HINDRAF Support letter to stop commercial development on Swami Vivekananda Ashram site in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

12th November 2014

Dear Sir/Madam
RE: Save Vivekananda Ashram Malaysia.
Support letter to stop commercial development on Swami Vivekananda Ashram site in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

I refer to the above matter.
We write in earnest hope you and your organization would lend your support to join us in this noble cause of protecting the Vivekananda Ashram Brickfields located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur which is facing the imminent danger of being wiped out.
The Vivekananda Ashram was built in 1904 by the Jaffna Hindu community in honour of Swami Vivekananda, who visited Malaya in 1893 en route to the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Since then the building stood as an iconic building and is an important heritage landmark in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
A body of trustees were nominated and entrusted to ensure that the site retain its objective and its surrounding in maintaining the historic importance in the Malaysian history, its social and cultural association, its richness in exhibiting diversity and evolvement of the multicultural social fabric of the Malaysian community.
This is the 3rd known attempt by the trustees of Vivekananda Ashram to dispose this heritage site. The trustees had previously tried to sell the land, the first time about 25 years ago, with another attempt 10 years ago. The then projects had been aborted after public protests.
The Swami Vivekananda Ashram which has been sitting in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur over 114 years depicts the type of heritage building that fits the basic tenets that are necessary to fulfill a world heritage site.

Currently, the century old Vivekananda Ashram at Jalan Tun Sambanthan in Brickfields Kuala Lumpur has been earmarked for major redevelopment that will see a 23-storey residential tower with 264 units and an eight-story car park built at the site. The trustees claim the development project would bring in funds for the charity work of the Ashram management. However we are of the opinion the development would cause permanent damage to the foundation of this heritage building which would see the eventual destruction of the Ashram permanently and the Hindu community would lose another of its rich heritage in Malaysia.
We along with the Indian community in Malaysia are totally against any development on the said site as it signifies a heritage site that deserves to be preserved as it represents a cultural significance of historic and social value for past, present or future generations.
On our effort locally, we are mustering local Hindu organizations and other stakeholders in protesting against the development.
We are writing to you so that you can join us by voicing out your objections and concern in the relevance of maintaining the site as it is to preserve the rich heritage of Hinduism that had spread around the world.
We have enclosed herewith some of the recent write ups in the local medias on the proposed development as well as press releases by our organization along with our recent correspondence with the National heritage Department and the UNESCO.
We sincerely hope you will extend your support in stopping this development on the Swami Vivekananda Ashram.
Kindly see the following links and FB pages for more information;
a) www.hindraf.co
b) https://www.facebook.com/groups/hindraf.support/


Kindly write a letter to the Government of Malaysia seeking their intervention to stop the planned development project of Vivekananda Ashram. Please address your letters to the following persons and send us a copy of your letter;
1) YAB Dato Sri’ Najib Tun Razak
The Prime Minister of Malaysia
Office of The Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62502 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA.
Fax : +603-8888 3444

2) Dato Seri Nazri Aziz
Minister of Culture Arts and Tourism
(Minister responsible for heritage)
No. 2, Tower 1, Jalan P5/6
Presint 5, 62200 PUTRAJAYA
Fax: +603 8891 7100
Email: info@motac.gov.my

3) Tan Sri Datuk Dr Ampikaipagan Kandiah
Board of trustees
Vivekananda Ashram
No 220 Jalan Tun Sambanthan
50470 Kuala Lumpur

Kindly also sign the online petition to urge the Malaysian Government to gazette the Ashram as national heritage. We would appreciate if you would share the online petition link on you websites, FB, twitter and email contacts or send the information about the online petition to your groups of friends, families and well-wishers as well as other Indian/Hindu based organizations. Below is the link:
We look forward for your urgent action in this matter.
Thank you
Yours in service
P.Waytha Moorthy

Source: WHN Media Network