Thaipusam declared a public holiday

Well, that gives a reason to smile a little. But not for all, only if you are living in Kuala Lumpur or Putrajaya.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has told the Indian community earlier that he will consider declaring a national holiday on the Tamil festival Thaipusam. Then, he declared Thaipusam a holiday in Kuala Lumpur and the administrative capital Putrajaya. That makes both Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya to join Selangor, Penang, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Johor in the list of states that gives holiday for Thaipusam. I'm sure the people of Indian community welcomes the PM's decision even though it would have been much nicer if Thaipusam becomes a national holiday favoring the Hindus in Kedah, Perlis, Melaka, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. Better luck next election!

Meanwhile, The MIC's 'Evening with PM' gathered the largest ever number of MIC members at one location. Reuters quoted the figure as 10,000 while Malaysiakini said it was a crowd of 15,000 people and The Star reported as more than 20,000. Abdullah said he was overwhelmed by the Indian community's support for BN and further elaborated that it was the biggest MIC gathering he has attended. The premier also promised to set up a "high-powered committee" to counter hardcore poverty among all races.

In short, out of the blue, Prime Minister declared Thaipusam as a public holiday for KL and Putrajaya, after the Indian community has struggled over the years to get a national holiday for the festival. And it was announced hours ago when he attended the biggest MIC gathering he has ever seen. Those are two things that have never happened in past years!

Some say, it's an election gimmick. Some say it's a post-Hindraf pressure. What say you? And check out an excellent account of the biggest MIC gathering at The People's Parliment.

1 comments to "Thaipusam declared a public holiday"

  • It's just a hog wash. The hindus in Malaysia, especially the KLites have been asking for a holiday for more than a decade. Maybe at that time they did not have any respect for the request of the Indian community and the Hindus in Malaysia? There were traffic jam back then as well. Why only now announce a holiday and why stop at only Putrajaya and KL? Aren't there Indians in the other states that still have to go to work on that day? I don't think it was any positive effect of the Hindraf Phenomenon. It was just an election sweetener! I'm also not surprised of the number that turned up.