COMMENT | It's better for PKR's Hulu Kinta assemblyperson, Muhammad Arafat Mahammad Varisai, to understand the importance of Thaipusam chariot procession's ritual for the Hindu community first before commenting any further on the issue.
The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Devasthanam in charge of chariot procession in Kuala Lumpur and the Penang Nagarathar Thandayuthapani Temple in charge of chariot procession in Penang made their respective request to the National Security Council (NSC). MIC deputy president and Human Resources Minister M Saravanan only facilitated the approval, taking into consideration the importance of the ritual.
If one has common sense, one would never comment or talk about any subject without having a basic understanding of the matter. Regardless, this is nothing new. Such an approach has always been a problem with PKR leaders ever since. Prior to the 14th general election, PKR leaders tend to come up with lots of formulas, proposals and ideas to resolve every other issue, but after winning the GE14 all they spoke was about making PKR president Anwar Ibrahim the next prime minister.
PKR benefitted largely from the Indians in the GE14 but what did they do for the Indians while in power? Literally nothing. It was during the PKR-led Pakatan Harapan's administration that the total enrolment of Indian students for matriculations was reduced by the thousands, the allocation for Indian Entrepreneurs Development under Tekun Nasional was reduced from RM50 million to a mere RM30 million per annum, while numerous other socio-economic upliftments programmes for the Indian community were scrapped.
With all that being done in just 22 months despite having four Indian ministers, what's the need for Arafat to suddenly interfere into the religious affairs of the Indian community, which is being well taken care of single-handedly by just one minister?
Arafat needs to be reminded that the Indian community in the country had witnessed how his party misled millions of Indians to get their support in the GE14 but ignored them from day one after getting into power.
Why suddenly care about the Indians and their issues when all these while you and your party were only focused on making Anwar the prime minister? Understand the basics first before commenting on the other parties, Arafat. Not every other issue has to be politically motivated.
The issue of Thaipusam is one example. It is not about MIC or PKR or DAP but about the religious interests, custom and ritual of Hindus in Malaysia. Don't follow in the footsteps of your counterparts in Penang to continuously politicise Thaipusam for your political interest.
Both the Penang and Batu Caves chariot processions were carried out with approvals from the NSC with the police monitoring SOP adherence throughout the process.
SIVARRAAJH CHANDRAN is a vice-president of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC).
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