GOPIO is glad that the Brickfields Vivekananda Ashram has been declared a National Heritage Site by Jabatan Warisan Negara. GOPIO appreciate and thanks all the stakeholders involved in saving the Brickfields Vivekananda Ashram, especially to the SVAB (Save Vivekananda Ashram Building) Committee, who spearheaded the movement.
The gazette proceeded after the Vivekananda Ashram Trustees wrote to the Kuala Lumpur High Court and Court of Appeal to withdraw both their cases, in line with decision taken during the EGM convened by the Trustees on 16th May 2016. GOPIO appreciates the Vivekananda Ashram Trustees for their withdrawal of the cases for the interest of the Community at large. GOPIO would also like to appreciate the Government, especially the Minister of Tourism and Culture Yang Berhormat Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri for his interest and involvement in the preservation of the Ashram as a Heritage Site.
Brickfields, which received a renewed status as Little India in 2010, has many historical reminiscence, cultural sites and temples, of which the Vivekananda Ashram is one of the oldest landmark of more than 110 years. Some of the other landmarks buildings in Little India in Brickfields are the Kandasamy Temple, Sri Hanuman Temple, Sri Krishna Temple, Karpura Vinayagar Temple, Buddhist Temple and Temple of Fine Arts.
The Trustees of the Vivekananda Ashram had earlier proposed for a high-rise residential building in the premise. The move by the Trustees to build residential blocks for commercial purposes was objected by various NGOs and individuals.
Vivekananda Ashram should now work closely with Indian/Hindu organisations, temples and art/culture centres to promote the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. We call upon the trustees of the Vivekananda Ashram to uphold and preserve the status of Vivekananda Ashram as it is a significant icon for the Malaysian Indian Community. As said by Swami Vivekananda in his SECRET OF WORK, “Our duty is to work, selflessly and consistently for the community – without any expectation”.
GOPIO thanks and congratulate the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and all the non-governmental organizations and heritage enthusiasts for their efforts in preserving our national heritage and the icon of Brickfields Little India.
Cultural Committee, Gopio Malaysia