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As I promised one of my readers, I was down during the week end at Seremban, and what better way of spending it than visit Rantau where 2 estates belonging to Sime Darby are located. One is Bradwall Estate, the other Lim Sum estate. So on Sunday March 23, I and my wife with 2 cars, my 2 sons and their families visited these 2 estates in the afternoon. This was the first time I was doing a investigating exercise to find out about temples being destroyed at these 2 estates.  

With adrenalin pumping into my system, there was I trying to unravel an incident, that took place on the eve of Election Day on March 8. On reaching Bradwall estate I saw the entrance guarded by Police. My hope of getting any information plummeted, how could I get through them. I knew no one at the estate. The Policeman was a kind soul, told him the family would like to visit the estate as they had not seen one, which is true at least of the ladies in the car. He raised the barrier gate and we were inside.

The next hurdle, how do I  get information – this is not what I do daily. Drove along the red earth road, passed rows and rows of palm oil trees, the Tamil school, the staff quarters, the house of the Manager was the first. Surely the temples must be close to the workers quarters, I thought, and proceeded. But my luck a Tamil youth passed the cars, and without hesitation I stopped him. The young man, Boy, must be his pet name, was most helpful. When I enquired about the temple in this estate, he came out with ‘you mean the damaged temple’. So, I am at the right place. My thanks to Boy, he spend time with us, not only to show around the estate but also took us to another estate Lim Sum a couple of miles away. 

Bradwall estate is the main body and its division is Lim Sum estate. The shrine that was demolished is in Bradwall, whereas the two temples affected were in Lim Sum estate a distance away. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The shrine was a small structure, the earth looked freshly dug, and there was a small structure newly put up. There was no trace of the old building. Looking at the structure a 4 feet by 4 feet shed, I saw a stone with cloth wound around it, a receptacle for joss sticks, which contained a few sticks of incense. What shrine was this. Boy explained it was a shrine dedicated to a datuk – nothing Hindu about it.

 New Shrine Bradwall Estate I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I saw a nursery where children were accomodated when the mothers go to work, the building was empty as it was a Sunday.

Children's Nursery

 

Just 50 metres away, Boy explained was the tractor that bull-dozed the earlier building. It is owned by a Chinese. Boy insisted the Manager of the estate, had directed the tractor drive to pull down the shrine.

 

Tractor Used To Pull Down Shrine

 

The Manager was a Malay gentleman, and further down his house were the supervisory officers quarters, and I noticed some Tamil names there.

 

Next visit was to Lim Sum estate, also managed by the Malay gentleman from Bradwall. Our group missed this estate, and we were driving pass Rantau town. Boy was to lead us there. But his motor cycle had a problem and he had to stop. He made it up by overtaking us and we tracked back to Lim Sum estate, and this time through one of the side entrance along another red earthed road – never saw the front of Lim Sum. After a mile or so, reached the Muniswarar Temple, two new buildings side by side, and workers in the midst of painting the buildings. It was 90% completed. But the sad part was the remnants of the old building were still there, just next to the new buildings a reminder of the destroyed old temple. There were no statues, and Boy told us, they were buried under the damaged remnants of the old building we saw.

 

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There was another, damaged temple further down but this place could only be reached by foot, and with hungry children in the car, it was about 2 pm, I thanked Boy for all the help he had done, and returned to Seremban. Yes it is true two temples were destroyed in Lim Sum estate. The one we missed was not a shrine but a temple building.

 

The Tamil youths objected when the Manager wanted to break down the 3 structures. Management waited while the men were at work, the damage was done. Hell broke loose, Police Station Seremban visit, Mentri Besar involved, the youths acted. Incidentally the two areas come under the state seat of the Mentri Besar. The Manager is still around in Bradwall estate, he does not stay there in the house, but makes occasional visits – no wonder the Police guard. He is not well spoken about.     

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3 Comments

  1. Investigative journalism/blogging?

    Very good work; a must read.

    Nandri.

  2. Dear GV

    Appreciate your comments. I was talking about you in Seremban, and I said you, so anonymous, yet never failed to comment on my postings. I had you in mind while writing. Thanks.

  3. `…..so anonymous, yet never failed to comment…..’

    Birds of a feather flock together!


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