KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday announced an initial allocation of RM2 million for the building of a cultural centre at Batu Caves, near here.
“I hope with this allocation, the initial works can be carried out,” he said to thunderous applause from the large crowd at the Thaipusam celebration there.
In 2010, Najib announced a RM3.6 million allocation for works to beautify Batu Caves, besides RM4 million to build a new building for Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Batu Caves, and both projects have been completed.
The announcement was Najib’s response to the speech by Datuk R Nadarajah,chairman of the Sri Maha Mariamman temple located in the cave, requesting for funds to build an auditorium and cultural centre at the temple site, considering that it is a popular tourist attraction.
“These facilities are necessary as the temple is often the venue for international conferences, and to attract more visitors to this tourist site,” said Nadarajah.
Earlier, Najib who was in a light yellow kurta, and accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, confessed of being happy to be at the celebration and it was his third visit to Batu Caves in conjunction with Thaipusam since 2010.
“There are certain developments that have made by visit here today more meaningful, including the first time I’m wearing a kurta, and together with Datuk Hishammuddin (Home Minister), we look more Indians than the real Indians,” he said in jest.
Najib’s visit to Batu Caves yesterday was also to see for himself the developments there after the upgrading works had been done. — Bernama