Tuesday, May 18

Najib joins other communities at Batu Caves Thaipusam celebration


KUALA LUMPUR: Like in previous years, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday spent time together with the other communities in appreciating the uniqueness of the Thaipusam celebration at Batu Caves, here.

Clad in a cream kurta, an Indian traditional attire, Najib arrived at the the Batu Caves grounds, where thousands had thronged, at 10.15am.

He was received by MIC deputy president Datuk Seri S Subramaniam, Gerakan vice-president A Kohilan Pilay and Malaysia’s special ambassador to India and South Asia, Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu.

Also there to welcome Najib were MIC vice-president Datuk Seri M Saravanan and the party’s Central Working Committee member P Kamalanathan.

Since early morning, thousands of Hindus converged at Batu Caves where the Sri Subramaniar temple is located, to partake in the religious festival to express gratitude, fulfil a vow or do penance.

Among the sea of people were foreign tourists who watched with interest and captured snapshots of the colourful kavadi procession and other features of the festival.

Najib also visited the many stalls at the location and exchanged greetings with the Hindu devotees and visitors.

The prime minister was then taken to the top level of the temple building from where he waved to the huge crowd on the ground.

The Thaipusam celebration this year is more special as 2014 is also Visit Malaysia Year, which was launched in Kuala Lumpur recently. Najib in his special message in conjunction with the Thaipusam celebration, said it was not only a religious festival but part of the main agenda in the country’s tourism calendar.

Meanwhile, Kamalanathan who is also Deputy Education Minister, when met by reporters, said the prime minister expressed awe at the Thaipusam celebration witnessed by tens of thousands of people including many from other races and religions.

He said the prime minister also stated that the government was prepared to assist in the development of the Batu Caves area. — Bernama