DAP’s shameful, appalling Taipusam golden chariot monetary agenda

 |Jan 9, 2017
Penang MIC putera chief Senthelnathan said DAP state government's goal to collect public fund via a golden chariot during this year's annual Taipusam festival in George Town, Penang was shameful and appalling.
Penang MIC putera chief Senthelnathan said DAP state government’s goal to collect public fund via a golden chariot during this year’s annual Taipusam festival in George Town, Penang was shameful and appalling.

It’s shameful that the DAP-state government through its statutory body, the Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB), emphasises on a monetary agenda to justify its inaugural golden chariot procession for the forthcoming annual Taipusam festival in George Town.

MIC Putera chief N.G. Senthelnathan said going by the DAP government’s embarrassing logic, Penang Hindus have had been organising the annual Taipusam just to collect money from lay public, not for religious purpose.

He said the DAP state government had already caused ruckus in the nearly 200-year-old Penang Taipusam by planning to hold its controversial golden chariot procession for the festival, which falls on Feb 9 this year.

“The DAP’s chariot fiasco has already created infighting among the Tamil devotees.

“There have been so many voice messages via social media which emphasised that all the monies collected during the silver chariot procession all these years were being enjoyed by Chettiars and were not channelled to the state government via the board.

“Hence the DAP golden chariot to collect public funds.

“The DAP government should know that Taipusam was being organised annually for religious purpose, not to collect money from people.

“It’s shameful and appalling for a state government to aim for public money through a religious procession,” said Senthelnathan.

He said the DAP government had been adamant to lead the Taipusam chariot procession this year with its unprecedented and unwarranted golden chariot carrying a ‘Vel’ ahead of the traditional silver chariot, organised by the Tamil Hindu sub-community Chettiars.

The silver chariot ferries the idol of the much revered Tamil Hindu deity Lord Muruga Perumaan.

But, the golden chariot organiser PHEB had insisted that it wanted to kick start its ‘Vel’ journey ahead of the silver chariot so that it can collect more public donations.

“The DAP government, via PHEB, is observing Thaipusam monetarily, not religiously.

“The DAP government logic to justify its controversial golden chariot based on money matters is totally illogical and unacceptable,” hit out Senthelnathan.

If transporting ‘Vel’, a spear-like weapon of Lord Muruga Perumaan, was the ultimate function of golden chariot, he said the golden chariot then should have opted for different timing and route for its procession.

“Why it wants to steal the thunder from the traditional silver chariot?

“I would like to remind the DAP government not to turn Penang Thaipusam into a money collection vehicle ride.

“The government shall never incite and infest hatred among people by misusing religion,” said Senthelnathan.

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Athi Shankar has been a journalist for past 30 years. He believes that democratic rights come with responsibility.