KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Covid-19 safety standard operating procedures (SOP) for the Thaipusam celebration, including for the kavadi and chariot procession, will be announced by National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique soon, according to Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M.Saravanan.

“Yesterday, Halimah held a meeting with Hindu religious leaders and representatives of temples after the Cabinet meeting and various matters were discussed,” the MIC deputy president told reporters officiating the MIC Youth, Wanita, Putera and Puteri wings’annual delegates meeting at Wisma MCA here, today.

Saravanan also said that yesterday, he himself had met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakub and in principle recieved a positive response regarding the Thaipusam procession from him.

He said a meeting would be held next Tuesday with Hindu religious leaders and representaitves of temples to discuss matters related to the celebration.

On Dec 7, Halimah in the Dewan Rakyat had informed that all festive processions, including the kavadi procession for Thaipusam and chingay in conjunction with the Chinese New Year were not allowed as the country was currently facing the threat of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron.

However, after receiving criticism from various quarters, the Ministry of Unity issued a statement that Covid-19 SOP for the Thaipusam celebration have not been finalised. Thaipusam will be celebrated on Jan 18.

Earlier, when addressing the delegates of the four MIC wings, Saravanan urged them to change their way of thinking in navigating the party in preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0.)

He said the MIC could no longer be seen as a party that gave handouts but one that created more jobs for Indians.

“In the next 10 years, the world will face the IR4.0 challenge where many jobs will be lost. Therefore, we need to be prepared to face changes and challenges,” he said.

He also urged the Indian community in the country to change their way of thinking so that they can continue to succeed and face the challenges of IR4.0 and not just blame political parties.

A total of 1,500 delegates from the four wings attended the event while the party’s Annual General Assembly will be held tomorrow. — Bernama