Ensuring a safe celebration


A SPECIAL task force with more than 500 volunteers will monitor the crowd during the Thaipusam celebration in Penang this weekend.

Formed by Malaysian Hindu Sangam (MHS) Penang for the fourth consecutive year, the Thaipusam Task Force will mingle with devotees to prevent any untoward incident.

Task force coordinator A. Tharman said their members would cooperate with the police, the Penang Island City Council and the Penang Hindu Endowment Board.

“The volunteers will monitor the behavior of the devotees and watch out for smoking, consuming alcoholic drinks and unrelated dancing.

“These kind of improper acts will be captured by our volunteers and their pictures will be sent to our hotline number,” said Tharman.

He said the volunteers would be on 24-hour watch from tomorrow to Monday.

“I advise the devotees to behave themselves as this is a religious event,” he said, adding that the Task Force could be contacted at 011-15215859.

Tharman added that MHS Penang also distributed about 200,000 flyers to schools and temples and at public places about the dos and don’ts during the festival.

“About 50 banners have also been distributed all over Penang,” he said.

Present during the ceremony to launch the task force were PHEB executive director Datuk M. Ramachandran, Penang Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation deputy chairman Datuk K. Pulenthiran, MHS Penang chairman M. Muniandy and Insp N. Loga.

Thaipusam, which will be celebrated by Hindus all over the country on Saturday, is a festival to commemorate the birthday of Lord Muruga who was given a vel (spear) by the Goddess Parvati to vanquish the evil Soorapadman.

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