Kuala Lumpur: A big controversy has erupted after Penang’s Nattukottai Chettier Temple carried out the annual Silver Chariot Movement on the occasion of Thaipusam. The procession was carried out despite coronavirus-induced movement control order. A number of people, including many Hindus, have raised objections on the “celebration” taking place at a time when there’s a complete ban on such activities. While some have suggested that such an important event must not be ignored and carried out with necessary restrictions in place.
What the government and police have said?
Penang’s Deputy Chief Minister P. Ramasamy has slammed the temple authorities and said that there was nothing in black and white from the National Security Council (NSC). Mr Ramasamy said that the government is going to take stern action against the temple authorities for carrying out the procession. He also criticised the federal minister, M. Saravanan, who had pitched for granting the permission for the chariot.
The Penang police has come up with a strictly contradictory account, saying that the temple authorities had the permission from the National Security Council (NSC). The police has also said that they monitored the 11-hour long movement and all SOPs were duly followed.
So, what will happen now?
Apparently, if the temple had the written approval and the police has said that they followed SOPs, no action can be taken against them. Any such activity from the government will face a potential challenge in the court of law.