Selangor State Govt Chinese New Year Dinner on Thaipusam Eve

February 2nd, 2012 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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This is being compared with last year’s Parliament sitting on Deepavali eve by MIC and MIC-friendly folks.

The Parliament sitting was cancelled by Cabinet after some noise were made by various groups (and DAP reps sent a memo), as it was considered a disrespectful and insensitive move.  Read about it below:

This time, its Selangor state government which is organising its Chinese New Year Dinner on 6th February (6pm till 11.30pm) at Rawang, which is on the eve of Thaipusam.  Refer here:

The difference between the two events are clear:

– one is an official “serious” event, the other is a official celebratory dinner.

– One involves all elected reps, govt staff and media, while other involves elected reps in Selangor and also includes public in addition.

– One is covering whole nation (imagine MP Bagan Serai balik kampung after parliament sitting) while the other is covering Selangor state. Probably the number of Hindus involved is very small (even the Selangor state EXCO don’t have Hindus).

– Deepavali eve is important as most Hindus will travel back to hometown. Thaipusam is not necessarily celebrated at hometown as some Hindus make pilgrimage to certain temples while other take opportunity to visit different temples for the celebration. Also, not all temples have chariot procession on the eve.

– Parliament sitting is usually arranged at beginning of the year. The dinner, was probably arranged few weeks ago.

– Deepavali came midweek, thus many other people will be working. Thaipusam this time around is on the end of a long weekend holiday (4 days if Saturday is off day), thus most people would have already made plans to travel elsewhere if they intend to celebrate Thaipusam.  The dinner may not be of consequence to them.

– Note that the last day of CNY would be on 6th February, thus the state could have organised the dinner on 23rd Jan, 24th Jan, 28th Jan, 29th Jan, or 4th Feb (maybe 4 is not lucky number?). 5th is Prophet’s birthday, so that’s definitely a no-no.  Those who are fasting (like for 10 or 30 days) would not be attending, so its likely that whichever day the dinner is organised, you’ll see lesser Hindus.


– both fall on the eve of a religious event.

– both are organised by governments.

– both are considered insensitive due to proximity to religious festival.

For me, even though the function is a non-compulsory “fun” event, the organisers could have chosen another day to do it, as perception of public is important. It would seem like the CNY dinner did not take into consideration participation of Hindus as majority Hindus are not expected to attend. Maybe its just targeted at the Chinese community.

Again, this maybe due to the lack of sensitivities among the officers in state government. Being from the majority race, probably they lack proper exposure to cultures and religious beliefs of others.  None may have thought of asking a fellow Hindu colleague/friend about the suitability of the date.


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