Hindus have welcomed the proposal of gazetting Hindu festival of Thaipusam as public holiday in Malaysian state of Kedah.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, called it “a step in the right direction”, although long overdue.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that a Thaipusam holiday would allow the Kedah Hindu community to celebrate the festival with their families without worrying about applying for a day-off.
Thaipusam is a reportedly already a public holiday in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang, Perak, Selangor and Negri Sembilan. Rajan Zed stressed that Thaipusam should be declared a national public holiday in Malaysia.
Thaipusam is celebrated by Hindus in many countries of the world, including Malaysia. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.
Kedah in northwest Malaysia is known for island Pulau Langkawi and its rice harvest.