Government is reportedly allocating funds for building three Hindu temples in Sabah state of Malaysia.
These temples include Sri Murugan Temple in Tawau, Pasupathinath Temple in Kota Kinabalu and Sri Subramaniar Temple in Lok Kawi Camp, reports suggest.
Applauding this government gesture, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) on Tuesday, termed it as “a step in the right direction” and added that it showed the government’s concern for Hindu community.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, requested declaration of Thaipusam as a public holiday in Sabah enabling more community members to celebrate it together. According to reports, presently four states of Malaysia observe Thaipusam Day as a public holiday.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Haji Mohd Yassin reportedly recently attended Deepavali open house. Allocation for Sri Murugan Temple reportedly will go towards preparation of Maha Kumba Bisegam celebration held every 12 years.
On the last Thaipusam festival of Tawau Hindu Temple attended by hundreds, devotees carried decorative kavadi and paal kudam (milk pots) in a procession from river bank to Temple, walking about two kilometers, reports suggest.
Rajan Zed commended the Hindu community in Sabah for keeping the traditions alive and said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society.
One of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant economies, Malaysia is among the world’s biggest producers of rubber, timber and palm oil and offers dense rainforests, great beaches and excellent scenery. Lonely Planet calls it “multicultural buffet of Malay, Chinese and Indian flavours” and “safest, most stable and easiest to manage in Southeast Asia”.
Besides Malay, English and Chinese; Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam are also major languages. Although Islam is the state religion, constitution guarantees freedom of religion.
Major religions include Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism (about 6.3%), Taoism, Confucianism and Sikhism. Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin is Head of State while Najib Abdul Razak is Prime Minister.
Sabah, second largest of the 13 states, is located in Borneo Island and contains Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.