THE Hindu religious festival of Deepavali is a national public holiday. Other than Deepavali, Thaipusam is public holiday in a few states in Peninsular Malaysia.
Kedah is one state where Thaipusam might be declared as an occasional holiday.
Recently, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Sanusi Muhammad Nor has decided to make Jan 25 an occasional holiday in his state.
Earlier, whether Thaipusam was declared a public holiday in the state will depend on the mood of the state government.
Few years back, it was the PAS state government that refused to consider Thaipusam as a public holiday in the state.
But things are different now.
Given the shift of Indian support to Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the last state elections, there might be change of heart on the part of the PAS state government.
It was in this context that Sanusi decided to declare Thaipusam as an occasional holiday for the Hindus in the state.
The next thing is for Sanusi to gazatte Thaipusam as a public holiday. No more the arbitrary public holiday.
Thaipusam is no ordinary Hindu festival for millions of devotees gather around the temples of Lord Muruga in Batu Caves, Penang and Ipoh, among others, to celebrate the religious occasion of Thaipusam.
Declaration of a gazetted public holiday would enhance the reputation of Kedah that had flourishing Malay Kingdom in the past.
Kedah was the seat of the Srivijayan Kingdom before the arrival of the Cholas about 1,000 years ago. – Jan 4, 2023
Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main pic credit: Man vs Clock