The Kampung Chitty cultural village in Malacca is under threat due to the development of a 22-floor hotel and car park, Hindraf chair P. Waytha Moorthy (pic) said today.
The proposed hotel development and car park is being built between the Kampung Chitty residential area and the Muthu Mariamman temple.
However, both the residential area and the temple were built in 1827 and gazetted as national heritage sites in 2002.
The leader of the Hindu rights group said in a statement that the affected area was part of a protected area which was gazetted when Malacca was listed as a World Heritage location in 2008.
"Hindraf fails to understand why there was no collective attempt by all the relevant agencies to gazette this piece of land in in 2002 or even 2008.
"This piece of land is within the vicinity of the Kampung Chitty cultural village. In 2008, the Special Area Conservation Management Plan was launched so the area could have been gazetted."
Waytha Moorthy said former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam had intervened early this year, instructing the state land office to acquire the land.
But despite the efforts of the state government, development is continuing unabated, he said.
"Another puzzling question is how the project could have been approved without taking into consideration the fact that the area is a protected zone under world heritage."
The development, Waytha Moorthy said, could damage the temple structure and cause Kampung Chitty to lose its cultural identity.
The threat to Kampung Chitty follows the demolition of an 11th century tomb in Lembah Bujang, Kedah, which caused public outcry. – December 18, 2013.