Referring to the statement issued by the Office of Deputy Director General of Education regarding the outcome from the meeting held by PPS JAKIM on Pongal festival, it is extremely disheartening to witness such statements. It is such an ignorant and out of touch statement that is unfortunately undermining the presence of Indian community in Malaysia.
It is saddening to witness that this is happening after 60 years of independence where we never had such concerns previously. In fact, the previous Prime Minister even attended to such ceremonies dressed in traditional attires. Pongal which is also known as the Harvest Festival by most people is common and a known festival among Malaysians. It is celebrated mainly as thanksgiving for good harvest. I believe that apart from Hindus, other religions also celebrate this festival in Malaysia.
Ever since the ruling government took over, there has been a lot of incidents pertaining racial intolerance which is indeed alarming. Raising up such issues is totally senseless and irrational which is unnecessarily creating racial misunderstandings. Do the leaders still want to blame ‘Deep State’?
I strongly urge the Minister in the Prime Minister Department who is in-charge of Islamic Affairs and Education Ministry to take responsibility to provide an explanation on the above action which seems to be hampering our racial unity. The Indian community deserves nothing but an apology from the government to elucidate on this issue. On behalf of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, I personally stand in solidarity with the members of the Indian community in celebrating the Pongal festival. Diversity is our strength and it should not be jeopardized based on the misinterpretation of religion with culture.
With this, I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone celebrating this day of observance, a Happy Pongal!