KLUANG, Jan 24, 2016:
The Thaipusam celebration this year in Renggam town was made more meaningful with the presence of the Sultan of Johor.
For Hindu devotees in the town, this year’s celebration saw history in the making with a touch of regal splendour when the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar attended the event this afternoon.
His arrival at the Samajam Sri Murugan Hindu Temple in Jalan Layang Layang at 12.18pm was greeted by joyous shouts of “Daulat Tuanku”.
Accompanied by Johor Unity and Human Resources Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan and state religious committee chairman Abd Mutalip Abd Rahim, Sultan Ibrahim had lunch and spent over an hour mingling with the 3,000 Renggam residents.
A former private sector employee, V. Subramaniam, 62, said he was excited and happy to meet Sultan Ibrahim for the first time.
“Two things made my day today. I got to meet the Johor Sultan and I managed to fulfil my vow to shave my head after my grandson achieved 5As in his final examinations recently,” he told Bernama here.
He said Sultan Ibrahim’s presence during the Thaipusam celebration meant a lot to Hindus as well as the local community.
Meanwhile, Norlia Mohammad, 47, said the Johor Sultan’s visit to Pekan Renggam for the Thaipusam festival added colour and gaiety to the town.
For Norlia, it has become tradition for her family to be up and about by 7am to witness the chariot procession and kavadi bearers at the temple.
“I don’t think it is wrong for us to join in the celebration with our Hindu friends as they also visit us during Aidilfitri,” she said.
Meanwhile, Haur Eng Ka, 44, said it was an annual practice for him and his friends to gather at the Samajam Sri Murugan Hindu temple to take in the resplendent and colourful event.
“Every year, my friends… Malays, Chinese or Indians will come here early in the morning to witness the ceremony,” he said.