Temple association may take action against slanderous individuals

Shankar (seated, left) with Penghulu Lucy Lingam (seated, right) produced more documentary evidence showing that SMMT members wanted the temple to be rebuilt.

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KUCHING, Dec 14: The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Association Kuching (SMMT) reserves the right to take legal action against the individuals who have been trying to smear its name.

SMMT president Shankar R P Asnani today reiterated that these individuals have been making malicious and untruthful claims against the SMMT and such attempts have been going on for the last two years.

“In simple, the press statement made by Mr. Ravindra Komarusamy on Dec 12, 2019 is highly defamatory and maliciously, made with an ulterior motive. We reserve our right to take the appropriate action against him,” Shankar told a press conference at his office here today.

According to him, Ravindra Komarusamy and his supporters have lodged numerous complaints to Registrar of Societies (ROS), Unit for Other Religions (Unifor), police and Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

“And I have extended all the relevant documents and our Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) minutes to these authorities who have carefully scrutinized them,” he said.

Shankar said there was the need to call for a press conference again today because there were news reports which did not fully explain the real situation SMMT or reflect the real picture of what happened within the association.

He pointed out that the minutes of SMMT EGM held on March 12, 2017 clearly shows that the former president of SMMT T. Komarusamy and members had approved the temple to be reconstructed.

“Thereafter, there were two more EGMs where members of SMMT indicated that they wanted the temple to be reconstructed and approved the reconstruction agenda.”

He said minutes of SMMT’s EGM on September 23, 2018 clearly shows SMMT’s members gave the mandate to demolish the old temple and reconstruct a new temple while minutes of SMMT EGM of July 14, 2019 shows unanimous re-confirmation of the same agenda.

Shankar further produced videos of both EGMs as evidence that demolition of the old temple and building of a new temple has been the decision of SMMT members.

He also produced the official letter of the Land and Survey Department (dated 28/5/2019) which approves the building plan of the new Maha Mariamman Temple; an official letter from MBKS (Kuching South City Hall) approving the commencement of the demolition works on the temple; and another official letter from MBKS approving the reconstruction works of the new temple and the rebuilding plan.

Yesterday, Kuching Bandar MP Dr Kelvin Yii had extended a “petition” apparently read out by Ravindra Komarusamy in front of SMMT members and also members of the press.

The first paragraph of the petition reads: “We the undersigned as oldest and most senior members of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple (SMMT) Jalan Rock, Kuching, Sarawak hereby vehemently oppose and reject the decision by the president and the committee of SMMT to demolish and reconstruct a new temple without the authority of the members of SMMT”.

In response, Shankar said the above statement was obviously not truthful and highly defamatory.

He stressed that the documents he produced yesterday and today all show that even before he became the president of SMMT, the former president Mr. T. Komarusamy and its members have been keen and wanted a new temple to be built.

“When I became the new president, I carried on with the same mandate and even went further as to run two extra SMMT EGMs on September 23, 2018 and on July 14, 2019 to make sure that the members want this temple to be reconstructed,” he reiterated. — DayakDaily