Posts Tagged ‘Batu Caves’

HINDRAF Rally 1st Anniversary

November 26th, 2008
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Supporters at 1st Year Rally anniversary prayers

Supporters at 1st Year Rally anniversary prayers

View the rest at Charles Santiago (MP for Klang) Picasa‘s site.

According to report from Malaysiakini and Anil Netto, the crowd was as follows:

Batu Caves: 500 people

Penang Ganeshar Temple Waterfall Road: 50 people

Mariamman Temple, Prai: 1000 people

JB Temple: 100 people

Anil Netto describes situation in Penang:

This was the scene at the Sree Ganeshar Temple along Waterfall Road in Penang at around 7.00pm. About 50 people gathered for prayers to commemorate the first anniversary of the Makkal Sakthi (People Power) awakening. On 25 November last year, some 30,000 Indian Malaysians rallied in downtown KL to highlight their plight.

Over on mainland Penang, people started arriving at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Temple in Prai from 7.00pm.

At 8.32pm a contact at the temple tells me a thousand people are now inside listening to speeches. Among the speakers was Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy.

In the background, over the phone, I hear cries of “Makkal Sakthi!”. More people could have turned up if not for the heavy rain.

Plainclothes police are around and keeping a watchful eye.

In KL area, it was raining and traffic jam. Being a working day, it was hard to get to Batu Caves after 5pm. I was stuck in jam in Puchong itself, plus having a relative coming to house yesterday evening.

MalaysiaKini reports the event at Batu Caves as follows:

Despite that the movement is outlawed, police presence at the locations were minimal with hardly any uniformed personnel around. No untoward incidents were reported.

At the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Batu Caves, Selangor, some 500 Hindraf supporters braved the rain to attend the special prayer ceremony.

The prayers began on a low key at about 7pm but the enthusiasm grew as the crowd scaled the 272 steps of the temple.

With oil lamps in hand, the crowd chanted ‘Makkal Sakti Valga’ (long live people’s power) as they climbed the steps.

About 30 minutes later, the crowd descended and there were impromptu speeches from several politicians and leaders associated with Hindraf.

Again, the crowd chanted ‘Makkal Sakti Valga’ and the temperature went up several notches when those present chanted ‘Hindraf Valga’ (long live Hindraf) and ‘Uthaya Valga’ (long live P Uthayakumar) punctuated with cheers and rapturous applause.

“Hindraf is alive!” declared PKR’s Kapar MP and former Hindraf activist S Manikavasagam to frenzied cheers.

Other speakers included Selangor state exco member Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran and Police Watch and Human Rights Committee coordinator S Jayathas.

The crowd dispersed at about 9.30pm.

Meanwhile, in Mariammn Temple Penang, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Ramasamy proposed that November 25 to be declared as a public holiday if Pakatan Rakyat takes over Federal government. He said he will put forth a request:

Meanwhile in Penang, some 1,000 people converged at Butterworth’s Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam for a special prayer session.

The function started at 7pm with Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy and Hindraf coordinator RS Thanenthiran leading the crowd on a 500-metre ‘agal vilaku’ (oil lamp) march to the temple from the main road.

State executive councillors Lim Hock Seng and Phee Boon Poh were also present to lend support.

Addressing the crowd later, Ramasamy described Nov 25 as the day Indians in Malaysia experienced a political awakening.

“It was an uprising against 50 years of marginalisation and racial discrimination,” he said.

According to the DAP leader, if the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat seized control of the federal government, it would declare Nov 25 a public holiday.

Ramasamy said he would table a proposal at the state executive council to have Nov 25 gazetted as a state holiday in Penang starting next year.

I thought that up to 3000 people were expected to be at Batu Caves, but in the end only 500 turned up. Combination of traffic jam and rain may have cause many others to be late.  Many would want to go back from work and take a bathe before going to temple.

Mindsblog Photoshoot at Batu Caves

October 19th, 2008
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I was feeling a bit guilty for not attending any of Mindsblog gatherings so far due to busy schedule (and the fact that I’ll be the oldest fella around didn’t exactly motivate me). So, when the Mindsblog admin announced a photoshoot outing at Batu Caves, I gave my standard “will try to come if nothing else crops up” reply, but told myself I’ll be there.Latest update showed 11 people confirmed (minus myself), so I was hoping to meet many new faces. And I won’t be the oldest since Selian was coming too 🙂

Thus, on Saturday morning, managed to drag myself out of bed, settle dog-walking, garden watering, and a quick breakfast before speeding off to Batu Caves. Had to utilise my racing skills to reach Batu Caves at 9.13am (left at 8.36am, that means 37 mins from Puchong to Batu Caves).

I was ready to apologise for being late, but to my utter dissappointment no one was there! Immediately called the person in charge, who was on the way. Next person to arrive was Rames. I’ve seen his blog before, and he is good. As for me, hmm…like land and sky, if compare with him or Selian.

Anyway, managed to get some tips and advice from Rames, and we decided to start shooting away while waiting for others to arrive. The weather was cloudy and quite a number of tourists were milling around. We did not go up the stairs, but just took photos at ground level. The main attraction without a doubt were the pigeons and the monkeys. Oh ya, Lord Muruga’s golden statue as well.

I was tired by around 10.00am, and told Rames that we should take a break. By then, the organiser arrived – Amutha, who brought a guest, Parimala. We adjourned to Rani Restaurant. Being the ever-inquisitive (kepoh) person, I think I may have irritated the rest with many questions. Sorry guys 🙂

We resumed our activity at about 10.40am, and decided to go up the stairs into the main cave. Selian joined us halfway up the stairs. So, that’s 5 people already. We spent more than 1 hour in the cave taking shots. While up there, another two people turned up – Pushparaaja and Sundra (hope i got that correct). Up to 7 people now.

We came down at about 1pm. Took some group shots. The next activity was to enter the Kalai Kudam (Art Cave) but since I have other commitments (well, have to show I’m busy person ma!!!), I took leave.

Ok, that’s for the reporting part. Now the comments and opinions:

1. I think those who promised to come must inform the organiser if they can’t make at last minute. This will spare us from waiting unneccesarily. No point giving your name, but then go AWOL. Especially the models. 🙂

2. In future, a small tutorial/lecture/talk on photography concepts will be useful so that it will inspire bloggers to learn more about their camera. Nothing heavy, but some basic ideas and theories will suffice (err..are theories considered heavy?)

(update: Ronaldo scores. Man Utd 2-0 WBA). So, now you know what I’m doing at 2.00am.

3. Should structure the event so that we have a timeplan and focus. For example, 1 hour at ground level, 1 hour in cave, and so on.  Will ensure better use of time.

Overall, I had a good time and met new friends.  I liked Rames and his positive attitude. He is easy-going and willing to share his knowledge. Parimala was vivacious and bubbly (hehehe…i hope its the correct English word to use!), a welcome addition to the group. Didn’t really got a chance to talk to Pushparaaja and Sundra. Fret not, we shall meet again.

(update: Berbatov scores his first goal for Man Utd. 3-0 now).

Ok, I’m going off-tangent here. The main reason for the outing was to take PHOTOS, not chit-chatting with people. I’ve uploaded the pics at Picasa. I’m not into editing, so its WYSIWIS (What You See Is What I Shot). Images are JPG and resized from 700-800kb to 70-100kb. Originals are in RAW.

(update: Nani scores. Man Utd 4-0 WBA. Looks like the Big Four all scored at least 3 goals)

Batu Caves development plans

February 12th, 2008
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The two projects will not be in temple compound, so no interference from the temple committee. However, what if the commercial interests of the projects start to overrule Thaipusam celebrations in the future? Having a cultural heritage center near a religious place is fine, but building a recreation and tourism center needs careful planning so as to not blemish or insult the religious place. One would expect people going into religious places to be dress appropriately. As it is, even some of the Indian youths have terrible sense of dressing at Thaipusam. Future developments should not contribute to more breakdown of respect and responsibilities towards place of worship. » Read more: Batu Caves development plans

less donation collected from thaipusam

February 2nd, 2008
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Well, its a well known fact that the boycott is a success. No one expected Batu Caves to be empty. There would be tourist, non-Hindus, non-Indian, foreign Indian workers etc who will still visit Batu Caves. However, the reduction of crowd is an unprecedented success. Figures being quoted are about 500,000 people only. The reduction in collection is nearly half (43%) this year (RM1.8 to RM1.04 million). » Read more: less donation collected from thaipusam

Photo comparison of thaipusam 2007 and 2008

January 27th, 2008
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First two slideshows are photos of Thaipusam 2007, while the third slideshow is of Thaipusam 2007.

Thaipusam this year (taken between 10am and 2pm). There were less crowd before 10am. » Read more: Photo comparison of thaipusam 2007 and 2008