Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was shocking, saddening and tragic to learn about the damage caused to rich archaeological remains of Lembah Bujang in Kedah state. These Hindu temple ruins, besides being dear to Hindus, were highly important heritage for Malaysians and the world, Zed added.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohammad Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak to launch a thorough investigation into this damage and allocate additional funding to conserve the area.
Rajan Zed asked United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to declare Lembah Bujang a World Heritage Site and help fund its preservation efforts. It needed to be urgently protected and some serious efforts and strong political will were needed in this direction by Malaysia Government.
Commercial developer reportedly tore down these ancient Hindu temple remains in Bujang Valley. Efforts should be made to reconstruct the damaged prehistoric structure and developer should provide most of the funding, Zed stressed.
Rajan Zed argued that such callous treatment to ancient monuments should not be acceptable in Malaysia and the world. This should serve as a wake-up call for Malaysia and the world to take care of heritage sites and Malaysia should declare all Lembah Bujang archaeological sites as national heritage sites.
Zed wondered why it took so long for this damage to come to light. Chalking out some proactive policies for preservation of these valuable monuments might help in the future. According to reports, there were many temple ruins in Bujang Valley which were still undocumented and damage caused to some during the recent development might had thus gone unnoticed.
Malaysians should be proud of their legacy in Lembah Bujang and should preserve for future generations what their ancestors left for them. There were reportedly over 90 such archaeological sites in Lembah Bujang. Any further irresponsible and needless damage to the sites must be prevented with a swift action, Rajan Zed stated.
Reports suggest that Lembah Bujang, spread in about 224 square kilometers, is the richest archaeological site in Malaysia, consisting ruins over 2,000 years old. Excavation here has revealed a clay brick monument dating to 110 CE, making it the oldest piece in Southeast Asia.