GEORGE TOWN: For the first time, the Penang State Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) is showing the counting of Thaipusam donations live on Facebook.
Since 2009, the counting of money and gifts has been an event open to the public at Komtar.
But today’s event, shown live on HEB chairman P Ramasamy’s Facebook page, has enabled at least 55,000 people to tune in.
“I hope others such as the Chettiar’s temple and the Batu Caves temple can also be transparent with the donations they have received,” said Ramasamy.
Signed cheques, a few of which had only the amount filled out and the name field left blank, were among the donations added up today.
The donations were collected at the Hilltop Murugan Temple and during the golden chariot procession. The chariot made its debut this year.
Fifty volunteers and 20 HEB committee members started sorting and counting the currency notes, coins and jewellery deposited into about 40 “oondial” (donation boxes) at 8am, under the watchful eye of private security guards hired for the occasion.
The counting was still in progress at 8pm.
A HEB spokesperson said the large number of donated coins had to be sent to a large-scale coin counting centre in Prai used by the banks.
A valuer has been appointed to ascertain the value of the gold and other jewellery received.
The board expects a full account of the total donations by Monday or Tuesday.
Attempts to reach the Naatukottai Chettiar Trustees Penang, which runs the Chettiar temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga, to get their Thaipusam accounts, were unsuccessful. -FMT