Srilanka & Malaysia

Demolished shrine: ‘Hindu Sangam to blame’

MHS should explain to the Hindus on the steps needed to build places of worship, says an analyst.

PETALING JAYA: A prominent political analyst and columnist has blamed the Malaysian Hindu Sangam (MHS) over an incident where a shrine located in a house was demolished by local authorities in Sepang last week.

A Thiruvengadam, a former Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) member, said the failure of the MHS to explain how and where the temples and shrines can be constructed was the reason why Hindus in the country are building such places of worship according to their whims and fancies.

“Building a shrine in a car porch and in front of the house does not reflect the religion. From a religious point of view temples and shrines are not to be built at homes… there are various steps which need to be taken before such places of worship are built,” he told FMT when contacted today.

He was asked to comment on a recent demolition of a shrine at a house by the Sepang Municipal Council (MPS). On Nov 20, 30 MPS officers trespassed into the residence of one S Gobi Kumar to carry out the demolition. The shrine was located within the compound of Gobi’s home.

“If you talk about places of worship, then it should be built in a public place, not in any private premises. As Hindus, they can have altar inside the residence. But, they cannot build statues or shrines with the purpose of prayers at their place of dwelling. Thus, I fully support the MPS’ action.

“This is not something political. MHS should come out and explain matters related to the religion to Hindus in the country. If it stays mum, then it defeats the purpose of having such an organisation to oversee the religion as a whole,” he added.

He said MHS, as an influential religious body, should not encourage construction of shrines or temples at houses.

“Running religious classes alone is not enough. MHS must initiate a large-scale awareness campaign to tell Hindus about their own religion. It would be better if MHS comes out with a declaration stopping people from building places of worship in their house compund,” said Thiruvengadam.

He also asked all parties making statements on the recent demolition not to turn it into a political issue.

“They should look at the issue from the religious viewpoint and not make statements to gain publicity,” he added.

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