GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has urged the public to take care of their health during the two major festivals, Thaipusam and Chap Goh Meh.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said with the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak still a concern, personal hygiene practices are necessary as the two major festivals held on a weekend are expected to draw large crowds.
“We will abide by the instructions of the federal government and the Health Ministry which are constantly monitoring (the situation) and taking preventive measures.
“We urge everyone again to be responsible about their personal hygiene and if any person is unwell, go to the nearest clinic or hospital, and avoid going out,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Earlier, Chow joined state excos and assemblymen in a walkabout through Jalan Utama in conjunction with the eve of Thaipusam.
Over 150 Thaneer Panthal (stalls) have been set up between the Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) office in George Town and the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple (Penang Waterfall Temple) for this year’s Thaipusam celebrations.
Earlier, in his Thaipusam message, Chow said Thaipusam was not just a religious event, but was also a major attraction for local and foreign tourists to experience the unique traditional celebration.
“The celebration is a manifestation of religious freedom and cultural diversity which highlights the values of unity, tolerance, understanding and openness among people of various races in the country.
“It is in line with the state government’s administrative philosophy which is based on the principles of justice and moderation, which is core to the harmony and well-being of the people,” he said. — Bernama