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The Banyan Tree

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 11:37 AM PST

Yussof Condred
This umbrageous Banyan tree was 100 years old. If one stood under it and looked up, one would feel that he was inside a huge cathedral with a green canopy. Shafts of tropical sunlight pierced through little openings in the canopy, dappling the carpet of dried, brown leaves underneath it. And at the base next to its gigantic trunk a modest, wooden temple stood. The temple was as old as the Banyan tree.
Just as the roots of the Banyan tree sunk deep and wide to give it firm support, the temple rested on a foundation of a strong, uncompromising faith. So, with the passage of time, roots and faith intertwined to form a symbiotic union. Like a pair of Siamese twins joined by a strategic organ and should a surgeon were to attempt a separation, neither of the twins would survive. Kill the Banyan tree, the temple is destroyed; destroy the temple, the Banyan tree dies.
In the temple lived an old priest who had devoted his life to the services of his God and temple devotees, just like his father before him, and his father's father. The land that the Banyan tree stood on belonged to the state. By men's law the Banyan tree was an illegal squatter. 100 years of undisturbed occupancy appeared to have given the temple and the Banyan tree a semblance of moral legitimacy. But when avarice was pitted against compassion, avarice won.
Then came the enforcers of the men-made laws with their mechanised chain saws and wrecking ball. The Banyan tree that took 100 years to grow from a tiny seed was hewn within hours. Thus were the twins forcibly separated. The old priest remained steadfast in his temple against the threat of the wrecking ball and began his fast unto death in protest.
On the first day of his fast, pilgrims of his exacting faith came from near and far to hold a vigil. They came in droves flooding the temple and its compound like the unstoppable flow of monsoon-season flood water. They chanted prayers. The rhythmic intone rising from a murmur to a crescendo and back to a murmur again, like the unceasing tempo of the angry, roaring waves leashing at an impregnable, uncaring sea shore.
Lying on his cotton mattress on the first night of his fast, the old priest tossed about constantly and slept fitfully. Nightmares tormented him. He dreamt of falling helplessly down a dark bottomless abyss and losing his grip on his God. He dreamt of a weakening in his faith against the formidable might of the state.
He woke up in a cold sweat, in the early hours the next morning, when all the pilgrims had dispersed. He got down from his bed, shuffled towards a cabinet from which he took out a gallon tin of kerosene, went back to the bed and sat on it in a lotus position and immediately doused himself with the kerosene. Then he opened the drawer of his bedside table and with his right hand groped inside to fish out a flint lighter. He positioned the lighter close to his kerosene-soaked garment. Without a moment of hesitation he flicked the wheel of the lighter with his thumb.
The flames at first spread to the cotton mattress and then grew to an inferno that finally engulfed the tinderbox temple.
Three years later, out of the very spot where the Banyan tree grew rose a new temple ....... a gleaming 30-storied condominium. Kneel, all ye faithful. Kneel to the new God!

List of temples facing possible demolition in Klang Valley under DBKL

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 10:52 AM PST



Jakun Malaysia 


Kuil Sri Virapatar - Kepong

Kuil Sri Maha Veppan Kaliamman – Kepong

Kuil Sri Nageswari Amman Alayam – Old Klang Road

Kuil Sri Aelumalaiyan – Mont Kiara

Kuil Sri Nageswar Jai Muniswarar – Jalan Sg Besi

Kuil Sri Maha Pathinetthampadi Karupanna Swamy – Setapak

Kuil Om Sri Arulmigum Muniswaran Alayam – Manjalara, KL

Kuil Sri Ashhathasa Puja Mahaletchumny Thurgai Amman Alayam- Jalan Semantan,KL
Kuil Sri Maha Muniswaran – Warisan Tradisi, Jalan Cheras

Kuil Sri Muniandi – Warisan Tradisi, Jalan Cheras

Kuil Sri Venayagar – Jinjang Utara

Kuil Durgai AmmanNagambigai- Sungai Besi

Kuil Sri Thirumurugan Aalayam – Jalan Semarak

Kuil Sri Maha Athiparasakthi – Jalan Semarak

Kuil Sri Maha Samundeswarie Alayam – Jalan Semarak

Kuil Natha Muniswarar- Jalan Semarak

Kuil Samayapurathamariamman- Jalan Semarak

Kuil Sri Maha Muniswarar Kaliaman – Kg Muhibbah – Jalan Puchong

Kuil Sri Maha Mariamman – Jln Kg Pasir, KL

Kuil Sri Maha Annal Agilandeswari - KL

Kuil Sri Muneswaran Alayam - Kl

Kuil Kaliaman - KL

Kuil Sri Muniswarar -KL


No, I am not kidding. This is not an exhaustive list as there are another at least 10 temples within the vicinity of Sentul and its surroundings in a similar predicament with Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd's projects sprawling over there. 


Those temples above either face demolishment / relocation through forceful acquisition by government agencies or private sector without any regards even though almost all existed before the independence of the country and the existence of DBKL.    


Similar to how the estate plantation workers were displaced due to the so-called development of the nation without any safety net for the Indian community that eventually led to over 350,000 stateless Indians and their indulgence into vice activities, we are yet to observe another round of further attempts in steamrolling the Indian community in Malaysia at the whims and fancies of a rowdy government.     


A temple that offers an atmosphere of sacredness, dignity and tranquility for the beliefs of the Malaysian Indians should not be desecrated in such a confrontational manner by the authorities and moreover it is a flagrant violation of international obligation undertaken under the United Nations Charter. 


Such occurrence was prevalent in the past due to toothless Indian politicians but that is the very purpose why the government brought in HINDRAF (an NGO) through the MOU to avoid such malfeasance. But, yet again without any negotiation or discussion, the government decides to strike with a master and slave attitude towards the Malaysian Indians.         


The reluctance and the lackluster attitude by the government and their officials in dealing with the stakeholders by conveniently taking such a unilateral decision clearly indicates the irrelevance of any constructive opinions from the Indian community or their leaders.  


Malaysian Indians need to unite to stand against any oppression by anyone against their basic rights to practice their beliefs as protected by our constitution.

Thank you.
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