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Apartment association issues apology over actions of residents

SHAH ALAM: The Bukit Subang Melati Apartments residents association here has apologised for the actions of some of its members who raised a ruckus at a nearby Hindu shrine.
Its chairman Nor Azman Mohamed said apartment residents wanted an illegal dumpsite at the same area to be cleared, and it was never their intention to demand that the shrine be demolished.
“We went there to ensure the other structures on the illegal dumpsite were torn down,  we never wanted to touch the temple. However, some people were too emotional and that led to the shouting match that has gone viral. I apologise on behalf of the residents for that,” he added.
He said residents decided to hold a picket on Saturday morning and marched from the apartments located a few hundred metres away to protest the presence of the dumpsite as well as the increasing number of dogs in the area.
They claimed that there were many dogs attracted by the dumpsite, some of which had even strayed into a surau.
Nor Azman said residents’ complaints to the local council had fallen on deaf ears.
“People are tired of living beside the dumpsite and the dogs have become a menace,” he said.
He claimed that the residents had approached the shrine caretaker, K. Suresh, who then showed them what he said were permits for the shrine.
However, the encounter escalated into a verbal argument, footage of which has been spreading on social media.
The caretaker, Suresh, claimed that the unruly manner of the group was uncalled for.
He refuted that the area was an illegal dumpsite and said he was merely clearing the land to plant trees.
“I have been here for 15 years. It is true that I did dump garbage there before but stopped a while back. I cleared up the garbage and successfully planted some jasmine trees there,” he said.
Suresh also said he was keeping 15 dogs.
“My dogs never leave the yard and they keep other people away from here,” he added.
Shah Alam councillor Muhammad Shakir Ameer, however, said the shrine did not have a permit and added that the activities on the plot were also illegal as Tenaga Nasional Berhad only gave them permission for agricultural activities in 2008.
“However the Petaling Land Office did not approve this, so it is considered illegal,” he added.
He also  asked people to stop making it a a racial issue.
He said the protest was initiated to voice the residents’ displeasure over the dumpsite that drew stray dogs.
“The video was sent out with a misleading title saying the Surau Melati people wanted to demolish the shrine,” said Muhammad Shakir
Following a meeting on Tuesday afternoon with several government agencies including TNB, Shah Alam City Council (MBSA), the police and the Land office, a decision has been made to clear the dumpsite in 14 days.
“Our concern is the health and well-being of the 2,500 residents in the nearby apartments. We will not touch the shrine for now,” he said.
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