Temple president rebuts demolition allegations, says RoS investigating matter

Shankar (seated left), together with Penghulu Lucy Linggam (seated right) and members of SMMT.

KUCHING, Dec 12: The ongoing dispute over the RM3.5 million Sri Maha Mariamman Temple (SMMT) rebuilding project at Jalan Rock is now under investigation by the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

Confirming this today, SMMT president Shankar R.P. Asnani said all the relevant documents have been extended to the relevant authorities to be carefully scrutinised.

“We will leave it to the authorities to clear our names,” said Shankar.

A group of SMMT members led by Ravindra Komarusamy had alleged that the temple was demolished and reconstructed without authority; that the temple has no major structural defects; and that Shankar had vested interest by receiving “funds”. The group raised the allegations in a petition at a press conference held on the temple grounds this afternoon.

“We the undersigned as oldest and most senior members of SMMT Jalan Rock, Kuching, Sarawak hereby vehemently oppose and reject the decision by the president and the committee members of SMMT to demolish and reconstruct a new temple without authority of the SMMT members,” said Ravindra at the press conference.


Rebutting the allegations, Shankar in a separate press conference, vehemently denied any wrongdoings, and that the statement read out by Ravindra holds no truth.

“The above statement is obviously not truthful from the following documents we have.

Shankar said on Page 2 of the minutes of extraordinary general meeting (EGM) dated Aug 14, 2016 signed by the then SMMT president Penghulu T. Komarusamy and his honorary secretary-general R. Ramachandran, Ravindra Komarusamy was recorded as saying – “Agreed a bigger temple, plus Raja Koborom be constructed. The meeting unanimously approved as proposed by R. Ramachandran and seconded by K. Ravindra”.

The same minutes also stated that T. Komarusamy named Shankar as the most suitable candidate to be elected as the chairman of the building and fundraising committee for SMMT and proposed the latter’s name accordingly.

Page 1 of 4 of the minutes of the EGM dated 14 Aug 2016.
Page 2 of 4 of the minutes of the EGM dated 14 Aug 2016.
Page 3 of 4 of the minutes of the EGM dated 14 Aug 2016.
Page 4 of 4 of the minutes of the EGM dated 14 Aug 2016.

Shankar produced another letter dated Oct 24, 2016 which was signed by T. Komarusamy addressing RoS where the second paragraph states: “The temple structure requires rebuilding because of its major structural defects and major cracks all around due to many factors”.

Page 1 of 2 of a letter dated 24 Oct 2016 to the Registrar of Societies stating ‘The temple structure requires rebuilding because of its major structural defects and major cracks all around due to many factors’.
Page 2 of 2 of a letter dated 24 Oct 2016 to the Registrar of Societies stating ‘The temple structure requires rebuilding because of its major structural defects and major cracks all around due to many factors’.

Following that, Shankar showed a letter dated Oct 25, 2016 signed by Munusamy Murugasan and on behalf of T. Komarusamy, where they sought for a special permit from the Immigration Department for Palani Krishnamoorthy, an Indian specialist in temple sculpture, for the reconstruction of SMMT to enter Sarawak and to visit the temple site.

Letter dated 25 Oct 2016 to the Immigration Department applying for a special permit for Palani Krishnamoorthy.

Another letter dated Dec 5, 2016 was signed by Munusamy Murugasan for and on behalf of T. Komarusamy, for the same reason in seeking for a special permit for Palani Krishnamoorthy.

Letter dated 5 Dec 2016 to the Immigration Department applying for a special permit for Palani Krishnamoorthy.

Thereafter, Shankar produced a letter dated Dec 8, 2016 signed by T. Komarusamy to sack his son Ravindra Komarusamy.

Letter dated 8 Dec 2016 to sack Ravindra Komarusamy.

“As for T. Komarusamy’s intention to step down as the president, a letter dated Dec 12, 2016, signed by himself has indicated his clear intention to step down,” Shankar said.

Letter dated 12 Dec 2016 appointing Shankar as SMMT president.

A photocopy of minutes of meeting by the former SMMT management committee signed by T. Komarusamy also recorded that the members and former president wanted a new temple to be reconstructed.

Page 2 of 4 of the minutes of the EGM dated 14 Aug 2016.

“It is obvious from the documents mentioned above that from the start, the former president and members of SMMT wanted a new temple to be reconstructed and any statement to the contrary is untruthful.

“I want to clearly state here that each and every meeting was properly documented and signed,” Shankar reiterated. — DayakDaily

NTE: The news has been updated for more accurate report.