Thai Ponggal Day Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng During The 2013 Penang Thai Ponggal Celebration At The New Hindu Endowment Board Office In George Town On 18.1.2013.
Let The Penang Hindu Endowment Board Be The Model Not Only For Indians In Other States But Also Other Marginalised Communities Such As Orang Asli, Ibans And Kadazans On How Good Governance And Integrity Can Improve Their Lives And Dignity.
The celebration of this year’s Thai Ponggal Festival at the new Hindu Endowment Board office marks another proud chapter in the development of recognition of the contributions and dignity of the Hindu community in Penang. As Thai Ponggal marks a new beginning, this new building renovated at a cost of nearly RM300,000 that marks a new beginning on how the Hindu community can prove how it can provide self-governance and manage it affairs well.
This new office building is a proud testimony of what is achieved by the PR Penang state government in only 5 years, a stark contrast to the failures of the previous 50 years when the affairs of the Hindu community and temples were conducted at some back office. This is in addition to the more annual allocation of RM1.2 million now given to the Hindu Endowment Board by the Penang state government.
The Penang state government has also led the country in given yearly allocations of RM1.75 million not only to 28 Tamil primary schools but also RM100,000 yearly to set up kindergartens in primary schools in Penang. Further the only Tamil road signs in Malaysia are put up in Penang.
Not only has not a single Hindu temple been torn down by the Penang state government, land has also been provided for temples and schools. We are also proud that the largest Murugan temple outside India has finally been completed in Penang after more than 10 years.
Despite these achievements, we are accused of demolishing Kampung Buah Pala. It is because of PR, that Kampung Buah Pala still lives. BN had sold off the villagers and their without adequate compensation. It is PR that saved the village and gave them a double-storey terrace house.
We will not allow such lies to distract us from our efforts to realise your aspirations to achieve your potential. We have not only the first Indian Deputy Chief Minister but also the first female Indian Penang State Assembly Secretary. However, being given the opportunity it is now your responsibility to prove that you can manage your affairs well and make a difference to the lives of Indians in Penang.
Let the Penang Hindu Endowment Board be the model not only for Indians in other states but also other marginalised communities such as Orang Asli, Ibans and Kadazans on how good governance and integrity can improve their lives and dignity.
Happy Thai Ponggal 2013.
LIM GUAN ENG