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Demolition of Hindu Temples in Malaysia

Several Hindu temples have been demolished in Malaysia in the last couple of years and more than 50 temples have been served notice. Some of the temples are more than 100 years old. Most of the demolitions are taking place at the pretext of development and some even without proper government documents. Malaysia’s Hindus make up close to eight percent of the country’s 26 million people. Islam is the dominant religion in Malaysia.

Last week, The Hindu Rights Action Force, a coalition of 30 NGOs committed to the preservation of Hindu heritage in Malaysia, submitted a memorandum to the office of the country's solicitor general. In May, 2006, a march was held by Hindus when the 60-year-old Om Sri Siva Balakrishnan Muniswarar Temple in Mukim Setapak was demolished. All this is happening when the Constitution of Malaysia has provided with the freedom to practice any religion.

It is estimated that there are more than 15,000 small and big Hindu temples in Malaysia and most of them are in government land. Majority of the temples were built by Indian migrants from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The British traders employed them as laborers and rubber-plantation workers. Therefore most of the temples were built within the plantations and estates. When the British left, the plantations and estate were passed over to the government.

If the Hindu temples are not demolished, they are relocated next to sewerage tanks. Some temples have been burnt to the ground. In some cases the deities forcibly removed.

Some of the important temples demolished in Malaysia:

  • The 100-year-old Malaimel Sri Selva Kaliamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur.
  • The 65-year-old Sri Ayyanar Sathiswary Alayam Temple at Jalan Davies in Kuala Lumpur.
  • The 60-year-old Om Sri Siva Balakrishnan Muniswarar Temple in Mukim Setapak.
  • The 100-year-old Sri Kaliamman temple in Shah Alam City.
  • The 65-year-old Sri Ayyanar Sathiswary Alayam Temple, Jalan
  • The 100-year-old Sri Muniswarar Temple, Semenyih Selangor.
  • The 80-year-old Sri Muthumariamman Alayam Hindu Temple in Skudai Johor.

Whenever a Christian or Islamic symbol is demolished there are reactions in India and around the world. When Hindu temples or symbols are demolished it rarely gets noticed.


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