GEORGE TOWN: The silver chariot’s return journey tomorrow has received the green light from the National Security Council (NSC).
Penang police chief Comm Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan said the Nattukotai Chettiar Temple had requested for the journey to be made around 1am as there would be less traffic during that time.
“We have consented to this and police personnel will be on standby to ensure the standard operating procedure is adhered to.
“About 12 to 15 people will be at the temple to carry the statue of Lord Muruga onto the chariot, but only 10 temple committee members will accompany the chariot on the journey, ” he said yesterday.
Comm Sahabudin warned the public not to be anywhere near the temple during the departure of the chariot or the return journey.“The chariot will take the same 7km route, which was taken during its trip from Penang Street to Waterfall Road on Wednesday without any stopover, ” he said.
The chariot is expected to reach Kovil Veedu in Penang Street by 3.30am tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Penang Hindu Endowment Board chairman Dr P. Ramasamy said both NSC and the chettiars were not serious in containing the pandemic.
“Why did NSC make ad hoc decisions of allowing the movement of the chariot without taking into consideration the public’s health?
“Why allow the silver chariot’s journey just to fulfil some ritualistic tradition of the chettiars which has been going on for 165 years?
“Is it that important that it takes precedence over the safety and health of the public?” he said.