One City supports temple land trust

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By BERNAMA

One City Development Sdn Bhd supports the comprehensive settlement recently announced by Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas, which includes a proposal to transfer the land on which the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is located to a trust.

The developer, in a statement last Friday, noted that the proposal to transfer the one acre (0.4ha) plot to a trust is subject to terms to be agreed upon by the parties involved.

“We understand there are various steps to the resolution proposed by the AG and we are committed to working closely with the AG’s Chambers,” it said.

In a separate statement last Friday, Thomas said One City would transfer the land under the settlement presented by the lawyers representing the parties involved in the temple issue.

Subsequently, the AG — with the aim of guarding the public interest with regard to charitable trusts — will apply to the High Court for orders to constitute the trust and the appointment of trustees to manage the trust and the temple.

Thomas added that the court will be required to appoint a receiver accepted by all parties, as an officer of the court to control and guard the trustees, subject to court judgement.

The ownership of the land on which the temple sits will then be transferred to the trustees, with the AG holding a representational role before the High Court to ensure impartiality and neutrality.

The Seafield Temple in Selangor was thrust into the spotlight last month when riots broke out over two days allegedly over a dispute between parties for and against the proposed relocation of the temple as per a consent judgement.

According to the consent judgement of March 11, 2014, at the Shah Alam High Court, the state government, One City and two individuals claiming to be the temple administrators had agreed to the relocation of the temple.

The four parties had also agreed to return the current temple site vacant to the owner, One City.

Under the consent judgement, One City had agreed to deposit RM1.5 million with the temple in return for vacant possession of the land in focus.

Meanwhile, the state government handed over a 0.4ha parcel of land, located some 3km away, for the relocation of the temple.

The temple was meant to be relocated on Nov 22 but did not materialise.

One City said it swiftly reached out to the federal and Selangor state governments after the riots to propose and discuss possible solutions to the matter.

“We are grateful for the government’s stewardship in bringing relevant parties together to resolve the land issue as quickly and amicably as possible. We are appreciative of the AG’s leadership and the give-and-take approach exercised in achieving a resolution to this matter,” it stated.