Developer One City Development Sdn Bhd has refuted allegations that it was behind the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple scuffle.
It said allegations that it had orchestrated the incident were malicious lies, and that the company condemned both acts of violence and insinuations that it would resort to “such despicable acts”.
The developer said it was not advantageous to create unnecessary tension on its own land, stating this would defeat the purpose of going through the lengthy legal process and asking for the authorities’ help in facilitating the temple’s peaceful relocation.
One City said that those who had been following the Seafield temple issue were aware that the developer had postponed carrying out its writ of possession many times, and tried its level best to ensure peace was maintained during the execution process.
The developer said it would pursue legal action against defamatory statements made against it regarding the temple, and reiterated its aim to obtain possession of the land in a lawful and peaceful manner in line with the court order and consent judgment it had obtained.
One City Development Sdn Bhd has reiterated that it had nothing to do with the scuffle at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple this morning.
In a statement, One City said it was surprised by reports quoting Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim, that implied it was involved.
It cited news reports in which Noor Rashid said: “Perhaps the side wanting to take over (the land) engaged a group of Malay men to facilitate the acquisition. It is possible that they are gangsters and, of course, the Indian group attempted to check the intrusion.”
Noor Rashid, according to a Bernama report, had said this in commenting on the issue after an event in Kelantan.
“One City would like to seek further clarification on these remarks, given that we have always followed the rule of law and due process,” it said in reference to the relocation of the temple.
This, it said, was evident in both the lengthy court cases it went through and discussions it had with the relevant stakeholders.
It also said its allocation of land for a new site for the temple, giving a compensation of RM1.5 million, and delaying the relocation of the temple for rituals related to the relocation to be carried out was “further evidence” of its commitment to a peaceful resolution.
“Furthermore, pursuant to the 2014 consent judgment, we would have no reason to engage in this as the authorities are already bound by the court order to assist in the process with the ultimate goal of ensuring a peaceful relocation.
“We abhor the violence which took place this morning and would never even think of being involved in such acts.”
One City added that it hoped the authorities would share evidence linking it to the incident and that it was willing to assist the authorities in their investigations.
“In fact, One City’s senior management has already communicated with the police and fixed an appointment to assist the police in their investigation.”
Earlier today, the police said the early morning scuffle between the devotees of a Hindu temple in USJ25 and a second group was a misunderstanding which arose from the issue of the temple’s relocation.
In a statement, the police confirmed an incident had taken place between the two groups at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple near the USJ exit of the Elite highway and USJ16 and 21.
One City, the developer which owns the land the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple is sitting on, says it never agreed to postpone the relocation of the temple as claimed by some.
Speaking to FMT, One City associate legal director Kamal Effendy lamented claims by “certain parties”, including a politician, that the company had agreed to postpone the relocation to Nov 29, when the High Court is set to rule on a stay of execution application filed by several devotees.
A previous stay of execution application filed by another group of devotees was dismissed by the court.
“We never agreed to postpone the relocation. The final date for the temple occupants to vacate the land remained Nov 22, as per the writ of possession from the High Court.
Kamal said the fact remained that the issue had been settled by the relevant parties including One City, the Selangor state government and claimants to the temple management, K Chellappa and M Nagaraju, in a 2014 consent judgment reached in the High Court.
Separately, Chellappa and Nagaraju were involved in a different suit over control of the temple, which Chellappa won.
As part of the consent judgment, all parties agreed that the temple would be relocated to another plot of land, with One City giving RM1.5 million for the benefit of the temple. The Selangor government would also gazette the new temple site as a place of worship.
“We have done everything by the book, engaged all parties, gone through the legal process. Even though we are the legal owner of the land, we gave RM1.5 million for the benefit of the temple.”
Kamal said he hoped the rule of law would prevail and that all parties would be more responsible in making statements to avoid further muddying the waters.