|Silver chariot organised by the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple draws thousands of crowd every year|
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1.Penang's Hindu and Nattukottai Chettiar Temple Management have again voiced their dissatisfaction and unhappiness over the Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) decision to maintain the date of its golden chariot procession which clashes with the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple's silver chariot parade. Both of which happens on the same day. To those who are unaware, the Penang Thaipusam celebration and its silver chariot procession is a global event on the tourism map of Malaysia and Hindus from around the world will come to Penang during this celebration.
2.For the last 160 years, the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple have been organizing the Silver chariot parade successfully but now the PHEB, under the leadership of Professor P. Ramasamy plans to organize their own Golden chariot parade during Thaipusam at the same time, same date and same route in Penang. In order to do this, PHEB is willing to spent a whopping RM 3,000,000.
3.This money, in my opinion rather than used to compete with the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple Silver chariot parade could have been better used to assist the Hindu community in Penang such as building a new state of the art Hindu library for the community. Imagine RM 3,000,000 spent on building a beautiful, well equipped Hindu library in the vicinity of the waterfall temple compounds! The Penang Hindus can then use this library to enrich themselves religiously by reading all the books that is provided.
4.This unfortunate incident of two (2) chariot parade at the same time in Penang during Thaipusam is the creation of PHEB and its leaders. Due to this, Professor P. Ramasamy has incited hatred towards the minority Natukottai Chettiar's Tamil community in Penang by using his supporters to verbally attack the community and saying that the Chettiar community is monopolizing the chariot procession due to monetary benefits rather than for a religious purpose.
5.This is a blatant lie. In fact, to justify his actions, Professor P. Ramasamy says that the Penang Hindu's want PHEB to have its own Golden chariot procession to carry Lord Muruga but again he cannot provide any evidence to backup his claims.Previously, the Chettiars had been organizing the silver chariot procession for the last 160 years (since 1857) without any disturbance from any politician or even the previous state government.
6.Unfortunately, now the DAP led state government is causing a split and bringing shame to the Hindu community in Penang by allowing two chariot procession during Thaipusam just to please PHEB and its leaders.The interference of DAP politicians into the affairs of the Hindu community has created growing resentment towards the state government whom it is seen as in-effective in resolving this issue.
7.In fact, Nattukottai Chettiar Temple managing trustee Dr A. Narayanan’s issued a plea urging PHEB to reconsider their decision for the benefit on the Hindu community ut his pleas has fall on deaf years. I believe this chariot procession is part of the ritualistic aspect of Hinduism and my humble view is that we should be focusing more on the theological part of our religion rather than politicizing it as what Professor P. Ramasamy is doing now.
8.Due to the ego of PHEB and Professor P. Ramasamy, during next year (2017) Thaipusam celebration the Hindu community in Penang will become a laughing stock and make a mockery of our religion as we are seen as a divided community that cannot even come together to celebrate Thaipusam together. This in unprecedented and has never happen before anywhere in the world except in Penang and because of PHEB and Professor P. Ramasamy.
9. It was said that the ultimate reason why PHEB and Professor P. Ramasamy is adamant in organizing their own chariot procession is because the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple Management so-called "did not respect" Professor P. Ramasamy and never garland him during his 2016 Thaipusam visit to the temple with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. However, we all know that during Thaipusam celebration the Temple Management was busy handling thousands of devotees nevertheless they still accorded respect to the Chief Minister and Professor P. Ramasamy in their official capacity as leaders of the state.
10. .Finally, as a local Penang born indian and to show our displeasure to the irresponsible action taken by PHEB, i am coming out with a petition to protest their action on behalf of all Indians in this state. Let us stop Professor P. Ramasamy from dividing us and politicizing Thaipusam for his own political gains.
*The petition can be accessed at:*