Hindraf urges probe into Vivekananda Ashram development plans


A committee called the ‘Committee to Protect and Preserve National Heritage (CPPNH)’ aims to pressure the Swami Vivekananda Ashram’s trustees from agreeing to the development project on part of the ashram.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7, 2014:

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the dealings behind the development plans of the Swami Vivekananda Ashram.

After obtaining copies of the Ashram’s annual returns and the new developer’s corporate information, Hindraf chief P. Waytha Moorthy said there may be elements of wrong doing by the ashram’s board of trustees in the proposed development plans.

In the documents shared, it was found that one of F3 Capital Sdn Bhd’s (the developer) directors was one Vignesh Naidu, who also happened to be the Honorary Treasurer of the ashram.

Thus, Hindraf has urged for the MACC to intervene and investigate whether there was any conflict of interest or corruption involved in the development of the ashram.

He said the investigation would ensure that there were no wrongdoing by the ashram’s committee members and that they acted in the best interest of the public.

“The public is now questioning the whole nature on the tender process, the transparency as well as the operation of the trustees in proposing to redevelop the ashram, as well as the rejection to be gazetted as a heritage site as announced by the Tourism & Cultural Minister.

“Hindraf feels compelled to raise this matter with the relevant authorities in the larger interest of the general public and in the noble attempt to safeguard our national heritage,” Waytha said in a statement today.

Grateful for Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz having stepped in to help halt the development plans, Waytha also seeks for Nazri to pledge RM5 million towards a trust fund that would be utilised to conserve and protect the Swami Vivekananda Ashram.

Hindraf is one of the few who opposed the plans to develop the ashram into a 23-storey residential tower with 264 units and an eight-storey car park.

They also joined forces with MIC Youth to form an “ad hoc committee” to preserve the century-old ashram in Jalan Brickfields.

Called the Committee to Protect and Preserve National Heritage (CPPNH), it aims to pressure the ashram’s trustees from agreeing to the development project.

Source: The Rakyat Post