Mystery Memorandum for 1Malaysia Carnival Batu Caves

August 5th, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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I’m sure by now many are aware about the impending 1Malaysia Carnival at Batu Caves on coming Sunday (9th August 2009).

I first heard about via emails. There was no info on the organisers, but among the agenda was concerts, fireworks display, and visit by PM Najib. Event to start at 4pm till night. The emails urged the Indian community to attend so as to show support to the 1 Malaysia concept.

Today’s Star Metro provides more info:

THE 1Malaysia Batu Caves Carnival will be organised for the first time by Sri Mahamariamman Devasthanam and the Malaysian Hindu Council.

“Malaysians of all races must not wait for Thaipusam to turn Batu Caves into a carnival ground.

“The grounds of Batu Caves should reverberate to the joyful sounds of a carnival more than once a year,” Batu Caves temple committee chairman Datuk R. Nadarajah said.

The three-day event, which will run from Aug 7 to 9, will feature cultural performances representing the three main races in Malaysia as well as other interesting shows.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will grace the event at 4pm on Aug 9.

“Datuk Seri Najib will be the first prime minister to visit Batu Caves during a non-Thaipusam period,” Nada-rajah said at a press conference at the Batu Caves temple office recently.

He added that since the prime minister had introduced the 1Malaysia concept, they wanted to play a part in helping him implement it.

Nadarajah will be handing over a memorandum to Najib during his visit. The contents of the memorandum will be revealed on that day.

“We are expecting more than 10,000 people to attend this carnival.

“We urge the public and not only the Indians to attend this carnival and welcome the prime minister and show their support,” said Nadarajah.

Obviously it will be the first time for Batu Caves because 1Malaysia was just introduced this year!

Looks like its a 3 day event ending on the 9th and all Malaysians are urged to attend. I’m not sure why Batu Caves Committee is getting involved in such things. Maybe as they mentioned, want to make Batu Caves are more lively place and not just visited on Thaipusam day.

The organisers should take this opportunity to educate and create awareness among non-Hindus about our religion,  so that common misconceptions (many Gods, eating beef, vegetarianism, reincarnation, karma, wearing vibuthi,  etc) are cleared. Perhaps by putting up exhibitions and distributing flyers (say “10 Things You Should Know About Hinduism” in trilingual), they can help foster better relationship between Hindus and non-Hindus. As it is, there are many non-Hindus who don’t know beyond Deepavali (murukku) and Thaipusam (kavadi)!

There are calls to boycott the event due to various reasons related to 1 Malaysia concept and the  Devastanam. Some comments are going around in the forums asking community to ignore the event, and questioning the expenses being incurred.

I’m also concerned with the “mystery” memorandum Nadarajah wants to handover. By attending the carnival, would it be construed as supporting the unknown memorandum? I won’t want to support something which is hidden from me without any reason.  So I have my reservations.

The organisers are expecting 10,000 people (a conservative number considering Thaipusam will see about 20,000 – 50,000 at any one time), but since there is opposition towards the carnival, not sure how it would turn out. I think the crowd will be there since its a carnival and youths like the fun atmosphere.

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