These Guidelines For New Non-Muslim Places Of Worship In Selangor Will Be Reviewed

The guideline was supposed to be a reference for all new non-Muslim places of worship in the state.

Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau, revealed that the third Selangor Manual Guideline and Selangor State Planning Standard has recommendations that may be restrictive to non-Islamic places of worship

The Sri Mahamariamman temple is located at a commercial area in Jalan Bandar, near Petaling Street.

Image via Flickr/Jorge Láscar

According to Nanyang Siang Pau, here are some of the recommendations in the guideline as reported by Malaysiakini on Sunday, 9 April:

1. New non-Muslim places of worship must not be built within 50 metres of a home owned by a Muslim.

2. Planned non-Muslim places of worship in areas with a multi-racial community requires the consent of residents within a 200-metre radius before it is built.

3. New non-Muslim places of worship must be lower than the mosque nearest to it.

4. New non-Muslim places of worship cannot be built in commercial areas.

The guidelines came into effect in January and was supposed to only apply to new non-Muslim places of worship and not the existing ones.

The Kong Hock Keong temple (popularly known as Kuan Ying Teng Temple) is located in Georgetown, Penang.

Image via Flickr/Phalinn Ooi

Responding to the report, Selangor senior executive councillor Teng Chang Khim, said that the guidelines would be reviewed and that the matter would be brought up during the state executive council meeting on 12 April

Selangor senior executive councillor Teng Chang Khim

Image via Malaysiakini/Lu Wei Hoong

Malaysiakini reported Teng explaining that he had first noticed some of the "errors" in the guidelines and had asked the Shah Alam City Hall councillor to highlight and amend all the related provisions.

"The report I received later said it was amended. Based on the report, I didn't double-check. I had believed that the requested amendment on non-Muslim places of worship had been reviewed.

"As such, I apologise for the mistake of not double-checking the manual before it was tabled to the state executive council. I admit the mistake and take full responsibility," said Teng, in the report by the English daily today, 10 April.

Teng also took the opportunity to stress that the Selangor state government has granted many requests to build non-Muslim places of worship - 112 Chinese temples, 105 Hindu temples, 27 churches, and eight gurdwaras to be exact

A total of RM3 million has been provided by the state government from the year 2009 to 2014 as annual grant to non-Muslim places of worship, explained Teng. He added that the allocation was increased to RM6 million in 2015.

"It is regrettable that some people have criticised state government on discrimination against non-Islam religions," he said, reported Malaysiakini.

Do you think the new guidelines should be reviewed? Let us know in the comment section below.

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