Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why make irresponsible and hurting statements -William Cheng?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

William Cheng’s statement that Deepavali and Wesak public holidays should be cancelled is not only puzzling; it is in fact insensitive, irresponsible, totally ridiculous and unacceptable.

According to media reports, the chairman of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce, William Cheng, had complained about the nation having too many public holidays.

He said that the current 17 public holidays were bad for business.

He also said the government should consider cancelling the public holidays for Deepavali and Wesak Day because the festivals involved “minority” groups.

DAP is shocked by his statement and wishes to voice our strongest objection against his proposal.

First of all, Hindus who celebrate Deepavali and Buddhists who celebrate Wesak are not minority in this country. These festivals are celebrated by millions in this country.

Secondly, while it is fair and right for businessmen and employers to put productivity as their first priority, they must not think of robbing the
Hindus and Buddhists of the two public holidays.

In fact, no one should rob any race or group of the current public holidays already gazetted.

They should seek other ways to improve productivity.

Besides, public holidays encourage economic growth as more people will travel to tourist spots and throng the shopping centres.
Malaysia, being a multi racial and multi religious will definitely have more public holidays compared to most countries.

In fact, Malaysia is not the country with the most number of public holidays. It is said that Sri Lanka has more than Malaysia’s 17.

It will make more sense if William has complained about the “: menang bola, cuti awam” practice and how the last minute declaration of public holidays has and can affect factory production and work arrangement.

But most important of all, William Cheng should realize that the declaration of some festivals as public holidays also carries with it the significance of the government’s respect for and recognition of the importance of the festivals.

William Cheng’s statement that Deepavali and Wesak public holidays should be cancelled is not only puzzling; it is in fact insensitive, irresponsible, totally ridiculous and unacceptable.

He must withdraw his comments and tender a public apology to the Hindus and Buddhists.

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