Monday, July 4

Minister: Deepavali should be a public holiday in Sarawak


KUCHING: Minister of Social Development and Urbanisation Dato Sri William Mawan Ikom yesterday said that he supported any move to turn Deepavali into a public holiday in the state.

“West Malaysia and Sabah have made Deepavali day a public holiday and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be here as well since we are now emphasising on 1Malaysia and celebrating diversity,” he said during the Deepavali Open House hosted by SPDP Pending at Dewan Masyarakat RPR Batu Kawa.

Mawan, also Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president, said Deepavali should be a public holiday in the state since most offices and businesses in other parts of Malaysia do not operate on this day because it is a public holiday there.

“Indirectly, operations in Kuching will also be affected because they are intertwined with those in other parts of the country. There are about 5,000 Indians in Kuching alone,” he said.

The Deepavali Open House was the first ever to be organised in the state.

Also present were Indian Association Kuching (IAK) president Anthony Ramanair, SPDP secretary general Nelson Balang Rining, SPDP Pending chief Audie Chua, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) publicity chief Alfred Yap and political secretary to chief minister Sih Hua Tong, who is also SUPP Youth chief.