HUMAN RIGHTS PARTY MALAYSIA
NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245 Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com
Your Reference :
In Reply : Misc/Jan 2010 Thaipusam
Date : 26hb Januari 2010
YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak
Perdana Menteri Malaysia,
Blok Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, Fax: 03-88883444
62502 Putrajaya E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim
Menteri Besar Selangor,
Pejabat Menteri Besar Selangor,
Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin,
Abdul Aziz Shah, Fax: 03-55190032
40503 Shah Alam, Selangor E-Mail: email@example.com
Re : 1) SOS Batu Caves & World Heritage Site Declaration by
2) Stop Work Order on housing project in Batu Caves Reserve.
3) National Public holiday for Thaipusam
In 1930 even the colonial masters saw and deemed the Batu Caves Hill as a Malaysian heritage and reserved the same as a site for public recreation. But only in 1980 did the UMNO Selangor State government agree to stop quarrying works at Batu Caves and protect the remaining hill and caves.
Finally in 2007, the Federal government declared the 272 hectre Batu Caves Reserve a National Heritage site, affirming the status of Batu Caves as a unique site of national interest. (refer Star Metro 26/1/2010 at page M9 quoting the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).
However, in 2008 even the (Parti Keadilan Rakyat ruled Selangor state government’s) local government unlawfully permitted housing development right up to the base of the Batu Caves hill directly causing high-rise buildings and billboards to obscure the site.
The newly released Draft Selayang Municipal Council Local Plan 2020 by the PKR led Selangor state government zones the eastern part of the Batu Caves Reserve (Kg Melayu Wira Damai Selatan and Kg. Seri Gombak Tambahan) as high-density housing redevelopment contradicting the protected status accorded to the site under its gazette.
MNS had referred to the Minerals and Geosciences Department’s guidelines that stated that houses should not be built within 250m of the base of the hill (to avoid danger from rock-fall and sinkholes). Should the housing redevelopment plan be carried out it would directly contradict these guidelines, as well as posing a danger to the residents.
The same plan also proposes to put giant “MPS” lettering on the side of the Batu Caves hill which does not seem to serve any purpose other than defacing a natural rock formation for little publicity gain.
We hereby call upon your goodselves to forthwith issue an immediate stop Work Order and thereafter stop all further plan for housing development inside the said Batu Caves Reserve area and to manage this Nature Park reserve in accordance to its recreation rather than housing development.
Malaysia is a very big country measuring 329,845 square kilometers. We are sure that there are hundreds of thousands of other suitable sites that can be found for this housing development. Why then this greed? This our Heritage Batu Caves should be saved and preserved for our future generations.
In the circumstances we call upon your goodselves to:
1) Forthwith issue an immediate Stop Work Order on all development works in the said Batu Caves Hill Reserve Area.
2) The Federal and State Governments of Selangor gives effect to the original 1930 Batu Caves Hill Reservation gazette as a site for public recreation.
3) The Federal and Selangor State governments announces the proposed submission of Batu Caves as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Bearing this Unesco proposal in mind Thaipusam Day be declared a National Public Holiday accordingly with effect from next year (2011) onwards and that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announces the same accordingly on the eve of Thaipusam this year (29/1/10)when he becomes the first ever Malaysian Prime Minister to visit Batu Caves for Thaipusam
4) Moving forward and in recognition of and as a prelude to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the pain, suffering, oppression, marginalization and discrimination of the ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia and with the view to a new beginning that would put a stop to all further discrimination and marginalization of especially the ethnic minority Indian community in Malaysia this our aforesaid proposals would go a long way.
5) All unlawful housing or development within the said reserve area
should also be removed and/ or relocated to outside of the boundaries of the Batu Caves Reserve area.
6) Direct the issuance of an urgent circular by the Chief Secretary to the government and the Selangor State Secretary directing the aforesaid authorities that all operations of illegal touts preying on motorcycles, cars, buses and lorries parked and in and around the Batu Caves area especially during the Thaipusam festivities season this year and every year from now onwards put be to a stop.
7) Direct the Traffic Police and the Traffic Wardens from the Selayang Municipal Council to go easy on the issuance of traffic and parking summonses and tamper their enforcement practices with mercy during this year’s and every future year’s Thaipusam festivities as they rightly have been doing in particular during the peak hour weekly Friday prayers outside major mosques nationwide.
Note: Items 6 and 7 has become a yearly occurring complaint with no or very little action having been taken by the aforesaid authorities despite our almost yearly complaints in over the last fifteen years or so.
Secretary General (pro tem)