Thaipusam celebrations in Penang are still no go, despite the National Unity Ministry giving special permission for the Batu Caves temple management to go with its chariot procession.

Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) chairman P Ramasamy said the gold and silver chariots' processions, and kavadi-bearing will still not be allowed in the state, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"We are suffering losses of between RM500,000 and RM600,000 in donations by cancelling the procession and all Thaipusam festivities but we need to be responsible, we do not want a Thaipusam cluster," Malay Mail quoted the Penang Chief Minister II as telling a press conference today.

Devotees however, will still be allowed to conduct prayers at home, as the religious festival is still a public holiday in the state, he added.

The DAP lawmaker further slammed the National Security Council (NSC) for allowing the chariot procession in Batu Caves as it would lead to others asking to be allowed to do the same, jeopardising public health and security.

He pleaded for all Hindus to be patient and pray at home this year, so that bigger and grander celebrations can be had next year.

This year's prayers will also be telecast live to devotees who are praying from the safety of their own homes, Ramasamy added.

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: The Star