Call on Cabinet to reprimand the Selayang Municipal Council for its gross insensitivity and to  issue a directive to restore the world-famous name of Batu Caves

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday)The Cabinet should reprimand the Selayang Municipal Council for its gross sensitivity to the multi-racial and multi-religious heritage, history and Malaysia’s tourist attraction in its decision to rename Batu Caves as Selayang to enhance its image as  the Selayang Municipal Council and issue a directive to restore the world-famous name of Batu Caves.

The Selayang Municipal Council should realise that  Batu Caves is world famous for its natural caves, flora and fauna and pre-historic value, and that there is no way  that the Selayang Municipal Council could could gain international fame by forcing the change of the name of Batu Caves to Selayang  - but only international notoriety for gross insensivity to history and multi-civilisational heritage of Malaysia.

It is a reflection of the total absence of grass-roots participatory democracy in Malaysia at the local government level that there was no public consultation whatsoever before the Selayang Municipal Council decided arbitrarily and insensitively to wipe out one of the few  world-famous place names in Malaysia.

This is the latest example of local government insensitivity and lack of participatory  democracy  after the irresponsible decision of the Ipoh City Council to desecrate the memory of the assassinated Perak Chief Police Officer, Tan Sri Koo   Chong Kong, which was rescinded after protests by DAP and other bodies.

The idea of doing away with the name of Batu Caves would never be entertained if there is elected local government - another reason why there is an urgent need for the restoration of local government elections and an end to the present  nominated system.

The Chairman and members of the Selayang Muncipal Council should publicly apologise for their  gross insensitivity, not just to any single community, but to the entire nation and our plural heritage in their myopic  decision to replace the name of Batu Caves with Selayang.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman