State Government to Discuss Issues of Cave Temples

Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad will hold a meeting with the local authorities regarding the eviction notices served to several houses of worship built in caves.

According to him, his party will meet with the Director of the State Land and Mines Office and the Kinta District Officer to obtain the full picture about the situation.

“I will meet with them today. I will also bring up this issue during the State Executive Council Meeting to obtain solutions,” he stated.

He said so when asked about the issue after the groundbreaking ceremony of an upgrade project for part of Jalan Tambun today. 

Yesterday, the media reported that the management of Nam Thean Tong Cave Temple had received a notice from the Kinta District Land Office on Friday to vacate the premises within 30 days.

The temple located in the cave near Gunung Rapat is said to be 155 years old and is a location frequented by many.

It is located next to the Sam Poh Tong Temple which is a popular tourist destination in the city.

Temple Trustee Chairperson, Chan Kwai Hoong was quoted as saying, “It is true that we do not have a lease. However, we have been trying to apply for it for years but were not successful.

“There were also no reasons given to us as to why our applications were not approved,” he stated.

Kwai Hong hoped that the state government could consider the application and gazette the area as a house of worship. 

Besides Nam Thean Tong Temple, it is understood that 19 other temples in several caves here which are on government land had also received the same notice and were to face similar action.

Cave trespassing is an offense according to Section 425 of National Land Code 1965, similar to the action of trespassing other government land. Thus, the action of occupying any cave in the state without permission is considered an offense as the land is owned by the government. 

Enforcement under this section allocates a fine of RM500,000, jail of 5 years or both if found guilty.


Rosli Mansor 


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