Don’t deprive Indian traders of their right to set up stalls at Thaipusam festival venues says Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Malaysia
Complaints by some Indian traders that they are being denied stalls at Batu Caves and Penang Hilltop Murugan temples – the main venues for Thaipusam celebrations in Malaysia -to give way to traders of other races is most worrying.
As it is Indian petty traders are struggling for their survival in Malaysia with very limited avenues open for them to do business. Their inclusion at Government sanctioned hawker centers, bazaars, food courts and even night markets is negligible.
It is therefore most unfair for the authorities to deny our Indian traders of the only remaining area where they can do some business – benefiting from the largest gathering of people of their community at the Batu Caves and Hilltop Murugan temples – in favor of Malay and Chinese traders who have ample opportunities elsewhere.
It is also noteworthy that Indian traders are most suited to conduct business at places of Hindu worship as they are fully aware of the religious sensitivities of the hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees congregating at the Thaipusam festival venues.
GOPIO Malaysia urges the Local Authorities concerned and temple managements to take immediate steps to ensure that Indian traders are given their due rights to do business at Thaipusam celebration venues during this festival season.
We also feel there is a dire need in today’s trying economic situation for the Government to come up with a policy level national incentive scheme specifically aimed at uplifting the lot of Indian entrepreneurs.
Such an affirmative action will go a long way in improving the dwindling economic impact of Indians in Malaysia and prevent the growing trend among Indian youths from poor families lured into a life of crime.
Dato James Naidu