Funfair gets the green light at Batu Caves beginning Feb 1

Against funfair: Shri Ramaji (seated third left) with other representatives during the press conference held to voice their objection to holding a funfair during a religious festival.

THE Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) has approved a permit for a funfair at the Batu Caves temple grounds during Thaipusam that falls on Feb 3.

MPS Licensing Department director Affendei Samingan said the operator Green City Amusement Fair Enterprise had applied for the funfair permit on Dec 22 last year and it was approved during the council’s licensing committee meeting on Jan 13. However, four conditions were set by the committee.

“Among the conditions is to get approval from the police, Fire and Rescue Department, and the Occupational Safety and Health Department, and to submit the list of funfair machines for approval,” he said during the interview at his office in Selayang.

He told StarMetro that the operator applied for the funfair to be held for six days from Feb 1 to 6.

“Besides this, Plantation Workers, Poverty and Caring Government Committee chairman V. Ganabatirau had given a supporting letter on Jan 5 stating that the state had no objections to the funfair being held during Thaipusam.

“We approved the funfair based on the support of the state and felt that the operator must fulfil the stipulated requirements if the funfair is to be run. We want the operator to abide by the rules and regulations,’’ he said.

Affendei added that the council had no jurisdiction inside the area of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam, which managed the iconic tourist attraction.

“We are only able to give or reject the permit as it happened inside the area of the Batu Caves,” he said.

Last year was the only year that the funfair was cancelled as the Thaipusam Task Force received about 50,000 signatures from the public protesting against it.

The Coalition of Malaysian Hindu Temples and NGO’s chairperson, Shri Ramaji, who organised a press conference in Jalan Ipoh recently, said they were against the funfair as it was a religious festival and, having fun and games were inappropriate.

“There are also high-voltage cables placed on the ground where devotees and tourists walk with no proper place for people to rest,” he said, adding that a funfair should be held at an open area for safety reasons.

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