May 21, 2008
THE Penang Government has appointed four state assemblymen from different religions to the Non-Muslim Worship Com-mittee, a state body that deals with complaints and disputes regarding non-Muslim institu-tions.
They are state Town, Country Planning and Housing Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai (Air Itam), state Local Government, Traffic Management and Environment Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow (Padang Kota), Penang Hindu Endowment Board chairman A. Tanasekharan (Bagan Dalam) and Jagdeep Singh Deo (Datuk Keramat).
Wong, who heads the committee, is a Buddhist while, Chow is a Christian, Tanasekharan a Hindu and Jagdeep Singh a Sikh.
Wong said the committee would deal directly with government agencies to expedite the handling of disputes and issues.
“There are many issues when it comes to religion. The committee’s job is to help settle disputes regarding land issues, the loca- tion of new temples, churches and gurdwaras, cemetery place-ments and all other issues that affect non-Muslim religions,” he said.
He said the past state admi- nistration had formed the committee and the appointment of the assemblymen was done at the state exco meeting last Friday.
When asked about the Gurdwara Sahib Bayan Baru Association’s appeal for a 0.4ha piece of land adjoining the Snake Temple in Bayan Lepas, Wong said Jagdeep Singh had highlighted the issue to the committee and they were currently waiting for rele-vant government agencies to pro-vide reports.
He was speaking at the Wesak Float Opening Ceremony 2008 held at the Penang Buddhist Association (PBA) on Monday.
Present were PBA president Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew, Penang Wesak Celebrations Com-mittee chairman Datuk Dr Loh Hock Hun and PBA Wesak Float sub-committee chairman Lee Boon Hoe.