Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysia temple gets multicolour paint job




Malaysia temple gets multicolour paint job

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Visitors walk up the newly painted 272-step staircase leading to Malaysia’s Batu Caves Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. Manan VATSYAYANA/afp

Malaysia temple gets multicolour paint job

A famed Malaysian Hindu temple complex has had its steps painted in a dazzling array of colours, sparking excitement from some visitors but angering officials who oversee heritage sites.

The Batu Caves complex, a series of caverns set in a limestone hill on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, is popular with devotees from Malaysia’s ethnic Indian minority and tourists, with a regular stream of people clambering up the 272 steps to reach the temples.

The steps have been painted in a kaleidoscope of bright colours ahead of a Hindu ritual that is conducted in temples every 12 years, which will take place onFriday.

Warning letter

But the temple management committee has found itself in hot water with the government heritage department, after allegedly failing to seek permission to paint the steps.

The committee will receive a warning letter from the department, while Deputy Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said he was “very disappointed” and the work had “disturbed the harmony, integrity and originality of Batu Caves”, the Star newspaper reported.

He played down the possibility of the complex losing its heritage status, but urged others running historic sites to get consent before carrying out major work or renovations.

But the paint job on the steps, which were previously the same colour as the limestone hillside, impressed tourists visiting the complex.

Ratna Yunita from Indonesia described it as “out of the ordinary”.

“So many colours, so many people in such a beautiful place, it feels like you’re in India, not in Malaysia,” she said.

Batu Caves is an important religious site for Tamil Hindus. During the annual Thaipusam festival, massive crowds of devotees descend on the complex, with many piercing their bodies with hooks and skewers to showcase devotion to the deity Lord Murugan.

Most of Malaysia’s roughly 32 million people are Muslim, but the country also has around two million ethnic Indians and nearly seven million ethnic Chinese.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European