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Housing schemes must provide a place for worship
05/01/2009 NST By Sheila Sri Priya

KUALA LUMPUR: All new housing schemes in the city are required to allocate a piece of land for non-Muslims to build their places of worship, said Federal Territories deputy minister Datuk M. Saravanan.

He said several non-registered places of worship of the same faith may exist in a vicinity but only one piece of land would be allocated.

"It is up to the committee members of the different places of worship to compromise and move into the same location."

Saravanan said the government couldn't afford to allocate the many places of worship a piece of land each in the same area.

"It would be too taxing on the government but we can provide a plot depending on the need.

"For instance, there are 16 small temples along a road in Sentul. The government can't provide a plot each for all 16 but could allocate one piece of land where all the 16 temples can move in.

"The temple trustees or committees need to think of ways best to utilise the land.

"They could either merge or share the land and build their temples on it, " he said after visiting the residents who shifted from the TAR flats in Jalan Pekeliling to the transit homes at the Sri Terengganu flats recently.

"Recently, we gave land to a temple in Abdullah Hukum. In Kampung Semerak another one-and-half acre is allocated for 19 temples in that area. We leave it to the temple trustees to decide how they are going to manage the land," said Saravanan.

The minister also aims to resolve many temple issues in Kuala Lumpur this year. They have been a sore point with city dwellers of late. An unregistered temple, which was demolished near Ampang, had caused some uneasiness among the people recently.

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