GRATEFUL: Relieved devotees thanked the government for allocating land for the relocation of their temples
KUALA LUMPUR: FOUR temples in Cheras recently received good news pertaining to their eviction notice.
Two of them, the Amitabha and Xian Fa Divine temples were ordered to vacate by Nov 3 last year to make way for the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT project.
Referring to Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk M. Saravanan's statement that places of worship cannot be demolished unless they are relocated, the temples' representatives decided against vacating.
Some 800 worshippers took part in a prayer session to highlight their temples' plight.
The other two temples, the Kwan Ying and Fun Yim Tong temples are located on a plot of land owned by the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP).
Understanding that MAIWP would want the land back in the future, a meeting was held between Saravanan, Bukit Jalil Resort MCA chairman Chew Yin Keen and Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib, who is also the chairman of the special committee on non-Muslim places of worship.
"Religion is a sensitive subject so before any disputes arise over the land issue, we have come to an agreement to relocate these temples," Chew said.
The temples will be relocated to a piece of reserve land in Kampung Landasan Keretapi Cheras.
The Amitabha temple has been allocated a 990sq metre plot while the three other temples have each been given 624sq metre plots.
The land will be gazetted for the purpose of non-Muslim places of worship.
Kwan Ying temple secretary Zeng Wang Xian Sheng said they were grateful that the temples had been given land for relocation.
"We would like to thank everybody who helped us with our plight," he said.
Because they are affected by the MRT project, the Amitabha and Xian Fa Divine temples will receive RM350,000 and RM200,000 from the government respectively.
"The temple-goers are very grateful for the aid but we need the public to help us raise more money because it is costly to build temples," Chew said.
The Amitabha temple needs RM1 million for a five-storey building. The other temples need RM600,000 each to build two-storey buildings.
Xian Fa Divine temple chairman Ng Yoon Choy said the temple would organise activities to raise more money.
Those who wish to help can write the name of a specific temple at the back of the cheque. Otherwise, the donation will be distributed equally among the four temples.
The donations can be sent to MCA Bukit Jalil Resort, Suite 9.01, Ninth Floor, Wisma Mirama, Jalan Wisma Putra, 50460 Kuala Lumpur.