I spoke at the "Thanneer Panthal" organized by DAP Ipoh Barat and PR.
A good response from volunteers. Thank you all.
Thaipusam falls in the "thai" calendar of the Hindus and is celebrated at a very grand scale by Hindus all over Malaysia.
In Ipoh over 500,000 people and tourists are expected to coverage at the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunong Cheroh, Ipoh. Over 500 kavadi bearers will be seen approaching the temple. Also over 20,000 devotees will be shaving their heads.
Every year without fail, DAP Ipoh Barat puts up a "taneer pandal" (a stall to provide drinks for devotees) near the main temple.
The stall is operated by a group of volunteers and they comprise people of all faiths. This thus enriches the bond among the multi racial facet present in our country.
Malaysia is a multi racial, multi religious and multi lingual country. It’s the tolerance and mutual understanding among the various races which has built a strong bonding among the races.
On this auspicious day, I call on the Federal Government to immediately attend to two pressing matters of the community.
Firstly, it should declare Thaipusam a public holiday.
Thaipusam is the most important event after Deepavali. All Hindus without fail will make it a point to visit temples and offer prayers.
Thaipusam should therefore be declared a national holiday in Malaysia.
Secondly, the federal government must be decisive and swift in resolving the Interlok controversy.
Failure to withdraw the interlock novel as a literature book for form 5 students is puzzling.
The word "pariah" used in the novel is derogatory, demeaning and hurting. In fact, factual and historical facts had been twisted and written without basis.
The Indian community is hurt. To make matters worse the Education Ministry is dragging its feet on this issue.
MIC has sent a panel of leaders to meet the Deputy Education Minister Dato Puad but nothing meaningful has materialized.
Obviously, the loss of sizeable chunk of Indians votes in the 2008 General Elections has not changed the thinking of the BN masters.