GEORGE TOWN, Jan 23 — Several main roads in Penang will be closed due to the procession of the gold and silver chariots in conjunction with Thaipusam on Thursday (January 25). The three-day celebration is expected to draw over one million Hindu devotees, starting today.

Timur Laut district police chief ACP Razlam Ab Hamid said several roads here will be closed beginning at 5am tomorrow until 8pm on Friday.

According to him, to ensure public safety as well as smooth traffic flow, the police will mobilise a total of 1,289 officers and members to control the situation in conjunction with the three days of (Thaipusam) celebrations,” he said in a press conference here today.

“The procession involves two chariots, namely gold and silver chariots. The gold chariot will begin the procession at 5.30am from Lebuh Queen to the Thanneermalai Shree Balathandayuthapani Devasthanam Temple and will return to Lebuh Queen on Friday at 6pm.

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“The silver chariot will begin to move at 6.30am tomorrow from Lebuh Penang to the Waterfall Hill Temple and return to Lebuh Penang on Friday at 7pm.”

Razlam said among the roads closed for the two (chariot) processions are Jalan Kebun Bunga and Jalan Gottlieb, which will be fully closed, whereas Jalan Utama, Jalan Burma, Jalan Macallister, Jalan Cantoment, Jalan Nunn, Jalan Brown, Jalan Scotland, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Lebuh Victoria, and several other roads will be partially closed, depending on the movement of the chariots.

He said the public, especially road users, are advised to obey the instructions of policemen on duty and to plan their journeys so as to avoid being caught in traffic jams.

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As a safety measure, he also advised the public not to play with firecrackers nor drink alcohol, and to avoid wearing jewellery that could attract the attention of criminals.

“Last year, a total of eight cases were recorded involving summonses and theft of jewellery and handbags over the three-day Thaipusam celebration,” he said.

“Visitors are also not allowed to fly drones for the duration of the celebration unless they have obtained permit and permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM),” he also said.

He added that enforcement action will be taken against any party that fails to comply with the authority’s instructions. — Bernama