Letter on Bujang Valley ‘Candi’ Demolition

Bro. Tan explaining the history of Kedah on a study tour to the Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum.

Nalanda Founder Bro. H S Tan has sent an official letter to the relevant authorities regarding the desecration of an ancient temple in Sungai Batu Archaeological Area, Bujang Valley, Kedah.  We can only provide excerpts of the letter here for public information.

Touching on the destruction of a ‘Candi’ by a private company, Bro. Tan states, “The demolition of ‘Candi No.11’ at Sungai Batu was a grave mistake and a tragic loss.  Whether the developers did it out of ignorance or not, they must be dealt with according to the law, and pay for the restoration of that ancient structure since it is possible to do so.  Officials at the state and local authorities should also be brought to book if they had been negligent in approving the work.”

“If the developers’ claim (that they did not know the ‘Candi’ was a historical artifact) were true, then we have a lot to educate our Malaysian citizens and public about our own history! Ignorance of our true history does not bode well for holistic nation-building…”

Remnants of an ancient structure (possibly a Stupa) found in Sungai Batu, Bujang Valley, Kedah.

Bujang Valley in Kuala Muda District, Kedah, is Malaysia’s richest archaeological site.  The district was the site of one of the earliest ‘Indianised kingdoms’ in Southeast Asia, dating back to the 1st Century CE and possibly even earlier.  Kedah had been an important node for ancient trade between India and China.

Bro. Tan’s letter adds, “It is now imperative… to work with all relevant authorities to gazette the entire Bujang Valley as a “National Heritage and Monument” with immediate effect, so as to fully protect the entire historical site from further damage, desecration, destruction, and unplanned development, and save this site for posterity.”

“…Do not let greed and ignorance destroy our artifacts, heritage, and history itself.” – Bro Tan.

Bro. Tan leading one of many study tours to the Bujang Valley organised by Nalanda Institute Malaysia.