Kuala Lumpur- “The Kedah Menteri Besar’s irresponsible and careless remark regarding the Thaipusam holiday has not only hurt the sentiments of the Hindus in Malaysia but also all mindful citizens in Malaysia,” said MIC vice-president Datuk Kohilan Pillay in his statement today.
“Every leader should be extra cautious when making statements that involves a religion other than his or her own religion.”
“How much does the Kedah Menteri Besar know about the festival of Thaipusam? Does he think that it is just a one day affair where devotees throng the temples in thousands to offer their prayers and thanksgiving carrying ‘kavadis’ and other form of offerings?”
Kohilan also added that the preparation for Thaipusam begins a month earlier with fasting and prayers being offered daily at the temples or in their homes as is the case now because of the pandemic. Some fasting can be extreme and some on a lighter scale according to the individual’s prayer needs.
“Thanksgiving are being offered for the vows that were fulfilled and this can be in the form of fasting, carrying all forms of ‘kavadis’ and offering of food for devotees.”
“Devotees disregard the inconvenience as they maneuver through the crowds to fulfil their vows carrying their crying little children just to have the satisfaction of fulfilling their vows in the best way fitting for the gods they believe in.”
“However, all this not possible this year due to the pandemic that has restricted outdoor activities and confined everyone in their own homes. Hindu devotees still have the need to fulfill their vows and seek for blessings and have been carrying out their usual fasting and prayers and other forms of penance accordingly leading to the festival of Thaipusam which will not be celebrated in the temples as usual but in the individual homes.”
“The Menteri Besar’s statement shows his couldn’t care less and intolerant attitude towards another’s religion. Is he aware of the principles of the Rukun Negara formulated by National Consultative Council to create unity among the various races? The very first principle to uphold is “Belief in God.” Yes, Islam has been declared as the official religion of this country and the other religion and belief can be practiced with freedom and tranquility.”
“In my humble opinion as the vice president of MIC projecting the voice of the Indians and in this situation the Hindus , I belief that every leader should be aware of the various religion in this nation and their importance so that they will be sensitive towards the people’s need for worship on their auspicious festivals to assist in upholding the first principle of the Rukun Negara,” he stressed.
“Another question in my mind is; did he consult anyone before he made this thoughtless decision of cancelling the Thaipusam holiday? According to the Menteri Besar of Kedah, “terlalu banyak cuti,” (too many holidays). To me this sounds like a rather unprofessional and shallow reason. Who is he blaming for the holidays?”
Kohilan hopes the Menteri Besar of Kedah would graciously apologise for the hurt he has caused the Hindus as well as the mindful citizens of this country and grant the Thaipusam holiday which is rightfully due to them.