There is no oneness in 1Malaysia

The Selangor state government was not allowed to put up a stage for the Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim, and other state leaders to meet the people on the eve of Thaipusam. Therefore all cultural and entertainment shows organised had to be cancelled incurring financial losses amounting to RM120,000.

Details about the event were informed to police and they had given a verbal approval. Police normally do not give written permits for opposition functions until the last minute. Barisan National does not have such problems.

Later PM Najib decided to visit Batu caves at the same time as the state government event. Najib’s function was well within the temple complex and state stage was outside the temple compound. Yet the police came down hard and dismantled the stage and barred the state function.

Apparently the Selangor state government event is security threat to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Thaipusan is a religious festival celebrated in Batu Caves and in many Murugan temples all over the country for the past 50 years without any disruptions and hindrances. Millions of people jostle and make their way to the temple with constraints and limitations, peacefully.

They hike, go up the narrow steps, bathe in narrow rivers, walk barefoot with sober and subdued spirit to fulfill their vows and penance. Temple committees and government bodies do capitalise on these gatherings to promote tourism.

But Thaipuam festival itself is a solemn event for devotees and worshipers. To say that the stage set up for Selangor Menteri Besar and state leaders to meet the people poses security threat to Najib is an insult to millions of Hindus and other devotees coming to Batu Caves.

Prime Ministers and many ministers have come to Batu Caves while state chief ministers walk with devotees a few kilometres in Penang to the temple for many years. The devotees and visitors to temples will only be pleased and happy to see their leaders coming to temple to greet them. The Hindus and others will be glad and ask more non Indian leaders to come to meet them in such mass gathering.

That itself is their prayer answered.

Malaysian police must manage the crowd and see that the festival takes place in an orderly manner and people gathered are least inconvenienced. It is the responsibility of the police to ensure that no trouble creators disturb the event.

But they should not disrupt and cancel meet the people sessions saying that it poses a security threat to Najin. Imalaysia will only be realised when more Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban and Kadazan leaders meet people of other faiths in festivals like Thaipusam. If such events are disrupted and cancelled where is the oneness in 1Malaysia.

1Malaysia should manifest in spirit and implementation and not just be a mere hollow slogan.

Explore posts in the same categories: From the desk of Senator S Ramakrishnan

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