Hindus in Malaysia are protesting against The Sime Darby Group which is allegedly threatening a historical Hindu Temple. Sime Darby is a Malaysia-based diversified multinational with operations in 25 countries & 4 territories and a total workforce of more than 120,000 employees. The group is involved in 5 core sectors, namely Plantation, Industrial Equipment, Motors, Property, and Logistics.
Professor Doctor Ramasamy a prominent leader in Malaysia slammed the group and said that “Sime Darby should respect Hindu Temples.”
In a detailed statement, he said that it is not altogether clear as to why a government-linked multinational The Sime Darby with billions in revenue would want to discriminate against a historic Hindu Temple in Bedong, Kedah, Malaysia.
He further noted in the statement that recently, The Sime Darby in Kedah approached the members of the Muthu Mariamman Temple in Harvard estate, Bedong requesting them to shift their Temple to another place nearby. The Sime Darby officials said that since they are going to build a major township in the area, the land on which the Temple is located was required for development. Although the Temple committee rejected the offer of the company, The Sime Darby is still insisting that the Temple should be moved.
Ramasamy is of the view that The Sime Darby might be a major conglomerate of the government, but in its effort to pressure the Temple to move, it is merely acting as arrogant and crude landlord, merely interested in pursuing the profits.
This Hindu Temple of Malaysia has a valiant history:
Prof. Dr. Ramasamy says that Muthu Mariamman Temple is no ordinary Hindu Temple; it had been in existence for more than 100 years. Bedong too is no ordinary place, in the 1940 and 1950s major labour battles were fought in Harvard and other estates nearby. So much so, the British clamped an emergency rule to deal with the labour disturbances.
He further said that the right thing for The Sime Darby to do is to alienate the piece of land on which the Temple is located to the association that manages the Temple. Sime Darby cannot dispute the historic and longevity of the Temple. Its existence for more than 100 years is beyond any doubt.
Ramasamy also underlined that The Sime Darby makes billions in profits every year. Giving the land to the Temple would be a minuscule contribution but something that will be wholeheartedly received by the local Hindus in Bedong.
The Sime Darby can make all the billions, Ramsamy said, but it must have heart and social responsibility. Pushing the historical Temple out of its present location could constitute a gross form of injustice to Hindus in Bedong, especially at a time when non-Muslim faiths are being subjected to all kinds of pressures from the extremist forces.
Ramasamy also said that The Sime Darby in Penang has a good working relationship with the Penang state government. A few years back, The Sime Darby even agreed to provide a temporary accommodation for the Hindu Temple that was re-located from Byram estate, Nibong Tebal.
He further noted that it is not that The Sime Darby is oblivious to the suffering of the poor and those who have been marginalized but the group was accused of violating land rights in Liberia and starting forest fires in Indonesia, both the allegations have been refuted by the company.
The Sime Darby was urged to set an example to other land owning companies by allowing the Muthu Mariamman Temple to exist in Harvard estate, Bedong.
It should have some respect for the Indian community, a community that has done much for the developemnt of the country.
Approximately 8 percent of Malaysia’s 29 million population comprises of ethnic Indians and most of them are Hindu Tamils but they face extreme persecution. Recently Prime Minister of Malaysia (March 30 to April 4 visit) Dato Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, was in India. where he spoke at length
He spoke at length about the contribution of Hindu Tamils (known as Malaysian Indians there), however, India failed to either raise the issue of the religious persecution or the presence of Zakir Naik in the nation bringing extreme disappointment to the Hindu community of Malaysia.