DAP national vice-chairperson M Kulasegaran said the controversy over the Batu Caves condo project was another instance where the "BN was trying to offload the onus for the project on Pakatan Rakyat after it had connived at the initial spadework."

Batu caves condo near temple site of projectSpeaking to Malaysiakini via email from Burma where he was on a visit, the Ipoh Barat MP said: "This episode reminds me of the 1990 protests led by the DAP which saw the then Selangor government revoking all quarrying activities at the temple site."

Kulasegaran said that for years prior to the 1990 revocation, the Batu Caves temple committee had protested to the Selangor state government about the activities of quarrying companies at the temple site, claiming that the work posed an ecological risk to the caves.

NONE"Those protests fell on deaf years but when (DAP leaders) Lim Kit Siang and A Sivanesan took up their cause and led a protest, the Selangor government was compelled to halt quarrying activity," he recalled.

Kulasegaran (left) said the current controversy reminded him of this 1990 antecedent where BN's connivance at extraction activity enabled its undertakers to proceed until the risk posed by it to the temple site became undeniable at which point, the BN evaded responsibility or shed the onus on others.

"These tactics won't wash this time like they did not the last occasion," commented Kulasegaran.

Shifting blame

The latest round in the charge and counter-charge sequence of the Batu Caves condominium controversy sees Selangor state executive councillor for local government, Ronnie Liu, producing documents purporting to show that BN had approved a permit for the erection of the 29-storey condo project in 2007.

Batu caves condo near temple ronnie liu with map 2Liu was attempting to rebut the claims of A Kohilan Pillay, the deputy foreign minister who is from Gerakan and was a Selayang municipal councillor, that the permission that was obtained under BN rule for the condo project was provisional.

Kohilan had claimed that the 2007 permit supposedly approved by the BN-dominated council was merely a planning permit and did not stipulate that a tower block would be built next to the temple. Liu derided this claim.

"They [BN] are trying to shift the onus on Pakatan," said Kualsegaran, "but this attempt has failed as can be seen from their inability to get crowds more sizeable than what had turned out for them in the protest held thus far."

protest at batu cave temple 261012 03MIC president G Palanivel has called on the Indian community to rally to protest the condo project allegedly approved by the Pakatan state government after it took over from the BN in 2008.

"It's pathetic - this attempt to scavenge for issues," said Kulasegaran.