Hindu Festival Declared National Holiday in Malaysia

January 20, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Times of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indians_Abroad/Hindu_festival_declared_national_holiday_in_Malaysia/articleshow/2715911.cms

Assuaging the feelings of agitated ethnic Indians ahead of elections, the Malaysian Prime Minister on Sunday declared the Hindu festival of Thaipusam a national holiday and vowed to eradicate poverty among the community, which claims it is being marginalised.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, whose government was rattled by unprecedented street protests by the community recently, said he decided to recognise Thaipusam as a "public holiday" after getting requests from the ethnic Indian community, which forms just 7.8 per cent of the total population in this Muslim-majority country.