Hindus in the country should be "grateful and thankful" to the government over the flexibility given in celebrating Thaipusam, MIC president SA Vigneswaran has said.

"This shows the government ensures that the concept of 'Keluarga Malaysia' is practised for all the communities in this country," Bernama quoted him as saying, in reference to Putrajaya allowing devotees to perform the rituals, except for the carrying of kavadis, for the religious festival.

If the celebrations had been allowed to proceed in a grand manner like previous years, the repercussions could have been detrimental to all, in the COVID-19 era, he noted.

Vigneswaran's remark vastly differs from that of his deputy M Saravanan's remark earlier yesterday that the Indian community was losing trust in Putrajaya over the standad operating procedures (SOPs) set for Thaipusam this year.

It is worth noting that Putrajaya's restrictions for the festival has courted backlash from various quarters, including from former premier Najib Razak, who said that the rules were "too tight."

Apart from banning kavadi bearing, the government also only permitted fully vaccinated individuals aged 18 and above to take part in prayer sessions at temples. The operating hours of temples were also limited to 5am-11pm from the eve of Thaipusam to the next day, compared to the 24 hours opening allowed in previous years.

Source: Bernama
Photo source: Astro Awani