Probe incident at Tamil language carnival, Penang urges Education Dept


GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has urged the Education Department to investigate an incident at the National Tamil Language Carnival 2023 where participants were barred from reciting Tamil hymns at the start of the programme.

Penang Tamil schools special committee chairman Datuk Seri Sundarajoo Somu said participants were barred from singing "Kadavul Valthu (Praises to God)" and "Tamil Valthu (Praises to the Tamil Language)" during the event at a hotel in Kepala Batas on Thursday (Nov 23).

"It was a Tamil programme which celebrated the advent of the language over the generations and restricting the hymns was an infringement of participants' rights," Sundarajoo said at a press conference at the state assembly on Friday (Nov 24).

Sundarajoo alleged that organisers had also removed banners featuring famous Tamil poets and sages, which had adorned the hall during the programme.

He added that headmasters of Tamil schools as well as representatives of Indian non-governmental organisations were also not invited for the event.

He called on the Education Ministry to come out with a proper explanation on how a national Tamil programme for Indians could be organised without involving any Indian groups.

"At the least, these groups would have advised the organisers and cooperated with them to run the programme successfully," Sundarajoo added.

When contacted, state Education deputy director Wan Sajiri Wan Hassan said a report had been received on the issue and the department had begun investigations.

"We view the issue seriously and will call up officers who were involved in the carnival programme.

"We need some time to find out what happened," added Wan Sajiri.

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Penang , Tamil , Programme , Carnival , Indians , Incident

   

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