KANGAR – Traditional festivities of a plural society including that of minority communities such as the people of Siamese (Thai) descent are also being celebrated by other races in the country reflecting the spirit of unity that has never eroded.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy said that he hoped the people would support the government’s efforts in strengthening unity.
He was speaking to the media after launching the Perlis Songkran Festival in Wat Macchimaprasit in Jejawi here yesterday (21 April). Also present was Siamese representative Senator Aknan Ehtook.
Organised by the state’s United Siamese Welfare Association of Perlis, the event was attended by more than 5,000 people.
Waytha Moorthy, the minister in charge of unity and social welfare, said he would bring up issues affecting the Siamese community and discuss them at ministerial level. They included education and employment opportunities in the government sector.
On the Siamese community’s request to build a RM300,000 crematorium at Wat Macchimaprasit, the minister said he would seek government assistance so that it could be built and shared by the Chinese, Indian and Sikh communities.
He said there were about 8,000 Siamese in Perlis but they had to travel almost 100 kilometres to Sungai Petani, Kedah to carry out their final rites and cremation.
“I will also discuss their request with the relevant ministries to make Songkran or the Water Festival celebrations on April 13, to be included in Malaysia’s annual tourism calendar,” he added.