Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Vivekananda Ashram is a national asset of priceless value and the area should be-declared a heritage site immediately.

Press Statement by M. Kula Segaran MP Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman in Parliament House on 4th November 2014
Vivekananda Ashram is a national asset of priceless value and the area should be-declared a heritage site immediately. 

Today, I had raised the heritage issue of Vivekananda Ashram in Parliament.

When raised in Parliament today by the area MP YB Fong Kui Lun ( Bukit Bintang) and me , the Culture and Tourism Minister agreed the Vivekananda Ashram is the centre of tourism interest. We are killing our own product of interest to the world at large. 

It is most shocking to learn that when heritage status has been initiated by the Cultural Department , the land owner has objected strenuously.  This stand is most shocking to all of us.

Subsequently,  together with DAP MP for Bukit Bintang and  Ipoh Timor Thomas Su, I met the Culture and Tourism Minister Datuk Nazri in Parliament House for a follow up discussion.

Ashram, which is over 110 years old, houses one of the first Tamil schools in the country.

Vivekananda was a well known person in the revival of Hinduism.  He was best known for spreading tenets of Hindu philosophy in the US, UK, and Europe.

The piece of land was given to the building of the Ashram some over 100 years ago. 

The place has a lot of heritage significance on how the Indians came and settled in the surrounding area and thus it is an identity among the Indian community. 

Our country is not very old in heritage value as we as a community have been around less than 500 years. So a 100 year old building is very important to connect with the past.especially when Vivekananda Ashram is now regarded as an iconic spiritual and historic landmark.

The City Hall of KL must review its approval to develop the area where the Vivekananda Ashram is. It must call for fresh hearing to obtain views and opinions of the people who are affected and outraged with its decision to allow redevelopment of one the finest heritages known on our mother land. 

In our discussion, I had proposed that Heritage Department to go all out to fulfill the people’s agenda, namely to classify the Vivekananda Ashram a Heritage zone area and a no go area for redevelopment.

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