The Malaysian Indian Burial Site Management Association has offered to assist the Selangor Government to manage Hindu burial sites in the state until a proper state-level body is formed.
Its chairman M. M. Raman said the association was willing to step forward to ensure areas that had been gazetted as burial sites were not misused.
Since Selangor does not have a Hindu Endowment Board to manage the burial sites, Raman said the association was prepared to carry out the task temporarily.
“We are concerned that Hindu burial sites are being misused by some influential individuals for self-gain.
“Therefore, it is high time we do something about it immediately,’’ he said.
Raman was commenting on this week’s StarMetro report which showed that more than 10 graveyards in the state are being misused
It revealed that these gazetted Hindu burial grounds in Selangor were being used for agriculture and commercial purposes.
It is estimated that more than a quarter of 47 gazetted Hindu burial grounds in the state are affected.
The Malaysian Hindu Sangam (MHS) said the misuse of burial grounds in Selangor was rampant.
“These burial grounds were handed over to political parties with individuals named as caretakers.
“These individuals are leasing the land out mostly for farming with the money going into their own pockets,” he added.
Mohan claimed that the problem was not unique to Selangor and existed throughout the country.
He said they had asked the Federal and state governments to regazette the sites for burial and they should be given to registered temples or MHS to manage.
In Kedah, he said, an effort was made to transfer all the burial land to MHS but it was not successful.
“Most of the burial grounds are under the care of temples and are properly managed although there have been cases of temples renting the area out to plant crops,” he added.
Mohan said they have no problem with temples doing this to earn an income but stressed the land must be returned when requested.
He added that the state government should look into the problem as burial grounds are needed because many Hindus chose to bury their dead.
“Many Hindus opt for burial especially if their ancestors were buried because they want to continue the tradition,” said Mohan.
He explained that the decision to bury or cremate depended on the Hindu sect each family followed.
“Many Hindus prefer not to cremate children, so the need for burial grounds.” he added.