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“Don’t trample on the rights of other races” – Saravanan warns Kedah MB

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MEDIA STATEMENT BY YB DATUK SERI M.SARAVANAN, HUMAN RESOURCES MINISTER, ON 21 JANUARY 2021

1. Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has lost the plot in the controversy he created, by declaring that the state will not observe the public holiday for Thaipusam this year.

2. It is clear from the defence of the Menteri Besar to my statement yesterday that he has missed the point in the whole controversy.

3. The argument that he did not intend to deny the rights of Hindus in celebrating Thaipusam after revoking the public holiday certainly does not make sense and is downright degrading to Hindus in the state.

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4. The Menteri Besar must understand that Hindus were happy in the state after Thaipusam was declared a state public holiday and this has been enjoyed over the last two years.

5. Thaipusam is also a state public holiday in several other states but no other state government had revoked it unlike Kedah under the PAS government.

6. We in MIC are not using this issue as a tool to further our political ambition, but it is the Kedah Menteri Besar who is using race and religion for his political gains in the state.

7. We know fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is the priority for the nation now, but giving a public holiday for Thaipusam is not going to change anything under the recent lockdown.

8. The Menteri Besar’s ‘advice’ that MIC lobbies to the federal government for a gazetted national holiday for Thaipusam, is also amateurish as he surely knows the time consumed to bring about such a move.

9. At this juncture, I would like to challenge the Menteri Besar to name the three groups of Hindus which he claimed to have met him before announcing the revocation of the public holiday.

10. The Kedah Menteri Besar should have held a proper meeting with all the representatives of the Hindu community, including political parties, before making a decision on the matter.

11. It should not just be a meeting with three groups, in a one-way meeting, where you vomit whatever you want to say without getting any proper feedback.

12. I also wish to remind the Menteri Besar that although there are only 6.8% of Indians in the state, this small percentage can make a big difference when it comes to the General Election.

13. Questioning if MIC was fighting for Indians or Hindus is foolish as the party remains steadfast in its fight for the Indian community, who are majority Hindus.

14. It is sad to note that the Menteri Besar is so ‘shallow’ in his thoughts for putting up these kinds of arguments.

15. MIC has always had a cordial relationship with PAS at all levels but our ties with the party is tested after the appointment of Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor as the Kedah Menteri Besar.

16. I sincerely hope that the PAS leadership will educate him on how to lead in a multi-racial and multi-religious country like Malaysia.

17. A Menteri Besar should be a leader for all races in the state and not trample on the rights of other races for the sake of his popularity.

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