Monday, July 6, 2015

I will spare no efforts to ensure that the action to declare the Ashram building will be a success and certainty



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 6th July, 2015

I will spare no efforts to ensure that the action to declare the Ashram building will be a success and certainty

DAP welcomes the action of the Heritage Commission to gazette the 110 year old Vivekanada Ashram as a heritage asset. 

According to media report, the Heritage commissioner Dr Zainah Ibrahim said that the department had notified the ashram trustees on the government’s intention to gazette the building on June 24 last month as per Section 31 of the National Heritage Act 2005.

“Having made our decision after hearing both parties and notifying the trustees of our intention (to designate site as heritage), as well as informing them of the dos and don’ts, we are now proceeding to our next step which is to publish our intention in the Gazette and a local newspaper,” Zainah told the Star Metro in a text message.

However, the fight to save Vivekanada Ashram may not be over as the ashram trustees will have 30 days to appeal after the notice has been published.

It has to be noted that despite the series of protests carried out by the Indian community against the trustees ‘development plan, the trustees have stuck to their stand.

The process to gazette the building has taken longer time due to the trustees’ objections. 

The National Heritage Department had issued a written notice under Section 272(2) of the National Heritage Act to the board on January 14.

However, on March 19 2015, the board of trustees submitted a letter of objection to the department at the eleventh hour - a day before the deadline for objections.

I wish to call on the Board of Trustees to take heed of the sentiments and wishes of the Indian community and not to file any appeal against the Heritage Commissioners’ action to gazette the building as a heritage. 

The Board has disappointed and even infuriated the Indian community before and it is hoped that they will this time support the action to save the Ashram as a heritage. 

It is not too late for them to change their stand and make the right decision.

In any case, I wish to reiterate my stand that I will spare no efforts to ensure that the action to declare the Ashram building will be a success and certainty. 

If need be, I will continue to champion the issue in the coming Parliament meeting.

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