Saturday, January 22, 2011

PAS put on the spot over Thaipusam promise

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP vice-president M Kulasegaran’s call for Thaipusam to be declared a national holiday may have unwittingly put PAS on the spot.

In a post on his blog yesterday, the Ipoh Barat MP urged the federal government to immediately resolve this “very pressing matter of the community”.

“Thaipusam is the most important day after Deepavali. All Hindus without fail will make it a point to visit temples and offer prayers. It should therefore be declared a national holiday in Malaysia,” he

However, Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang turned the tables on Kulasegaran when he questioned why PAS has yet to declare the festival a public holiday in Kedah.

He reminded him of Pakatan Rakyat’s 2008 election pledge that Thaipusam would be gazetted a public holiday, including in the PAS-governed state of Kedah.

“Unfortunately even after almost three years, Pakatan Rakyat has refused to declare Thaipusam a public holiday for the states it rules like Kedah and Kelantan,” he said.

“Previously it was the BN government that declared it a public holiday in Selangor and Penang.”

“Even if Kedah and Kelantan are predominantly ruled by PAS, there’s no excuse to for Pakatan to renege on their promise. Pakatan cannot continue to issue rhetorical statements. It has to implement those policies in their states.”

Tan expressed his full support for Thaipusam being a national holiday as it is widely celebrated by all Malaysians.

He also shared his observations in Sungai Petani where Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak joined in the celebrations with more than 10,000 people of all races and religions.

“So if DAP is sincere about this issue, I hope it will push the the Pakatan coalition to deliver on its promise and declare Thaipusam a public holiday in all the states under its belt.”