It seems like heritage sites no longer have a place in the Malaysian tourism industry as it was reported that one of the infamous 8th-century temples in Candi Sungai Batu or Bujang Valley, had been demolished in the last few years to make way for new housing developments. What’s even more alarming is that the authorities have not taken any action in regards to the matter.
Bujang Valley is an archaeological site in Malaysia that was filled with jetty remains, iron-smelting areas and a clay-brick monument dating back to 110AD. It is recorded as one of the oldest man-made structures in Southeast Asia.
Non-governmental organisation Bujang Valley Study Circle chairman V Nadarajan urged the Tourism and Culture Ministry to stop the developers from further destroying the historical site. Nadarajan was the first one to discover that the candi was demolished and had lodged a report to stop the developers. However, there was no outcome.
“The temple in Sungai Batu estate is the most famous tourism spot in Bujang Valley, but now it is gone,” he said.
Nadarajan said that the 1200-year old site was the most important entry port before Malacca and Singapore, and has been a mid-way hub to Arab nations, India and China.
“We should be proud of the heritage and not give the site to profit-minded individuals,” he added.
Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy claimed that the Merbok land office had given the developers the green light to clear the land because “there were no historical sites”.
What do you think about the demolition of the Bujang Valley candi – a monument that’s almost two millenniums old? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.