PPR flats do not cater for the needs of non-Muslims

In the last senate sitting from 9th Dec 2009 to 22nd Dec 2009 I asked the minister of housing and local government whether the ministry has made provisions in the plan for land reserved for one kuil, tokong and funeral parlour in each of the 108 projects.

The deputy minister Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin replied that there is no provision even at the planning stage for a Kuil, Tokong and funeral parlour. He added that as per the guidelines of the department of urban and town planning, one Kuil must be built for 2300 Hindu residents and similarly a mosque for every 2300 Muslim residents. Once this condition of 2300 residents is fulfilled a place of worship can be built.

For funeral parlour there is no clear guideline.

The ministry of housing and local government has planned to built 108 low cost projects including 77772 housing units under the peoples’ housing project (PPR). That is made up of 82 projects including 74220 housing units for rental and 26 projects including 352 housing units in Pahang for sale.

54 projects for rental including 53840 housing units are completed and 28 projects including 20380 units are in construction under the 9th Malaysian Plan. For the housing units for sale, 17 projects including 2668 housing units are completed and 9 projects including 884 housings units are under construction. One housing unit is 700 square feet.

When the Project Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) is built a mosque, dewan rakyat (hall) and food court is built but no land is allocated for a Kuil, Tokong and funeral parlour for non-Muslims.

Till today no Kuil, Tokong or funeral parlour is built for the Indians and Chinese residents in any of the PPR project. It surprises me that the planners did not think about the needs the Malaysian Indians and Chinese residents of PPR.

Easily 30 to 40% of the PPR homes are Indians and Chinese residents. Indians and Chinese residents don’t mind a Kuil and Tokong next to each other. They will be very satisfied with one funeral parlour for both the communities.

This over sight by the department of town and urban planning is serious and the department head must be sacked.

The non-Muslims too need their places of worship to fulfil their religious needs. In the absence of a proper place of worship, quite a number of small shrines have mushroomed all over the project sites.

The city and town councils don’t sympathise with this problem but instead break down these shrines. This oversight of the planning department creates a racial disharmony in PPRs.

These problems go on unnoticed by the BN leaders. MIC and MCA leaders are so beholden to UMNO that they dare not put it right. Ignoring the need for a funeral parlour for non-Muslims clearly shows government is totally indifferent to non-Malays.

What an irony to 1Malaysia.

Explore posts in the same categories: From the desk of Senator S Ramakrishnan

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