The Penang Nattukottai Chettiar Temple's silver chariot, which went on its Thaipusam procession in the wee hours of morning today, had reportedly done so without approval from the National Security Council (NSC).

Saying this, the state Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy called on the authorities to take firm action against the temple committee for ignoring state orders.

"To date, the state government and the National Security Council have not given permission for the chariot procession in Penang.

"This open defiance to the state government, the Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) and various other government agencies, must be severely punished without fear or favour," Malay Mail quoted the DAP lawmaker, who is also the PHEB chairman, as telling a press conference today.

The silver chariot left the Kovil Veedu on Penang Street at 3am and arrived at the Nattukotai Chettiar Temple at Jalan Air Terjun at 5.55am. It will make its way back on Friday.

Only 10 people, mostly temple committee officials accompanied the chariot on its non-stop journey. According to A Narayanan, senior trustee of Nattukottai Chettiars, the procession was made possible by the intervention of MIC deputy president M Saravanan.

At the press conference today, Ramasamy also lambasted Saravanan, who is also Human Resources Ministry, for "interfering" in Penang state matters.

According to him further, the Nattukottai Chettiar temple management committee's appeal to the Penang chief minister to run the chariot, earlier this week has not even been discussed at the state exco level.

"Well, if the decisions of the Penang state and NSC are not adhered to then how are we going to stamp the tide of the Covid-19 pandemic?" he asked.

Yesterday, Ramasamy had told a press conference that Thaipusam festivities in Penang were still no-go, due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

He urged Hindus to pray at home and temple prayers will be telecast 'live' to devotees.

Astro Ulagam will be having its own Thaipusam 2021 Live Streaming event this Thaipusam, given the cancellation of celebrations at temples.

This unprecedented coverage of the religious festival for Lord Muruga will start on the eve itself (Jan 27), where we will bring you the 'Kodi Yettram' (flag raising) and 'Thirukkathavu' (door of the shrine) opening ceremony, LIVE from the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple (Thaneer Malai) temple in George Town, Penang.

The show will then continue with the LIVE streaming of special poojas conducted for Lord Muruga at the Thaneer Malai temple, as well as the Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar temple in Ipoh Perak, and the Thiruthani Murugan temple in India, from 6am to 5pm on the day of Thaipusam, Jan 28, 2021.

Astro Ulagam will also bring you special coverage of Thaipusam highlights from Murugan temples with sizeable Hindu populations, such as Inuvil Kanthan Temple in Sri Lanka, Sri Siva Subramanya Temple in Mauritius, and Pazhamuthir Choolai, Vadalur and Thirucendur in India.

Besides the LIVE streaming, Astro Ulagam will also run a microsite, featuring Thaipusam-related articles, videos, and Thaipusam heroes, accessible at

Source: Malay Mail
Photo source: Free Malaysia Today