Saturday, 2 November 2013

In support for two days national holiday for Deepavali celebration

The time has come that Deepavali, the festive of lights celebrated by our Indian friends in this country be given a two days national holiday instead of the current one day. Currently, Deepavali is the only main festival of one of the three main races in Malaysia that enjoys only one day of public holiday compared to two each for Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Over the years, we can’t discount the contribution of the Indian community in this country, from national building to economic development. Respected Indian entrepreneurs like Tan Sri Tony Fernandez brought us the world famous Air Asia and it is a dream come true for many that now everyone can fly. Long touted as the race that was marginalized, it is time for government to make up for the past by giving more to the Indian community as a way of recognizing their contributions.
Very often I have Indian friends who told me that they felt that there are the third class citizens in Malaysia after the Chinese complain that we are the second class citizen. When I asked why they felt that, two very simple examples they cited are no national holiday for Thaipusam and why other races all enjoys more public holidays compared to them. 
Prior to the last general election, the Prime Minister had asked for nambikei (trust) from the Indian community and it is time for him to extend romba nandri (thank you) to them not only via massive allocation as mentioned in his 2014 budget but should also include an additional public holiday for the community to celebrate the Deepavali. Now that Thaipusam is a national holiday, I hope that the government will grant the Indian community’s one more wish to have Deepavali as two days national holiday for celebration.  

Happy Deepavali to all my dear friends.

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