Indians outraged over demolition of Hindu altar in Malaysian town

Indians outraged over demolition of Hindu altar in Malaysian town	Kuala Lumpur, Nov. 30 : The Indian community has expressed fury after a Hindu altar was demolished in a Malaysian town.

The Sepang Municipal Council (MPSP) demolished the Hindu altar in a house in Taman Seroja in Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi last week.

The MIC and several Indian groups are demanding an explanation from the council and the Selangor Government for the high-handed action.

MIC Youth Secretary C. Sivarraajh said 30 enforcement officers from the council went to the house on November 20 and demolished the altar, which was erected within the gated compound.

According to the Star, house owner Umah Devi, 35, said she received a notice from the council to demolish it on grounds that the structure was allegedly in violation of council bylaws.

"My husband went to the council to appeal and was told it would be considered. But we received another notice stating that we would have to pay a RM250 daily fine if we did not tear it down," she said.

"The officers arrived without notice. We tried to negotiate with them but they went ahead and demolished it," she added.

Indian Athma Sakthi Association president and founder Vasantha Kumar said it was common for Hindus and Chinese to have altars.

"This action clearly shows that the Selangor Government, of which PAS is a part of, is not tolerant towards Hindu culture. Does this mean that under the Pakatan Rakyat, the Hindus, Buddhist and Taoists cannot have altars at home?" he asked.

State executive councillor Dr Xavier Jeyakumar said local councils had the right to take action against illegal structures built inside or outside a house, adding that the state government could not interfere without a valid reason.

He said the altar could not be construed as a religious place as there had no prayers or ceremonies held there, the report added. (ANI)

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