No Thaipusam public holiday for Kedah this year, says MB

GEORGE TOWN: The Kedah state government has announced that there will be no public holiday for Thaipusam this year as all the activities during the festival will be cancelled due to the movement control order.

Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor (pic) said the festival will not be marked as "cuti peristiwa" (occasional holiday) since there is no celebration of the annual festival this year.

"There will be no 'cuti peristiwa' this year. Since there is no celebration, there is no need to have a public holiday," he said during a press conference at Wisma Darul Aman on Thursday (Jan 21).

As for those devotees who plan to pray at temples during Thaipusam, they have to follow the strict standard operating procedure that has been set by the National Security Council (NSC).

However, only temples are allowed to have devotees at one-third capacity at a time for the prayers.

Sanusi said that given the spike in Covid-19 cases, there will also be no celebration for Chinese New Year this year and all public gatherings will be barred this year.

He, however, said the state will allow state assemblyman service centres to operate via drive-through services for the people in their respective constituencies.

"Assemblymen are only allowed to distribute oranges during Chinese New Year via drive-through at their service centre," he said.

Since 2017, Thaipusam has been declared as "cuti peristiwa" by then mentri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah.

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