IPOH, Jan 16 — The members of the special committee set up to determine the status of houses of worship located in Perak cave areas will include political party representatives, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad.
Saarani said the involvement of representatives from both the government and opposition, was to avoid the matter from being politicised by certain quarters.
“This is not a political issue, so it is okay for us to get representatives from MCA, MIC, DAP, PKR to be in the special committee.
“We will call the technical department and operators (temples) to sit and discuss because we need to find an immediate solution. To me safety should be top priority,” he told reporters after visiting Kampung Klebang Tambahan in conjunction with the Menteri Besar Bersama Rakyat Programme at Manjoi here today.
Elaborating, Saarani said the Perak Land and Mines Office (PTG) was waiting for the list of names from the temple operators.
“I have contacted the PTG last week, the matter is now left to them to act, so we shall wait and see.
“Once the names are obtained, we will set up the committee and get the state government to sit down with them to find the best way to solve this problem.
Last Wednesday, Saarani said a special committee would be set up to determine the status of all the temples located on government-owned land either through reservation method, issuance of Temporary Occupancy Licence or reserve land lease.
He said encroachment activities and uncontrolled structural construction could create safety hazards including the risk of collapse as limestone caves are sensitive to climate change.
The decision to set up the committee was made in the state executive council meeting.