UPDATE (Sunday, Jan 20, 7pm)
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has declared Thaipusam a public holiday in the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya from this year.
Thaipusam falls on Wednesday (Jan 23).
Bernama quoted the PM as saying that the government made the decision "in respecting the request of the Indian community and the Hindus in the country".
Thaipusam is currently a holiday in Selangor, Penang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.
Read the Bernama report here.
Also, what Rocky has to say in his Bru, here.
And Barisan Nasional gets the Indian votes, says MIC president S Samy Vellu who thanked the PM for that decision to declare Thaipusam a holiday in KL and Putrajaya.
MY EARLIER POSTING:
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has given an assurance that he will consider declaring Thaipusam a "national public holiday" after approval from the Cabinet.
MIC president S Samy Vellu has thanked the PM for this.
Here's the rest of the Bernama story datelined Kuala Lumpur, Sunday, Jan 20:
"It will be a long-awaited decision to have Thaipusam declared a national holiday or even a public holiday for the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory," Samy Vellu told Bernama.
Samy Vellu said he contacted Abdullah in Madrid from New Delhi recently to request him to consider declaring Thaipusam a public holiday and this was followed with an official letter to the prime minister.
Abdullah was in Madrid for an official visit while Samy Vellu was in New Delhi to attend the People of Indian Origin Conference.
Samy Vellu said the MIC has been asking for Thaipusam be declared a public holiday for more than a decade "but now we are confident our request will be fulfilled".
He said Thaipusam is currently a holiday in five states, namely Selangor, Penang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.
"More than 1.2 million Hindus converge at Batu Caves every year for Thaipusam from all over the country. As such, it will be good if Thaipusam is declared a national public holiday," Samy Vellu said.
Samy Vellu said he raised the matter with the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique at the last Cabinet meeting to have Thaipusam declared a public holiday at least in Kuala Lumpur.
"I will raise it again at the next Cabinet meeting," he added.