temple 2 fared better between the 3 temples – it has been properly renovated to accommodate a large number of worshippers, has more room to expand in future, ample of parking spots (provided there is no developments at the front of the temple) and situated at least 100 metres away from edge of the busy highway.

Given the close proximity of the 3 temples, it makes more sense that Temple 1 & 3 to merge with Temple 2 as one temple.

Now think of the potential benefits of consolidation!

Cash from sale of land where Temple 1 & 3 now situated (if any) can be reused to purchase the land next to and on the front of Temple 2 (the temple can also organise fund-raising event to collect the money needed). The additional land then can be used for future expansion of the temple (perhaps to place the deities from Temple 1 & 3), building of a proper wedding hall (which has a separate area for dining) and more organised parking area (perhaps 7 storey building just for parking). Booking fees from wedding halls and parking tickets should generate more income for the temple to organise religious and cultural activities.

At the same time, temple management can be more streamlined (with healthy cashflow) and the devotees would have one place to go for their prayers, religious and cultural activities.

That’s the way that various temple committees need to look at and start moving on – consolidate and expand properly instead of jealously guarding their turfs whilst adding pressure on its current location.

The unveiling of the World Tallest Lord Murugan Statue


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On 28th January 2005, the world’s tallest Lord Murugan’s statue was unveiled in Batu Caves. The statue is 42.7 meters tall and presently is the tallest in the world presently. The temple officials are hoping that it will be listed in Guinness Book of World Record. There were other records too:-

1. The statue cost RM2.5mil is made of 1,550 cubic meters of concrete, 250 tonnes of steel bars and 300 liters of gold paint brought in from Thailand. Fifteen Indian sculptors had worked on the project for three years.

2. The RM15,000 flower garland, which was 43m long and weighed about a tonne (A total of five days without sleep and 18 men was what it took to prepare this enormous garland. They needed another 20 men to help lift it to the crane so it wouldn’t sway and hit visitors).

Although, I was not in Batu Caves for the ceremony, my camera was (ya, I managed passed it to my sister as she was leaving to Batu Caves)

Picture 1
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The statue as it was unveiled – they had to use 2 cranes to lift the huge malai (flower garland) up the statue and placed it in the right way. Look closely at the feet of the statue and you will see something interesting. See the next picture below to see what is interesting

Picture 2
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The little kid dressed up as Lord Murugan standing at the feet of the statue – that’s gives some comparison of the real size of the statue

Picture 3
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In conjunction with the unveiling of the statue, various Indian Cultural activities were also held. My sister managed to get 2 of the cultural dancers to pose for the shot (ya, she did a better job than me on the camera). It is quite rare to see the peacock dance.

For more pictures, also see TV Smith
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(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Indians)
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My first thought for 2006


I guess there is no better way to start the year for my blog than blogging on something religious (or something close to that topic). Ya, you heard me right – “religious”

More so, after I almost got into a fight (or rather a fist fight) with an idiot who double parked at a very congested parking area on the 1st day of 2006. I was not drunk but I was pissed off because parking lot was full and the guy had the cheek to park the car right in between 2 parking lots, came out, had a look at his parking and casually walked away. I quickly got down and confronted the guy.

Sanity (and my wife consistent pulling of my hands and arms) prevented a full blow up and possible injuries on the first day of 2006. Of course, in the end, that guy changed his mind and drove off (probably because I told him that he will find smashed windscreens & punctured tires when he comes back to his car). I did not dare to park on the empty spots either (I don’t mind taking blows to my body but never to my car).

Now for the religious part…

For those who have ventured into an Indian temple or at least passed by one, I am sure that you will find the following picture to be very familiar (this is in India – picture taken by my sister)

Many of us including me never thought about the science of an Indian Temple – I mean most temples looks the same and probably came from the same blueprint thousands years ago. That was until few weeks ago when I was at a local bookstore and read about the architecture of an Indian Temple by one Mat Salleh (strange? I would have expected an Indian to write about things like this but nonetheless we Indians sometimes don’t talk or write about obvious things)

The following text is extracted from here

The basic plan of a Hindu temple is an expression of sacred geometry where the temple is visualized as a grand “mandala”. Characteristically, a “mandala” is a sacred shape consisting of the intersection of a circle and a square.

The square shape is symbolic of earth, signifying the four directions which bind and define it. Indeed, in Hindu thought whatever concerns terrestrial life is governed by the number four (four castes; the four Vedas etc.). Similarly, the circle is logically the perfect metaphor for heaven since it is a perfect shape, without beginning or end, signifying timelessness and eternity, a characteristically divine attribute. Thus a “mandala” (and by extension the temple) is the meeting ground of heaven and earth.

Throughout all subsequent developments in temple architecture, however spectacular and grandiose, the main shrine room remains the small, dark cave that it has been from the beginning. Indeed it has been postulated (both by archaeology and legend), that the temple developed from the cave-shrine of the extremely remote past.

When the devotee enters a temple, he is actually entering into a mandala and therefore participating in a power-field. The field enclosures and pavilions through which he must pass to reach the sanctum are symbolic. They represent the phases of progress in a man’s journey towards divine beatitude. In accordance with this scheme of transition, architectural and sculptural details vary from phase to phase in the devotee’s onward movement, gradually preparing him for the ultimate, awesome experience, which awaits him in the shrine.

This process mirrors the four-phased spiritual evolution envisaged in yoga, namely the waking state (jagrat); dream state (swapna); the state of deep sleep (sushupti); and finally the highest state of awareness known in Sanskrit as turiya.

Mind boggling? One thing for sure – I am not going to look at a temple the same way that I used to see. More reading here

(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Indians)

Poll result: What is the main reason why Indian community in Malaysia not doing well?


It is an irony that the day I am closing the poll, I am reading about the downfall of the “Deva Gang” in the newspapers. It is an irony indeed

I wish to thank all who participated on the short poll especially those who added the link in their blog. I have conveyed the result to my friend and he appreciated your time spent on the poll.

Yes, I agree that it may not be an accurate poll as was pointed by Mack when he commented on Lim Kit Siang poll but it was a good way to gauge the reader’s opinion on the matter as rightly pointed out by Lim Kit Siang in his response to Mack.

The final result from 34 respondents is as follows:-

I must say that I was in for a rude surprise. I had never expected that lack of motivation and focus was the main course of the Indian community in Malaysia not doing well. However, as I reflected back on people I know, this does not seem far from the truth. There are other factors of course, such as insufficient support from the community, lack of avenues for people to be motivated, etc but this is present in every community as well in Malaysia. It is not a new issue. This is something the community needs to work on it because being demoralized and not being motivated to make great achievements can at times be tragic.

I must agree on the other result of the poll where there is indeed less unity among the community. I mean how well we get along with others in the Indian community? South Indians have their own way (that too sometimes is limited to Indian Pubs), the Punjabis on the other side, North Indians on another, etc. The unity seems is limited within family but this too seems lacking these days. One fight in the family and you has a major split among family members for years.

As far as the lack of support from the government / political parties, well, I have long abandoned the hope for such support. I could be bias here – from own experience with MIC twice in my life have led me to think twice whether political party is indeed is contributing to support the Indian community.

However, not all is loss for the community (Indian or otherwise) to start picking the pieces and start working on improving the stature among other communities in Malaysia. Forget about political parties if you may.

Let’s get started on little things such as unity and being motivating others – after all, it is something within our control.

Poll: Why Indian community in Malaysia not doing well?


I am doing this poll on behalf of someone who is preparing an analysis paper on the Indian community. Fire away with your votes. Voting ends on next Monday. 

What is the main reason why Indian community in Malaysia not doing well?
Lack of education opportunities
Lack of unity among the community
Lack business skills and opportunities
Too much negative influence from media
Lack of motivation and focus
Lack of support from Government / political parties
Free polls from Pollhost.com