Kuala Lumpur, Jan 31- A grand-scale organization is said to be under way to make the Federal Territory Ponggal celebration scheduled on 2nd February 2013, a success since it will be graced by the Prime Minister himself. MIC President G.Palanivel is also scheduled to attend the function.
The key organiser of the function is Datuk M.Saravanan (pic), Federal Territories Deputy Minister and Vice President of MIC. Organised as the Federal Territories “Ponggal Vila”, the organizers are working round the clock to bring in about 100,000 people for the celebration to show MIC’s strength to the Prime Minister.
It is believed that more than 1,000 buses have been ‘hired’ to bring the people from outstations to fill the required number. Each bus carrying about 40 people is being paid according to the distance and the maximum payment, mainly for those coming from Johor and Kedah is said to be around RM 2,500 per bus.
The Tamil papers are also carrying advertisements about the celebrations and the Radio and Television channels have also began announcements and interviews about the celebrations.
This Ponggal celebration, to be held on the grounds of Dataran Merdeka is probably the last grand-scale Indian gathering before the GE-13 to be attended by Prime Minister and therefore a string of feel-good announcements for the Indian community are expected to be made by the Prime Minister.
Ponggal & Thaipusam to be declared public holidays?
One of the expected announcements is to declare Ponggal and Thaipusam as national public holidays. For a long period, the Indian community has been demanding that these two festivals be declared as public holidays.
As a prelude, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyideen Yassin, while attending the Thaipusam celebrations in Batu Caves, declared that Ponggal will be a holiday for all Tamil schools from next year.
Thaipusam is already a state holiday in some states and probably, Thaipusam would be declared a public holiday for federal territory.