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Sunday, February 12, 2017

‘Gutless hypocrite’: Thaipusam ends with bitter name calling

ramasamy© Provided by MToday News Sdn BhdramasamyGEORGE TOWN: A DAP leader has called MIC president Dr S Subramaniam a “sanctimonious hypocrite” in response to Subramaniam’s criticism of the speeches of Penang government leaders at a Thaipusam event yesterday.
DAP deputy secretary-general P Ramasamy said Subramaniam was a hypocrite who was partisan in his choice of a temple to visit during Thaipusam.
He also said the MIC leader had turned a customary celebration with the people into a political issue.
Subramaniam, who is the health minister, took to Facebook last night to express his shock at the “jarring, inflammatory and provocative” political talk of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Ramasamy during the Thaipusam festival on Jalan Kebun Bunga.
Lim and Ramasamy had given their customary speeches that touched on current issues at the Hilltop Murugan Temple, which Subramaniam did not visit.
Subramaniam had instead visited the Chettiar temple down the street.
Ramasamy said it had been the practice of the Penang government for the past nine years to give speeches on current issues during Thaipusam.
He said even the prime minister and his deputy, if invited, would be duty bound to give a speech.
“Subramaniam has come all the way to Penang just to attend the Chettiar temple’s Thaipusam prayers. He says we are political, but surely he has been political just by going to the Chettiars.
“How come he did not visit the Hilltop Murugan Temple? Does he think the Chettiars are next to God? It is clear he is picking sides.
“The hilltop temple and its golden chariot have the support of 98% of the local Hindu community. As the MIC minister for Indians in Malaysia, it appears he has lost touch with the aspirations of the Hindus of Penang and the country,” Ramasamy told FMT.
Ramasamy has previously accused the trustees of Nattukottai Chettiars Temple of repatriating cash and gold donations to Tamil Nadu, India.
The Chettiars have denied this, claiming their accounts were vetted by the Auditor-General.
Sri Balathandayuthpani Hilltop Murugan Temple is run by the Penang Hindu Endowments Board, a body set-up to look after the welfare of Hindus in the state, of which Ramasamy is chair.
Ramasamy said Subramaniam’s exclusive visit to the Chettiar Temple showed he supported the trustees’ alleged siphoning of monies.
“Is it spiritual and religious to condone the financial misdeeds of the Chettiar temple trustees?
“Is it spiritual and religious to not campaign for citizenship of local Indians? He hasn’t the guts to raise the matter to the Cabinet, but he is very vocal in attacking the Penang Hindu Endowments Board.
“He is being sanctimonious.”
FMT has contacted Subramaniam for comment and is awaiting his reply.

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