Focus on aid packages instead of cancelling Thaipusam holiday, Kedah’s PKR Youth urges state MB
On Wednesday, Kedah MB Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor announced that there will be no public holiday for Thaipusam in Kedah, as celebrations for the festival had been called off due to the MCO. ― Picture by KE Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — The Kedah division of PKR Youth (AMK) today urged state Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor to announce an aid plan for the state’s citizens who are facing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting movement control order (MCO).

Division chief, Mohammed Firdaus Johari, said it was saddening that Sanusi had not proactively sought to aid the state’s people, and instead seemed more focused on the cancelling of the Thaipusam holiday in the state.

“AMK Kedah was eagerly waiting for any announcement of the Kedah People’s Aid Package (Covid-19) from YAB Hj Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, Mentri Besar of Kedah.

“But unfortunately until today there is no announcement of assistance to help the people of Kedah during the implementation of this MCO,” said Firdaus in a statement.

He said the aid package should encompass those in the low-income income group, along with students who can’t afford to buy equipment for online learning during the MCO, and people who are quarantined at home after coming into close contact with a Covid-19 positive patient.

The current MCO started in Kedah today, and is set to last to February 4.

On Wednesday, Sanusi announced that there will be no public holiday for Thaipusam in Kedah, as celebrations for the festival had been called off due to the MCO.

Sanusi has since received severe backlash from the public and politicians — including MIC deputy president Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, MCA vice-president Datuk Tan Teik Cheng and PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasir — who said the move disrespected Hindus and would hinder their ability to celebrate the festival at home.

Last December, Sanusi had also come under heavy protest for the demolition of a Hindu temple in the state, following which he fired back at critics saying they were “drunk on the toddy of popularity”. The statement was seen as affront to Indians.