No to new developments if houses of worship not considered - Khalid

SHAH ALAM: Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said new housing areas would not be approved if the locations of existing houses of the worship were not taken into consideration.

He said he had made this decision after problems arose, including in Shah Alam, when house buyers protested when they found their property located close to houses of worship.

Khalid said the state government realised that some developers did not take into consideration the location of temples, which had long existed near the project sites.

"When problems arise we resolve them by relocating the temples to suitable sites but this is not easy," he said in reply to a supplementary question from Ismail Sani (BN-Dusun Tua) at the state assembly sitting, here, on Thursday, Nov 11.

Ismail had said that in Hulu Langat, some buyers of houses in Lagenda Suria were unhappy and protested when they found their property facing a plot of land which had been approved for a temple nine years ago.

Khalid said at the moment, the state government needed to resolve the relocation of 20 temples.

To a question from Yap Lum Chin (DAP-Balakong), he said since Pakatan Rakyat took over the state's administration, it had received 194 applications for land to build Chinese and Hindu temples and churches, and so far 33 had been approved.

In reply to Lim Kim Sin (DAP-Kajang), Khalid said the applications would require the approval of the local authorities and agreement of the local communities before the sites could be gazetted for houses of worship.

To Lim's supplementary question, he said gazetting of such sites could take eight to 10 months.

Meanwhile, state Health, Plantation Workers and Caring Government Committee chairman Dr Xavier Jayakumar admitted that the state government had overlooked cases of temples that were built without approval.

He said as the areas under the local authorities were large, he welcomed the cooperation of all quarters to check the problem. -- Bernama
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