PETALING JAYA: The Penang Hindu Association (PHA) has urged manufacturers of holy items to avoid using pictures of Hindu deities on the packaging of their products.
“The empty packages – with pictures of deities – are often are trampled upon or end up in dustbins, once used, and this is deemed disrespectful by Hindus,“ said its president P. Murugiah.
He expressed his concerns ahead of the Thaipusam celebration on Jan 21, where demand for many of the Hindu’s essential prayer items increases.
Among the religious items are camphor, incense stick, red kungumam, sandalwood powder, thiruneeru (holy ashes), oil, ghee and sambrani.
Murugiah hopes that manufacturers of these products will be cognizant of the religious sensitivities of the Hindus.
He also urged the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry to follow the precedent set in several countries in Asia where the sale of religious items with disrespectful packaging are banned.
Meanwhile, Murugiah reassured the there is adequate supply of coconuts in Penang, for the Thaipusam celebrations.
He, however, urged devotees to practise moderation in the number of coconuts they break.
“I am not saying that we cannot smash coconuts, but do it in moderation. For your information, devotees in Singapore and India do not break coconuts during Thaipusam,“ he said.