PETALING JAYA: The Prime Minister will be taking his Thaipusam message on the road by visiting two Hindu temples to witness the annual religious celebrations.
Calling Thaipusam part of the “wonderful diversity of our culture” which should be appreciated, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be travelling to Batu Caves and also to Sungai Petani, Kedah later in the day.
“I am looking forward to meet with many Malaysians of Hindu faith at the Subramaniya Swami Devasthanam temple in Sungai Petani,” Najib said in his Thaipusam Day message which he posted on his blog yesterday.
“This Thursday, Hindus across the globe are celebrating Thaipusam.
“Most Malaysian Hindus will be at Batu Caves and other Hindu temples giving thanks and fulfilling vows to the Hindu god Lord Murugan,” he wrote, adding a personal greeting wishing “Happy Thaipusam to Malaysian Hindus everywhere!”
Najib, who visited Batu Caves last year, noted that Thaipusam was becoming an international affair.
“Hindu devotees from overseas as well as tourists come here to appreciate the wonderful diversity of our culture and the openness in which many different faiths are expressed and practised.
Meanwhile, many devotees began paying penance since Sunday, with the carrying of the kavadi (a decorated structure bearing the image of several deities including Lord Muruga) on their shoulders and pal kodum(milk pots), especially at Batu Caves where about 100,000 devotees had thronged the temple.
With the even larger crowds today, devotees and others going to Batu Caves are advised to use public transportation to avoid the anticipated massive traffic congestion.
KTM Komuter is providing additional services on all sectors and shuttle train services between the Kuala Lumpur Sentral and Batu Caves stations from yesterday to tomorrow in conjunction with the festival. It expects more than 80,000 people to use the services.
Sri Subramaniar Swamy Devas thanam (Batu Caves) Temple chairman Datuk R. Nadarajah said the five-tonne silver chariot bearing a statue of Lord Muruga, which left the Sri Mahamariaman Temple in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur at 12.20am yesterday, arrived at the Batu Caves temple by noon.
Preparations have also been completed for the Thaipusam celebration at the Balathandayuthapani Temple in Penang.
“This year will be a greener and healthier Thaipusam in Penang,” temple chairman P. Kuvenaraju said.
Source : The Star