Sunday, 20 January 2008

Will Thaipusam be a national holiday?

News Update: January 20, 2008 18:49 PM

No, not a National Holiday, but a public holiday in the Wilayah Perseketuan and Putra Jaya.

Well, I say finally! But the point is why did Pak Lah decide to declare Thaipusam as a public holiday in the FT and Putra Jaya NOW? Yes, why now?

The public will definitely dismiss the annoucement as a ploy to fish for votes since talk is rife that the General Election will be called soon.

It is a move to appease the Indian voters besides the fact that the Government (and the MIC) is on a damage control mode to win their hearts following the Hindraf rally in November last year when more than 30,000 Indians took to the street.

Undoubtedly, it is in response to the cry of Hindraf. But it is ironic that Hindraf's five leaders have been arrested.

Here's the story from Bernama:

Abdullah Declares Thaipusam Public Holiday In KL, Putrajaya

The Government Sunday declared Thaipusam a public holiday in the federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya from this year.

This year's Thaipusam falls on Wednesday (Jan 23).

In making the announcement, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government made the decision in respecting the request of the Indian community and the Hindus in the country.

Thaipusam is currently a holiday in Selangor, Penang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

Read Anil Netto's "Enticing Hindu Malaysian Voters With Thaipusam Holidays": Here

Earlier story

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu today thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for agreeing to consider MIC's proposal to declare Thaipusam a national public holiday.

The Works Minister hoped the decision could be made at the next weekly Cabinet meeting as stated by the prime minister yesterday.

"It will be a long-awaited decision to have Thaipusam declared a national holiday or even a public holiday for the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory," he told Bernama.

Abdullah had said yesterday he would consider declaring Thaipusam a national public holiday after seeking approval from the Cabinet.

Samy Vellu said he contacted Abdullah in Madrid from New Delhi recently to request him to consider declaring Thaipusam a public holiday and this was followed with an official letter to the prime minister.

Abdullah was in Madrid for an official visit while Samy Vellu was in New Delhi to attend the People of Indian Origin Conference.

Samy Vellu said the MIC has been asking for Thaipusam be declared a public holiday for more than a decade "but now we are confident our request will be fulfilled".

He said Thaipusam is currently a holiday in five states, namely Selangor, Penang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Johor."

More than 1.2 million Hindus converge at Batu Caves every year for Thaipusam from all over the country.

As such, it will be good if Thaipusam is declared a national public holiday," Samy Vellu said.

Samy Vellu said he raised the matter with the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique at the last Cabinet meeting to have Thaipusam declared a public holiday at least in Kuala Lumpur.

"I will raise it again at the next Cabinet meeting," he added.


Anonymous said...

For certain, the general election is around the corner.

Why now?

This is vote fishing.

anak malaysia said...

Samy cannot take the credit for this. He should be grateful to Hindraf which precipated this.

Whatever misgivings one might have of Hindraf, I think the rally has brought some positive result.

Indira said...

Yaay! One more day of public holiday. Tank kiu, tank kiu.

Me. I aint complaining.

Vannakam. :)

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

anon 9:00 PM,

Agree with you. The general election is around the corner...BN component parties are already gearing up for the polls.

This is definitely vote fishing apart from PM's way of propping up Samy vellu's diminishing popularity among the Indians.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

anak malaysia,

Hindraf managed to do something which MIC had failed.

Anonymous said...

Podaah Samy. You want to take credit for this? But we know it is Hindraf who made this public holiday possible.

puteri said...

Samy Vellue didn’t exactly get what he wished for.

He wanted Thaipusam to be a National Holiday. But Pak Lah announced Thaipusam is a public holiday only in Wilayah Perseketuan and Putra Jaya.

Oh well, it’s better than nothing I guess.

Maybe Pak Lah can fulfill Samy's wish (to have Thaipusam declared a NATIONAL holiday) before the next election if he can deliver (the Indian votes) he promised to the PM in this coming polls.