RESIDENTS of Bukit Indera Muda in Permatang Pauh (mainland Penang) have vehemently opposed the proposal to build a Chinese cemetery in the area, claiming it will give rise to various issues given that the population in the area is 100% Malay-Muslim.
According to Sinar Harian, the proposed development of a Chinese cemetery was first presented by the Seberang Perai Guang Dong Descendants Association. However, approximately 300 residents from the area gathered to voice their disapproval of the idea.
Chairman of the Jamek Al Muhtadin Mosque Parish, Azizan Ismail, said that the proposed development is not only inappropriate because it involves an area of 100% Muslim population but can also have various negative implications insofar as the sensitivity of the local populace is concerned.
According to him, the association is not only said to want to change the hill land in Lot 282, 729, 731, 297, 917, 918, 919 and part of Lot 922 and 263 Mukim 3 Seberang Perai as a cemetery land but will also develop a columbarium or a building to hold urns containing the ashes of dead people who have been cremated.
“We strongly object to this proposal because the entire population here is Malay Muslim and this proposal causes sensitivity to the population,” asserted Azizan.
Meanwhile, founder and president of the An-Nahdhoh Foundation Abdul Mutalib Maarof justified that as Islam is still the official religion, “the highest structure should be the mosque”.
“As such, if the columbarium is deemed taller than the mosque in terms of its physical stature, then this is a big insult to Muslims in Bukit Indera Muda if the project is approved,” lamented the prominent Muslim figure in his address to residents of Bukit Indera Muda.
Mutalib further justified that the residents would not have demonstrated if the relevant authorities, notably the local government (the Seberang Perai Municipal Council) has taken the necessary measures to prevent construction of “what is seemingly a five-star facility to go ahead in a village inhabited fully by the Malay Muslims”.
“Moreover, this is not an urgent project except to insult the Malays, their mosque, the madrasah (Islamic school) and even the Islamic kindergarten in the vicinity of Bukit Indera Muda,” he lamented.
“Our YB (PAS Penang Youth chief Muhammad Fawwaz Mohamad Jan) should use the power vested in him to oppose the project and see that it is eventually scrapped.”
For the record, Muhammad Fawwaz who is also the PAS Penang Youth chief has also personally voiced his displeasure over the project and “wanted it to be permanently scrapped”.
However, he claimed that there has been pressure from certain parties for the project to be approved and implemented immediately.
“In the near future the Chief Minister will make a decision whether this project should be cancelled or otherwise, hence we shall wait for the ultimate outcome,” added Muhammad Fawwaz who is also the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Youth chief. – Dec 20, 2023
Main pic credit: Sinar Harian