Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bishop tussles with villagers over mansion

Posted without comment. [Except to say that it's very odd for a bishop to wear his mitre and carry his pastoral staff in a simar]

From the Star:

Villagers tussle with church
By MARTIN CARVALHO

MALACCA: About 100 villagers from Kampung Ayer Salak, Bukit Rambai, were engaged in a standoff with church authorities yesterday over the demolition of a RM1mil mansion which was built illegally on church land.

The 10am incident saw Bishop Paul Tan accompanied by several priests and officials arriving at the almost completed home to oversee the demolition work.

[ Andrew: The banner says 'Home demolition?? We protest"] Land matters: Bishop Tan making a stand on the order to demolish the building constructed without approval on church land at Kampung Ayer Salak, Bukit Rambai, in Malacca yesterday amid a protest by some 100 villagers against the demolition order.

The situation became tense when a group of villagers from the mostly Teochew Catholic community moved to stop the demolition by hurling abuse at the church authorities.

State executive councillor for tourism Datuk Seet Har Cheow, whose home is located in the village, attempted to mediate a settlement between the two parties.

However, police had to be called in to defuse the tension when both parties refused to back off and the demolition work was temporarily deferred.

At the centre of the controversy is a three-storey mansion with 18 rooms built by a Lim family without approval from the church or the local authority.

Kampung Baru Ayer Salak is home to about 120 Teochew Catholic families who settled there in the early 1800s.

About 180ha of the village land was handed to the church in the 1840s on which the St Mary’s Church was built in 1886.

Bishop Tan told reporters later that the church had agreed in principle when the Lim family made a request to rebuild their single-storey semi-wooden home on Oct 29, but said the family started construction without waiting for approval from the church or the local authority.

He said three stop-work orders and notices to demolish were issued to the church and building owners between April and June.

The church had to comply with the notice to demolish the building as it did not want to be seen as condoning illegal practices, he said.

“It is not a situation where the church is depriving poor people of a roof over their heads,” he said, adding that the proposed home cost more than RM1mil.

Meanwhile, Peter Lim, 41, a businessman, said it was unfair of the church to restrict villagers from reconstructing their homes.

“Our forefathers were pioneers who opened up the land for cultivation over 150 years ago; why should we need permission now when it was not so in the past?” he asked, claiming that Bishop Tan had refused to meet his family to resolve the matter.

He added that the family would consider taking the matter to court.

10 comments:

DonAaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

why ? because the land belong to the church and the dispute is with the fellow Catholics ...

he is showing his authority ....

I admire him for his act...

DonAaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

weiii why lah u laughing ...

u should be happy wat ...

next who knows the tridentine mass would be said in his diocese

CSFA said...

why not?
maybe he is the only priest here who can read and understand Latin.
For now we always have to go to Sungai Buloh to have a Tridentine Mass.
Was not Bishops Pakiam's lame excuse to the Pope : "We dont teach Latin to our priests"


Actually a shame what he said to the Pope.

Anonymous said...

sorry to say but Bishop Pakiam is more interested in Tan Sri's and Datuks then teaching the correct faith

Collin Michael Nunis said...

I find it quite hard to call Archbishop Pakiam a pastor because he is barely one. By default of being bishop, yes he is, but I don't see much of it in him.

As for a Latin Mass in the Melaka-Johor diocese, there's no such luck. Bishop Paul will not sanction it unless there is a substantial number who request for it and that everyone involved in requesting for it are well-versed enough with the EF to do such a thing. However, I'm not so sure if he will say ok to Latin.

Your best bets are either a Mass in the Anglican Use (fairly similar) or an Eastern-Rite Catholic Divine Liturgy (in the Russian Rite... whose music is uncannily similar in most respects to the Latin Rite). A Divine Liturgy with Gregorian arrangements you say? The Russians have done it all.

Cat's Miaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Dear Cat. Actually, if you read the article properly, you'll note that the guy built a million dollar mansion in a village of wooden houses. The mansion was built illegally on Church land and was ordered demolished by the local authority. Since it was Church land, the Bishop had the duty to demolish it since the land is in his name and he is the one liable to be fined by the local authority.

So, it's not a small wooden house, as the picture shows, and he does take care of the villagers' welfare because they are staying on Church land and where did you read that he wanted any money?

Cat's Miaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.