Saturday, 26 January 2008

Thaipusam 2008 at Batu Caves Temple: "One MILLION Turned Up ?? "

BERNAMA (the National News Agency) DISGRACED ITSELF by headlining " Call To Boycott Thaipusam In Batu Caves Ignored, One Million Turn Up."

Photobucket Bernama even quoted Samy Vellu as saying as of noon Wednesday, not less than 500,000 people, both locals and foreigners, flocked to the temple to fulfil their vows, and Samy Vellu "expects the crowd to swell to about 1.1 million by this evening."

Related article:

More spins and untruths to be fed by the Government's new media propaganda machine, "Accurate Information Reference Center- (SAHIH)"

" Accurate Information Reference Centre (SAHIH)" - Ministry of Information

"... The Information Minister, Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin, said the Information Ministry has set up an Accurate Information Reference Centre (Sahih) which will begin operations from Feb 1 to tackle the dissemination of false information, particularly in view of the coming general election.

He said the setting up of Sahih could
ensure that ONLY ACCURATE and CORRECT information were conveyed to the people using the existing technology.

He said the Sahih centre would disseminate the information through the hotline, e-mail and SMS DAPAT, sending them by `broadcast', through the `cell broadcast' and correct information subscription...." (Bernama)
here for more

DPM Najib's Dangerous Untruth About Kampung Baru Malays
"... DPM Najib Razak today defended the government's crackdown on dissent, including the arrest of ethnic Indian activists and suppression of street protests, saying "If the Malays of Kampung Baru come out then we have the spectre of a serious possibility of a racial clash in this country."

I don't think this Deputy Prime Minister was aware that during the Hindraf peaceful rally, when the police fired their tear gas and water cannons, many of the Indian marchers near the KLCC had to run to nearby Kampung Baru for cover. And guess who gave the marchers refuge? None other than some of the Malay residents of Kampong Baru.

I thought this reason given by the deputy prime minister for the arrest of the Hindraf leaders was indeed frivolous for a man of his stature. It is totally irresponsible for the deputy prime minister of the country to issue such provocative statements of a racial nature.

Political leaders who continue to influence this kind of racial politics that contribute to the perennial racial divide in this country ought to be ashamed of themselves. It is people like him who utter such irresponsible comments that contribute to the respective communities continuing to sneer and scorn at each other. ..."
Read here for more on "Tumpang Sekoleh" Blog and HERE

  • Read here eye-witness account by "Nanda" at Batu Caves on People's Parliament blog

  • Read here article in Malaysiakini, "Hindu devotees boycott Batu Caves"

    "...Visitors to Batu Caves yesterday evening and this morning reported that the crowds were relatively thinner this year - numbering only in their tens of thousands - unlike previous years where devotees could reach more than one million.

    One seasoned visitor, businessman S Babu, 32, said he was at the temple at 6am this morning and was surprised by the lack of congestion at the temple.

    Previous years, we can’t even walk. This morning however, it was as easy as an evening stroll,” said Babu.

    The MIC-linked temple managers were blamed for allegedly assisting police who cracked down hard on a demonstration by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters there last November, using tear gas and water cannons..."

  • Read here related article on Dr. Hsu Forum, "Self- Denial Mode Still"
    "..Yesterday’s Oriental Daily (Chinese paper) carried 2 photographs of Batu Caves, one taken 2007 and one this year on Wednesday, both during the Thaipusam Festival.

    From the pictures , it was clear that the crowd at Batu Caves was smaller this year.

    But the ’supreme’ Indian leader was still in self denial mode and boasting that this year’s crowd is the biggest ever...."
  • The following photos speak for themselves:

    Photobucket Photobucket

    Photobucket Photobucket

    Photobucket Photobucket
    Photobucket Photobucket
    (Photos courtesy of People's Parliament Blog and Tumpang Sekoleh Blog


    From "Kuala Lumpur Is Home" Blog: Read here for more
    ".... The first time I saw Samy Vellu trying very hard to appear full of confidence (on national TV of course) when he announced that there were more than 1 million devotees at the Batu Caves Temples on Thaipusam day, I could not help but just burst out laughing.

    I woke up quite late yesterday (thanks to Pak Lah for declaring a public holiday in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya… errr sorry…. should I thank Hindraf instead?), and when I turned on the TV, it was just nice that the TV guy was interviewing him right there at Batu Caves.

    In the background, I, or anyone watching the TV for that matter, could clearly see there was so much less people at the famous temple… and yet this guy was telling the whole nation there were 1 miillion Hindu devotees.

    To add salt to Samy’s injury, Malaysiakini reported
    Hindu devotees boycott Batu Caves, the fact that was backed by the some visitors to Batu Caves temples, stall owners and all other medias, save of course some main stream media that are well known for twisting and spinning real stories for ‘you know who’.

    Like me, I think the whole Indian community in Malaysia must be having good laughs on Samy Vellu as well. And who knows, Samy Vellu and associates also were quietly having one hell of a good laugh themselves after the interview…. while the whole world is watching what has become of Malaysian politicians...."

  • From Anil Netto: Read here for more
  • ".... It’s confirmed. The boycott of Batu Caves for the Thaipusam festival has been a success.

    Tens - perhaps hundreds - of thousands of Hindu Malaysian devotees have boycotted Batu Caves - which experienced at least a 30 per cent drop in attendance.

    They have instead turned to temples elsewhere for the annual Thaipusam festival.

    The boycott has blown apart any attempt by Samy Vellu and the mainstream media to equate the attendance at a religious festival in Batu Caves with support for the MIC/BN.

    Clearly, the attempt to tie the MIC and Samy Vellu’s political legitimacy to the turnout at a religious festival - as if the devotees were there to pay homage to them - has failed miserably.

    A couple of eye-witnesses who visited Batu Caves this morning told me that the turnout for the Thaipusam festival early this morning was distinctly smaller.

    Remember, this is despite Thaipusam now being a public holiday in KL from this year.

    One would have expected a bigger turnout with people having the day off there. One source told me that he felt the turnout was about 30 per cent lower.

    A second source told me that the drop exceeded 30 per cent but not as much as half. She told me that during the same time (early morning) last year, the entrance to the Batu Caves temple premises was jammed. But not today.

    A third source told me that a climb that would normally take 3-4 hours to complete - inching one’s way up the steps leading to the temple at the top and back - this time took only an hour.

    This morning, devotees could actually approach close to the altar with their paal kudam (milk pots) unhindered by the sea of humanity that would have obstructed their path in previous years.

    Many people had also turned up a couple of days earlier to fulfil their vows, said another source. And when they were asked for their chits (indicating they had paid about RM10) upon presentation of their paal kudam, many just glared back and refused to comply - which could be why the fee is reportedly only optional today.

    A couple of stall owners grumbled that business had been poor. They had apparently paid RM2,500 for a small stall and RM5,000 for a bigger area. Even the eating stalls/areas were not crowded.

    It’s very noticeable that it is a much smaller crowd this year,” said my second contact. “The shop-owners told me business was affected.”

    Tens of thousands of devotees have gone to OTHER temples instead including the Pandamaran temple in Port Klang. When contacted at the scene, Charles Santiago of the Monitoring Globalisation research unit told me over the background din that the turnout was anything between 30,000 and 40,000.

    (But) press reports say the total turnout over the entire celebration here reached 100,000, which is what another source told me. Now, this is remarkable when you consider that Port Klang is not normally associated with huge Thaipusam festivities.
    Hindu devotees have also thronged smaller temples in Kuala Selangor, Klang and elsewhere in Selangor. One small temple in Klang, which in previous years would receive only about 30 paal kudam, this time received over a hundred milk pots, as some 3,000 devotees showed up.

    All said, it looks like the boycott call by Makkal Sakthi/Hindraf supporters has successfully diverted a large number of people away from Batu Caves.

    The boycott was called after many Indian Malaysians expressed unhappiness over the way the Batu Caves temple authorities handled the situation on 25 Nov 2007.

    Riot police arrived to spray water cannon and tear gas in the direction of the crowd gathered inside the Batu Cave temple premises in the early hours of dawn before the Hindraf rally later that day, sparking anger...."

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