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KUALA LUMPUR, 7 Feb 2017:
The police will close Jalan Ipoh and Jalan Kuching to public vehicles from 10pm today to facilitate the procession of the Thaipusam chariot, said Sentul Police chief R. Munusamy.
He said the procession would begin at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Bandar and end at the Sri Subramaniyar Temple in Batu Caves.
Only vehicles of the police, the temples and Red Crescent Society as well as ambulances would be allowed to use the roads then.
In Penang, police have issued a tough warning against anyone who attempts to disturb the peace during the Thaipusam festival that begins tomorrow.
Penang police chief Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye said the police would also give greater focus to the processions of the two chariots – one golden and the other silver – tomorrow and on Friday.
“We will also keep a close watch on gangsters, whether they are from Penang or outside the state, who may attempt to cause a disturbance.”
Chuah gave the assurance that security control would be at its highest throughout the festival and that the public, especially Hindus, should have no fear of their safety.
He said more than 1,300 police officers and men would be operating round the clock, and more personnel would be deployed if the need arose.
“I advise Hindu devotees, especially the respective supporters of the two chariots, to observe Thaipusam in goodwill.
“The police will also monitor developments to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.”
Chuah also confirmed that one of the police tents set up for Thaipusam in George Town was torched by irresponsible people at about 11pm on Sunday, and that police would take action against the culprits.
Meanwhile, North East District police chief ACP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said the golden and silver chariots would make the procession two hours apart, as agreed at a meeting between the police and the respective management committees.
The golden chariot would leave the Arulmigu Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Lebuh Queen at 5am tomorrow and the silver chariot would leave Kovil Veedu in Lebuh Penang at 7am, he said.
“We do not expect the two chariots to come near each other or cross paths. I also urge the two sides to stop issuing confusing statements to cause anxiety among the people.”
Several roads will be closed in stages for the processions of the chariots tomorrow, starting from Lebuh Queen/Penang to Lebuh Chulia, Gat Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Victoria, Gat Jalan Prangin, Jalan C.Y. Choy, Jalan Magazine, Jalan Datuk Keramat, Jalan Utama and Jalan Air Terjun.
During their return journey on Feb 10, the roads to be closed in stages are Jalan Air Terjun, Jalan Gottlieb, Jalan Tun Abdul Rahman, Jalan Cantonment, Jalan Macalister, Jalan Anson, Jalan Burma, Jalan Transfer, Jalan Sri Bahari, Jalan Penang, Jalan Campbell, Lebuh Buckingham, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Queen, Lebuh Pasar, Lebuh Penang, Lebuh China and Lebuh Pantai.
The Thaipusam festival in Penang is expected to attract about 1.5 million people, among them Hindu devotees and tourists.