PETALING JAYA: The Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the authorities to impose a nationwide ban on liquor especially samsu and cigarettes during Thaipusam.
CAP education officer NV Subbarow said smoking and consuming intoxicating substances defeat the purpose of the event.
“The vel (spear) held by Lord Muruga symbolises wisdom. The whole celebration is meant to guide devotees into leading a better life, using our sagacity and wisdom.
“But the widespread consumption of cheap liquor and cigarettes mars the spirit of celebration.
“An unhealthy environment is created, where youths tend to get drunk and delve into unhealthy activities, ” he said in a statement.
Thaipusam falls on Feb 8.
Subbarow said a total ban on smoking was necessary as millions of people would be participating in the processions.
“We want the devotees to enjoy a peaceful Thaipusam in an alcohol-free and smoke-free environment, ” he said.
CAP also urged the Penang government to order samsu outlets to be closed the day before, during, and after Thaipusam.
“In Georgetown’s Little India alone, there are eight shops selling cheap liquor, ” he said.