Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Naughty Nattukotai Chettiar Temple infuriates Dr Rama with its go-it-alone Thaipusam procession


No NSC approval for Penang Thaipusam chariot procession - deputy CM

The Thaipusam chariot procession in Penang early this morning did not have approval from the state government or the National Security Council, said Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.

He also claimed that the Chettiar temple was emboldened to carry out the procession due to "federal intervention" by Human Resources Minister M Saravanan.

Penang had previously called off Thaipusam festivities in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, urging devotees to pray at home instead.

However, Ramasamy said the Nattukotai Chettiar Temple filed an appeal to hold a chariot procession after a similar one was approved for the Batu Caves temple.

Ramasamy said the state government had not even discussed the temple's appeal when they sought Saravanan's intervention.

"I understand that the Chettiar temple emboldened by the intervention of Saravanan had put out their silver chariot for a limited run under the SOP.

"To date, the state government and the NSC have not given permission for the chariot procession in Penang.

"I understand that what Chettiar temple is doing now is unacceptable," he said in a statement, adding that action should be taken against them for defying directives from the state government or the NSC.

Human Resources Minister M Saravanan

Ramasamy also chastised Saravanan for alleged interference in state matters.

When contacted, the human resources minister said he would call and explain the matter to the Penang deputy chief minister.

Malaysiakini has also contacted the Chettiar temple committee and the NSC for comment.

The Chettiar temple procession from the Kovil Veedu at Penang Street to the Waterfall Temple at Jalan Kebun Bunga took place in the wee hours of the morning under police supervision.

FMT reported that only 10 people accompanied the chariot, in addition to a priest who sat next to the statue of Lord Murugan.


kt notes:

When asked, Minister Saravanan said he would call the Penang DCM and explain the matter, meaning Saravanan is on the defensive, wakakaka.

It's suspected that the Kedah MB's disrespectful abuse of the Indians in the northern state might have influenced the federal MIC to lobby for such silly (amidst the pandemic) Hindu actions in KL and to allow the Chettiar in Penang to proceed on a mini-Thaipusam procession, just to show its defiance and Hindu pride amongst Indian voters. However, Dr Ramasamy reiterated that the NSC did NOT give permission for the Penang (quiet) procession.

What the Nattukotai Chettiar Temple did during a pandemic was of course wrong, and which may explain in general why the pandemic is getting worse. This is not to say the Chettiar Temple's defiant action causes the worsening of the pandemic per se but that their indiscipline and defiance against official instructions demonstrated a sad reflection of some Malaysian tidak-apathy attitude towards the dangers of spreading the pandemic and amplified a bad example.

Additionally, there already exist disagreements between the local Hindu Endowment Board (headed by Dr Ramasamy) and the Nattukotai Chettiar Temple which has been said to owe its loyalty to its Tamilnadu origin rather than to Penang. 

Section 4 of the Hindu Endowment Act gave the Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) the right to discuss matters pertaining to Hindu temples in Penang, an
d thus the kind of punishment it can/will mete out to the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple for the defiant procession.


  1. Penang Police say NSC gave the authorisation.

    1. a compelled after-thought gave birth to an after-action lah, wakakaka

  2. if dcm is smart he should not go after the chettiar or he will infuriate All indians because this is what mic is betting on, anyhow the show is over, let sabri explain to the people the justification of the permit

  3. There is an odd back story told to me, how the Penang Hindu temples got entangled with the State Government.
    Ages ago, long before Merdeka, the Penang Hindu temples realised that their substantial land , cash and assets had to be preserved and managed "in perpetuity". They did not trust to leave it to just their temple committees.

    So they appointed what were then Ang Moh Colonial Administrators to oversee their Board's major decision making.
    After Merdeka, mostly no issue. The Temple Establishment were mostly aligned to BN/ MIC.

    After 2008, things got very testy. They now had to deal with a DAP State Government, which many in the Temple Establishment were unfriendly towards.

    So the stage was set for this week's show of refusal by the temple committee to accept the State Government decision.

    It won't end here. Legally, the Penang State Government has a lot of clout over the decision making of the Temples - that basically means they will have to deal with Ramasamy. I think he will turn on the screws,

    Funny how a 120 year-old Pommie Colonial-era arrangement has repercussions in 2021.