_28th December 2016_
*_Statement by Dhinagaran Jayabalan_*
(MIC CWC Member)
*Flush with millions of Ringgit, Penang Hindu Endownment Board (PHEB) shall sponsor Hindu refreshment centres (Theneer Panthal), business fees and reduce Kavadi charges by 50% during Thaipusam celebration in Penang*
1. Everybody in Penang has now come to realised that the Penang Hindu Endownment Board (PHEB) whish is flush with cash has spent close to RM 3,500,000 to construct their Golden Charriot and also repair the road works to bring down the Golden chariot from the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple.
2. As normal, along the route of this procession, there would be hundreds of refreshment centres and small businesses plying their trade and this businesses would need to pay a very big amount of rental and deposits to PHEB for them to operate their centres and business along the route during the Thaipusam procession.
3. Taking note that PHEB is now flush with cash money from people's donation throughout the country, PHEB shall take the lead to waive or bear the cost for all refreshment counters (Theneer Panthal) desposits and businesses fees. This will show that PHEB is committed to helping the Hindu community and not only clever of giving empty promises to the Hindu community. In fact, PHEB shall also provide clean water , electricity and cleaning service to these refreshment counters (Theneer Panthal) and businesses.
4. It is important to note that all this refreshment centres (Theneer Panthal) will be distributing free food for breakfast, lunch and dinner to the Hindu community and by sponsoring their deposits and etc, they (refreshment centres) will have more additional cash to prepare more free food for the Hindu community.
5. In addition, if PHEB can sponsor the fees for all Hindu businesses during Thaipusam, they (Business owners) would then also be able to reduce their prices which in return will help the general Hindu community as well. As far as i know, for only three days, each business must pay nearly more than RM 1,000 in fees. Because of this, these business must sell at a higher price to devotees for them to recoup their cost.
6. It is important for PHEB to remember that these business stalls are mostly part-timers and they open their business during thaipusam only. Therefore, PHEB shall assist them and demonstrate that they are serious in wanting to help the community.
8. Besides sponsoring Hindu refreshment centres (Theneer Panthal) and business fees, PHEB shall also reduce Kavadi fees by 50% as the fees imposed by PHEB is too high and putting a strain on devotees finances. Thaipusam is supposed to be a religious celebrations and not an opportunity for PHEB to make money from devotees commitment to the religion.
9. Finally, since PHEB now declares itself as the champion of the Hindu community in Penang, it is only proper that they walk the talk and sponsor all fees and non - refundable deposits for businesses and refreshment centres (Theneer Panthal) during Thaipusam. If you can spent RM 3,500,000 for the Golden Charriot, what is there if you absorb the fees and deposits which will amount to a few thousands for the Hindu community?
10. In the end all the money that PHEB have now is also donations from the public. It is time to give back to the community.