雪兰莪暨吉隆坡福建会馆于2018年2月在吉隆坡高庭起诉一名“吉隆坡福建义山”墓地买家。此案关乎本会辖下位于Jalan Kerayong（旧机场路）的吉隆坡福建义山。本会之所以提出这起法律诉讼是为了阻止买方一意孤行欲将她已故的父亲，一名非福建人，埋葬在吉隆坡福建义山墓地。 会馆此前并不晓得买家非属福建籍贯，因为买家早前已在墓地的申请表格声明她的父母来自福建南安。因此，会馆允许买家购买该墓地。直到2017年9月30日买家父亲去世后，会馆才发现申请表格中的资料并不正确。本会因此必须阻止买家安葬其父亲或她其他非福建籍贯的家庭成员。
（一） 根据1920年 1月16日和1938年3月24日的宪报，福建义山早已被公布保留为福建族群专属的墓地。法官从庭审中的证据里明确地鉴定买家的父亲确实不是一名福建人。如果法庭允许买家的父亲埋葬在福建义山，这将会造成一个违背宪报的先例。因为宪报至今仍然生效，高庭认为如果让非福建籍贯的已故者安葬在福建义山是非常敏感的， 因此不该贸然违例。
In February 2018, the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Hokkien Association (the “Association”) commenced a legal suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court against a buyer (“Buyer”) of two gravesite plots at the Jalan Kerayong (Old Airport Road) Kuala Lumpur Hokkien Cemetery managed by the Association (“Hokkien Cemetery”).
The Association had taken this action in order to deter the persistent intention of the Buyer to bury her late father who was a non-Hokkien within the Hokkien Cemetery. The Association was previously not aware that the Buyer is not of Hokkien descent because the Buyer had earlier declared in the gravesite application forms that her parents were from the Nanan county in the Fujian (Hokkien) province. The Buyer was therefore allowed to purchase the gravesite plots. It was only on 30 September, 2017 after the passing of the Buyer’s father that the Association discovered that the information in the application forms was untrue. The Association then sought to restrain the Buyer from burying her father or her other non-Hokkien family members at the said gravesite plots.
While this case was awaiting trial, an interim injunction was granted to the Association by the High Court on 14 September, 2018, so that the Buyer was for the time being stopped from carrying out the intended burial of her late father at the Hokkien Cemetery until there was a final decision by the High Court.
On 29 September, 2020, the learned High Court Judge allowed the Association’s claim， granting a permanent injunction to restrain the Buyer or her representatives from burying her late father or any other non-Hokkien deceased persons at the Hokkien Cemetery.
The reasoning of the High Court was as follows:-
- The Hokkien Cemetery has been gazetted via Gazette Notification dated 16 January, 1920 and 24 March, 1938 (“Gazette”) to be a reserve for the purposes of burying people of the Hokkien descent only. Based on the evidence at trial, the Court was satisfied that the Buyer’s father was not a Hokkien. To allow the burial of the Buyer’s father at the Hokkien Cemetery would therefore be setting a precedent that is contrary to the Gazette. As the Gazette is still in force, the High Court considered this a very sensitive matter that should not to be taken lightly.
- The Court also rejected the Buyer’s defence that she purchased the gravesite plots based on an oral agreement between her mother and the previous Head of the Cemetery Management Committee of the Association in 2013.
- The Court further held that the Association had accepted the Buyer’s application forms and the purchase price, for it had relied on the Buyer’s declaration therein that her parents were both from Nanan county in the Fujian Province. The Court found that the burden was on the Buyer to provide accurate information on her ethnic descent to the Association, but the Association was misled about this until the truth came to light around 30 September, 2017.
Notwithstanding the outcome in the court proceedings for the Association, we regret that such an incident had taken place and hope that the Buyer and her family would find a suitable resting place for her late father. At the same time, we would like to assure our members that the Association will continue to uphold the Gazette and would ensure that the burial ground in Hokkien Cemetery would be reserved for the exclusive use of the Hokkien community in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Hokkien Association