NAJIB SAYS, THAIPUSAM STANDARD OPERATION PROCEDURES ARE TOO TIGHT !
GOMBAK SELANGOR : Former prime minister Najib Razak has echoed a federal minister's sentiments on Coronavirus rules for Thaipusam, saying they were " too tight ".
" I see the Indian community is very disappointed that such tight restrictions have been placed on them, " Najib told reporters at Batu Caves on Tuesday, January 17, 2022.
" Certain allowances, which would not have lead to the spread of Coronavirus, could have been made."
Earlier, human resources minister M Saravanan said the Thaipusam SOPs had further eroded the trust of the Indian community in the government.
In a fiery at Batu Caves, the MIC deputy president said the dissatisfaction was emblematic of a larger trend, which contributed to Barisan Nasional's election defeat in 2018.
" I must put on record that by and large, Hindus in this country are very unhappy with (the government's) decision, " he said.
" They ask me why thousands can go shopping at Pavilion but attendance at Batu Caves is limited. In the end, we are losing the trust of the community," Saravanan had said.
Najib, who noted that this year's celebration was muted, said the government should have approved applications from the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniar Temple for 200 kavadis to be part of the Thaipusam celebration.
This year, the government imposed a ban on kavadis and is only allowing those above 18 to take part in the prayers. It has also limited the temple's opening hours to 5 am - 11 pm yesterday and today.
In the past, the temple was allowed to be open for 24 hours from the eve of Thaipusam till the next day.
In addition, the authorities have allowed only 9,000 people to attend today, a stark contrast to the hundreds of thousands of devotees who usually congregate at Batu Caves on Thaipusam day.
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@ Jackie San