The Chee How Temple in Salak South, Kuala Lumpur has apologised to authorities and the public after its followers confronted the police outside the temple on Tuesday.
The temple also said it will relinquish its claim over the land and will cooperate with the federal government and the Education Ministry.
“We express our deepest regrets and apologise for the confusion and controversies that arose from the incident.
“We will hand over the keys to an adjacent gate to the Land and Mines Office and the Education Ministry for them to perform relevant construction works,” the temple said in a statement today.
On Tuesday, there was a standoff between temple supporters and the police when the authorities attempted to seize a narrow strip of land south of the premises.
The temple added that it accepts legal responsibility for the incident and will cooperate with the authorities.
So far, 24 individuals have been arrested in connection to the confrontation. Police said the suspects were investigated for rioting with weapons. There have been no reported casualties.
The land in question allows access to a piece of land west of the temple where the Education Ministry is building a school.
Meanwhile, Deputy Education Minister Mah Hang Soon said he appreciates the effort of Chee How Temple president Yap Chee Fong who apologised and explained the situation to him.
In a statement today, Mah said a meeting was held between his ministry, the Land and Mines Office, the local authorities, as well as the involved parties to explain the construction of a new secondary school next to the temple.
He said the school will benefit the needs of local residents as 7,000 units of people’s housing (PPR) will be built nearby.
Mah added that planning started in 2017 and the ministry found that the school reserve land is the most strategic location to build the new secondary school.
“The incident that went viral on social media since a few days ago has created polemic and provocation, plus it was skewed from real facts.
“Hence, based on the statement from Mr Yap as the temple president, I urge all parties to view this incident thoroughly and rationally for the wellbeing of all.
“I’d like to also thank the temple who promised to hand over the gate keys and the land to the Land and Mine Office and the Education Ministry for ensuing works,” he said.