by BERNAMA / pic by ARIF KARTONO
MELAKA – The Melaka government has allowed Hindu civil servants in the state to take unrecorded leave on Thursday to celebrate Thaipusam.
The Melaka Chief Minister’s community affairs secretary, Datuk M.S. Mahadevan, said this special holiday was approved at the recent state executive council meeting.
“About 100 civil servants of the Hindu faith including those serving in local authorities will be given unrecorded leave to allow them to perform religious ceremonies especially prayers on that day,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
Melaka is among states which do not observe a public holiday for Thaipusam. The other states are Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Perlis, Kedah, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.
Mahadevan said there would be no chariot procession for the Thaipusam celebration in Melaka but Hindus are allowed to pray in small groups in temples in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP).
“But devotees are encouraged to perform their prayers at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the pandemic has reached a critical stage,” said Mahadevan, who is also Melaka MIC chairman.
In previous years, Thaipusam was marked with a chariot procession and the carrying of kavadis at the Sri Subramaniar Devasthanam Temple in Batu Berendam here.