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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — PKR Youth today condemned Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor for cancelling Thaipusam as a special holiday due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
Its chief Akmal Nasir and vice-chief Thiban Subramaniam described Sanusi’s remarks of ‘no celebration, no holiday’ (raya pun tidak, cuti pun tidak) as arrogant.
“The irresponsible statement by the Kedah Mentri Besar is a clear indicator that he does not honour the spirit of Malaysia’s diversity and as a multiracial and multireligious country,” they said in a statement.
Akmal and Thiban said it was even more embarrassing as he represents PAS which touts itself as the ideal approach to a Malay-Muslim government.
“Instead it has given a bad impression of Malay-Muslims to non-Malays and non-Muslims, whereas Islam has never discriminated against any race.
“The blind decision by the Mentri Besar in cancelling Thaipusam on the basis of too many holidays or the movement control order is both irrational and unreasonable. This also indicates that it is not impossible to cancel Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Aidilfitri on the same excuse,” they said.
Both leaders urged Sanusi to recognise the immense contribution that the Indian community has made to Kedah, which should be honoured through recognising Thaipusam as a holiday.
“According to the statistics of the Population and Housing Census 2020, Indians constitute 150,100 residents in Kedah, which is a considerable number.
“The decision of the mentri besar in this matter should be revoked, as it has the potential of spreading the fires of racism and threatens the racial harmony in the country,” they said.
Sanusi’s announcement on Wednesday cancelling Thaipusam, which falls on January 28, in the state drew flak from several quarters, including MIC deputy president and Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan who called it a shortsighted decision.
In response, Sanusi said the decision was not aimed at denying the rights of Hindu believers, adding that they could still celebrate or observe the holiday as long as the proper standard operating procedures are in place.