Penang MIC Youth wants the Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) to give equal treatment to political leaders of both sides attending the consecration of the new RM9 million Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga on Friday.
Several leaders from BN and Pakatan Rakyat including MIC president G Palanivel and other MIC leaders as well as Pakatan's Chief Minister LIm Guan Eng and his deputy Dr P Ramasamy are expected to be present for the ceremony between 10.05am and 11.05am on Friday.
We feel that politics should be set aside and everyone should be accorded equal respect and treatment by the PHEB.
There should not be any attempt by any political leader to attempt to hijack the religous ceremony for their own political mileage.
Everyone must realise that whatever the political differences that exist, when it comes to religion, race and culture, political affiliations should be set aside. All are Hindus and should be respected.
The hilltop temple, touted as the largest Lord Murugan temple outside India, is set to become a new tourist attraction in the state with a seven-storey 21.6 metre-tall gopuram (main tower).
For the record, plans to initiate the construction of a new temple was started in 2000 by the MIC when the state was under the BN administration.
Two years later, the design for the temple was drawn up and approval from the Penang Municipal Council was obtained a year later.
The work on the construction of the temple started in 2006 and until 2008, the temple was under the PHEB which was chaired by MIC until 2008 when the Pakatan Rakyat took over the state leadershop and took control of PHEB.
The contributions towards the temple has been from all quarters irrespective of their political leanings. Politicians, community leaders, businessmen, members of the public, state government and the federal government had played their role towards the successful construction of the temple.
It is heartwarming to note that a plan initiated by the BN government in 2000 has been completed under the Pakatan government in 2012. It is a project which will be welcomed by the Indian community in Penang.
MIC Youth hopes the PHEB would accord equal respect to all the leaders, be it from the Barisan Nasional or the Pakatan government leaders attending the ceremony.
J DHINAGARAN is Penang state MIC Youth leader.