KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — The Perak government cannot meddle with the Songkran Festival as it is an annual celebration organised by the Siamese community in Pengkalan Hulu, the Perak Legislative Assembly was told today.
State Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee Chairman Tan Kar Hing said the water festival is part of the unique culture and one of the tourist attractions in the area bordering Betong in Yala province, southern Thailand.
"The state government will try to monitor or minimise any matter or element (in relation to Songkran Festival) which is sensitive or can spark dissatisfaction,” he said when replying to a supplementary question from Razman Zakaria (PAS-Semanggol).
Razman had asked what steps the state government could take with regard to the organising of the Songkran Festival, which caused unease among the Muslim community as it is said to touch on issues of faith.
Those participating in the Songkran Festival will splash each other with water as the Siamese community regards it as a way of ushering in a new year.
Tan (PKR-Simpang Pulai) also said the Betong airport, which will begin operations next year, is expected to have a positive impact on Pengkalan Hulu, including boosting foreign tourist arrivals. — Bernama