Destruction of ancient Hindu temple: Penang CM responds

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Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has responded to the destruction of Candi no. 11 in the historical Bujang Valley region.

The Bujang Valley archaeological excavations have enormous significance in our understanding of the history of the peninsula, and these sites are national treasures. They deserve to be protected.

Guan Eng says:

Malaysians are shocked that an ancient Hindu temple (Candi) belonging to the Sri Vijaya era, about 1200 years, was demolished by a developer to make way for a housing project in Sungei Batu area of Kedah.

Candi No. 11 in Sungei Batu area of the Bujang Valley was one of the temples rebuilt in the 1970s using materials from the pre-historic era. Hidden in the midst of a small oilpalm estate, the developer demolished the Candi before mowing down the trees for a housing project.

Even the nearby Indian residents of the Sungei Batu estate were oblivious to this destruction.

The matter was brought to public attention when one Nadarajah, a researcher on Bujang Valley history, discovered the disappearance of this Candi a few days back. Last Saturday, Prof. P. Ramasamy, Deputy Chief Minister ll of the Penang State government, who had earlier researched on the Chola presence in Bujang Valley, confirmed the destruction of the temple.

A nearby Museum official revealed that the destruction of the temple could have been avoided had the land office in Merbok monitored and notified the presence of this historical structure to the developer. However, this was not done and what more the developer was given the approval to proceed with the clearance of the site.

Since the monitoring of historical sites in Malaysia is under the supervision of the Jabatan Warisan under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the local museum in Bujang Valley is powerless to act and prevent removal of historical places.

Bujang Valley is a world famous historical site. In this sprawling area of hundreds of acres, remains of Malaysia’s ancient history of Buddhism and Hindusm are evident. Some historians and archaeologists are of the opinion that the Bujang Valley represents the beginning of early Malay civilization.

Saving ancient temples and monuments in Bujang Valley and in other areas in Malaysia is the duty of all Malaysians. Governments in power must have the political will to act and punish those who destroy the rich history of our country.

In Penang, we have given much importance to safeguard and advance the UNESCO Heritage areas. We expect the Kedah state government to take proactive policies to protect and enhance monuments and historical places bequeathed to us by earlier generations.

I urge the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and in particular the Department of Heritage to take immediate steps to list Bujang Valley as a UNESCO Heritage.

Meanwhile I welcome the Kedah State Government for issuing a stop worker on the developer. Stop work order is not enough; measures must be taken to see whether the agency officials and the developer have broken any laws and to be prosecuted.

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DR. HAMID IBRAHIM

NOWHERE IT IS STAED IN THE QURAN THAT
AUTHORITIES GO AROUND AND DEMOLISH
TEMPLES; IT IS SHEER MADENESS. ALLAH
WILL PUNISH THEM

Yang

There is also one known Hindu Kingdom which also exist around this time. It is Gangga Negara in Beruas, Perak.The first research into the Beruas kingdom was conducted by Colonel James Low in 1849 and H.G. Quaritch Wales a year later. So you see (the) racist … has no right to ask the non Malay to go back…

susie yoong

Few years ago, during the course of my work, I was informed by someone, who told me, there was a 2000 year old Hindu empire historical site found in Kedah. Out of my own curiosity, I went searching and discovered many tents inside an oil palm estate, visible from the road. The site was about the size of a big stadium, I could see shallow hole in each tent where researchers, some were university students, busy excavating and diligently brushing off dirt from, I believe were historical artifacts It was out of bound to outsiders but near enough for me… Read more »

grkumar

Susie many of the artifacts and evidence of history taken from excavations at such historic sites are often sent to places like Oxford and other foreign universities with more advanced departments of history and sciences to verify their provenance. India too has a number of these universities and facilities they now having successfully secured for themselves the sciences and the facilities to match such findings with their own. Whats interesting is this. There are revisionists of history who wish to re write history. There has been an attempt to suggest that Borobudur in Indonesia was in fact created by Indonesians… Read more »

don anamalai

UNESCO should take note of this.
Can never trust the museum authority or Kementerian Kebudayaan that has never been true to our history (the real one).

Erwin

Lembah Bujang must be listed as Unesco world heritage site.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/lembah-bujang-must-be-listed-as-unesco-world-heritage-site-dap-tells-putraj

This is a good comment:
The listing of Bujang Valley as a heritage site will hopefully TRIGGER OFF a whole chain of events in which Malaysian history can be re-written away from all the UMNO propaganda that Malaysia’s rich and glorious history began only from the Malacca sultanate in 1400. The 1200 year old Bujang Valley is already proof of this and it can be supported by Kota Gelanggi and Beruas as parts of the Srivijaya Empire.

grkumarGR

The truth is that if the state wished to raze anything on land anywhere within it jurisdiction it has the constitutional right to do so. But thats overreaching when it is the work of private contractors many of whom have already been identified. Not one of them is a Malay. Not one of them the state.

rajraman666

To raze anything under state jurisdiction? There is no human compassion and historical facts to look into first? Under what by laws it’s written? rajraman. The approval given 20 years ago and by common law its expired.Whoever in charge of land office guilty. However the State must take responsibility Only Barbarian.with absolute power like you said” the state have every rights raze anything” will act like one Barbarian. Please go to Yogyakarta – see the Borobudur and Prabanan the Sivan Temple.The History is persevered although natural disaster keep destroying this Candi but The People’s of Indonesia keep build them back.… Read more »

Erwin

Sejarah mengikut tafsiran Umno….
Ugama mengikut tafsiran Umno….

Soon Rukun Negara will add ‘Taat kepada Umno/BN’ else you are traitor!

grkumarGR

The site was not destroyed by UMNO as has been the case of previous sites. This time we have the name of the developer and his Chinese project manager who both acted in contravention of the rules.

grkumarGR

Censorship is a sign of ignorance and fear.If you are to censor a response of factual though painful facts on a matter that hi lites ignorance and attacks a race like the “Stylo Logan” posting then you don’t do anyone other than yourself, your credibility and your objectivity a disservice.

Stylo Logan

Stupid for Umno to demolish this historic site in the name of perpetuating the flawed history syllabus in our school. In doing so they are actually depriving the Kedah folks a Hugh source of tourism dollars like what Angkor Wat and Borobudur have done to Cambodia and Indonesia respectively.

Saravanan

The developers are Umno’s contractors (Class A to Class F via the Ali Baba cascading of sub-contracting) that ‘ikut perintah’.

Why our history book never acknowledge that Hinduism set foot here long before the Arabs came?

Why is it that the Kesultanan Melayu began after they embrace Islam?
They should be thankful that the British did not force them to convert to Christianity.
If the Spanish armada was here instead, then this will be a hallelujah land.

Lapala

Saravanan
Angkor Wat in the north and Borobudor in the south. And in the middle at Bujang Valley once was a formidable empire sad that some don’t want the people to acknowledge and cherish ???

tunglang

I dreamt that:
Hang Li Po secretly learnt Belly Dance of the 101 Arabian Nights before she set foot on Melaka,
Hang Tuah secretly SMSed in Mandarin his mother wishing her Happy Long Life Mother’s Day,
And Admiral Cheng Ho secretly drank Tongkat Ali Kau Kau plus Angry Bird’s Nest before sending a sachet sample to his Emperor via Chungking Pigeon Express.

Secretly, am I drinking too much Kopi-O kau kau???

Syam

for once Anil apprears to be kind of naive ? 🙂
may be Anil needs to revisit the sejarah syllabus (for PMR & SPM) our youngsters are memorizing to score the A (heard that passing is mandatory now).
may be Anil’s time he learns about Romans & The Greeks sejarah BUT time r changing and our young generations got to “assimilate” the nusantara culture in the eyes of present regime ???

OWC

Anil

state land means Tanah Melayu, bukan Tanah Hindu according to Umno.

grkumar

Vandalism especially cultural vandalism of any sort is intolerable. Historic monuments and icons, archeological finds and evidence of our past history does not belong to any one race or religion. It is an indelible mark of our history. To demolish it is an act of vandalism and an assault on the dignity of all of humanity. In recent times this particular demolition in the state of Kedah shamefully only rivals the act of vandalism of the Taleban in their demolition of the Bamyan Buddha giant carving in Kandahar. It is a demonstration of ignorance and the arrogance that goes with… Read more »

Island Joe

I hope our CM acts on his talk on some of the outstanding issues here in Penang like the Botak Hill and any development plans for Penang Hill. As for Lembah Bujang, what’s the point of re-building it if it will be surrounded by hundreds of concrete houses. Its the equivalent of what we’ve seen in Penang where a shopping centre can be build OVER a heritage building on Gurney Drive! People will only visit a heritage site if it actually is preserved as one. Not as a side note to a generic housing estate. Preserve it properly and stop… Read more »

Rufus Mallu

Well, the CM must look at his own backyard too. Let Kedah sort out Bujang Valley. Lots of environmental mishaps in Penang for you to worry about, Mr CM

yang

Did I not said it is all sama sama. Yes LGE better worry about the botak hill and many other structure that will be destroyed in the name of development. And off topic this is how the Jardip talk big about being fair on LMC but in this case its being sold direct by developers to purchaser not in the perumahaan list and at double the price. Now this incompetent Jardip said the buyer must sit down with the developers and talk. What is this idiot jardip talking about. This is LMC and it is supposed to be under the… Read more »

tunglang

…the buyer must sit down with the developers and talk? Talk what? Cham seong ah? Where on earth is affordable housing open to table negotiation? This shows CAT is a toothless political icon with a bluff when dealing with recalcitrant developers who also bluff thro the teeth. CAT is a meow, meow but no power to act but talk. Penang state gomen cannot do anything no different from boh lan hoot when low income people are fleeced left & right of their affordable housing in broad daylight. Imagine a carpark priced at 28.5K!!! Low income Penangites, be prepared for the… Read more »

Yang

Just like the Taliban, they wanted to wipe out other history but instead also destroyed their very own. Don`t they realized that their DNA is also part of the very history they are destroying

Kevin

His comments are not wrong but I feel he should concentrate more of his limited time on issues affecting Penang and let the Kedah Govt worry about their candis. There is destructions of so many heritage structures in Penang which has yet to be addressed (except maybe with a laughable fine of a few thousand ringgit). This does not include destruction to our natural heritage like, our forests, hills and coast which have existed for millions of years. If you live in a glass house you shouldn’t throw stones. Now his opponents can say the same to him.

rajraman666

Barbarian.
rajraman. Erase 1200 years history like Maha erasing his roots and the son follows.The denials of developer of historical facts doesn’t make sense.

Arshad

Why is MIC Kalanathan still quiet on this issue?

Timothy

He is only good at brown nosing Umno.

rajraman666

Hello Arshad,
The last i heard about K, he (is acting like) an undercover agent from UMNO loan to MIC.So to safe face his UMNO Godfather he is dead silent.Public Relation by Profession and Kamal applying what’s he learn not to offend his Godfather.

rajraman. All Pakatan Political Trader now got something to shout an attract Indians when temple’s is demolish,dead Indians in custody but Gelang Patah the filial son of LKS silent as other Indians when comes to economic welfare of marginalized Indians and Oops Penan people 2.

Jong

The secrecy the demolition was carried out is a shame; makes one wonder if there is more to it in Bujang Valley than mere temple ruins – call it candi, whatever.

Could there be gold, oil beneath it?
The area had been closed to public for years and it’s no big secret they were carting away artefacts,
said for ‘safe-keeping’. So where are they, what are they? Who is keeping them? Looks like people are talking eh? Plea of “ignorance” and unaware it’s a heritage site, is lame excuse at all! Those responsible should be hauled out and punished!

Rasputin

Now that the cat is out of the bag about the destruction of the historical sites in Lembah Bujang and caught the attention of concerned citizens boiling over with rage and anger, we can bet that there would be a carefully-crafted cover-up. Like the developer of the infamous Penang Botak Hill (Bukit Relau), this particular developer too would probably echo the same stock excuse: “Honestly, I was NOT aware of it…..My management made a mistake of clearing the land WITHOUT my decision”. Looks like not much difference between our country and the Talibans of Afghanistan who destroyed the famous historical… Read more »

tunglang

Cultural & historical assets + artefacts, the living & the dead ones are secondary consideration when it comes to development of the land. No different from raping Nature i.e. our rainforest, primary or secondary (in this case, Bukit Relau of Botak Hill infamy + light punishment). Where there is money to be made or state development portfolio to shamefully brandish for all to see, state gomens are more likely to co-commit such crimes against our timeless heritage. No different in Penang Island for the richie & famous & politically-linked I-owe-you. ‘Silence Is Golden’ prior to crimes of greed is a… Read more »