Ahmad Zahid pledges to resolve issues affecting Indian community

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has pledged to resolve issues affecting the Indian community as soon as possible.

He said he is fully aware of the issues the Indian community is facing and also that of the temple committee.

"In celebrating the diversity that the people has bestowed to our country, it is better to resolve the issues as quickly as possible," he said after witnessing the Thaipusam celebrations in Batu Caves.

Thousands of Hindu devotees thronged the pilgrimage site to fulfil their vows and offer prayers to Lord Murugan and other Hindu deities.

Ahmad Zahid who arrived at about 10am dressed in a grey-coloured traditional Indian garb was welcomed by Sri Maha Mariam­man Temple Devasthanam chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah, MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and deputy president Datuk S.K Devamany and those who gathered at the temple grounds.

Also present was Malaysia’s special envoy to India Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk M. Saravanan and deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan along with Indian community leaders.

Ahmad Zahid said he will raise the issues with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak so that issues and requests raised by the community and committee are resolved amicably.

Ahmad Zahid was responding to Subramaniam's speech earlier where he brought up the issue involving stateless Indians who struggled to get their MyKad.

"Through the cooperation with the Prime Minister's Office, the government has since issued birth certificates to 4,800 Indians so far with 500 applicants currently being approved.

"I have submitted a list of 2,000 applicants to Y.B (Ahmad Zahid) for further action," he said during his speech.

To another request by Nadarajah for RM2 million funding for the temple and its related development, Ahmad Zahid pledged to bring the matter up to Prime Minister.

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community. This year’s celebration fell on Feb 9.

Thousands of devotees were seen offering prayers, carrying the paal kudam (milk pots) and kavadi while tourists took the opportunity to experience the festival.

This year marks the 127th Thaipusam celebration at Batu Caves, a festival of thanksgiving and repentance held in honour of Lord Muruga who represents virtue, youth and power, and is the destroyer of evil.