Source: Channel News Asia
On February 5, 2004 Channel News Asia reported, "Thousands of devotees celebrated the Hindu festival of Thaipusam early Thursday morning where many carried milk pots and metal frames called kavadis to pay homage to Lord Muruga...Acting Education Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, was in awe as he observed how devotees had their bodies pierced. 'This year, there's a feeling of optimism amongst all Singaporeans, including Indian Singaporeans. So as they commemorate the festival, they not just look back at the problems we had and express gratitude for how we have overcome it, but also look forward with optimism to the future,' he said. About 9,000 devotees took part in the procession that lasted the whole day."