Former prime minister Najib Razak said there was no need to cancel the Thaipusam holiday even though his response was affected by the movement control order (PKP).
He said, Thaipusam is one of the most important festivals for Indians in Malaysia.
“The states of Malaysia have for decades declared this festival a holiday.
“Although this year’s festival is affected by the PKP, there is no need to cancel the holiday because Indian families can still celebrate it at their homes.
“We just keep this tradition. We are 1Malaysia,” Najib wrote on his Facebook, today.
Yesterday, Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Noor in a press conference after chairing the state government exco meeting stated that there is no event leave for Kedah for the Thaipusam festival this year, following the current situation related to Covid-19.
The decision was later criticized by several political leaders, especially the Minister of Human Resources and MIC Deputy President M Saravanan, who reportedly considered it biased apart from Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy, who described it as extreme.
Today, Muhammad Sanusi said the decision of the PAS-led Kedah state government not to announce the event holiday in conjunction with the Thaipusam festival on Jan 28, did not intend to deny the rights of Hindus in the state.
On the other hand, believers can still celebrate the festival anywhere, by following the standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent the spread of Covid-19 that has been set.