22 Sep, 04:08PM in sunny Singapore!

What's really behind the restriction on Thaipusam?

Subscribe to What's really behind the restriction on Thaipusam? 32 posts

Please Login or Signup to reply.
  • SGVoice's Avatar
    37 posts since Jan '11
    • http://yoursdp.org/index.php/news/singapore/448…

      What’s really behind the restriction on Thaipusam?
      Wednesday, 12 January 2011
      Teoh Tian Jing

      Could the new Thaipusam regulations be a knee-jerk response to the gang-related street violence in recent months? The announcement of the restrictions by the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) seems to suggest so.

      Under the new rules, no singing or music is allowed in the procession, and portable music equipment are banned as well. The 2011 guidelines states that “shouting and other forms of unruly behavior is prohibited; participants shall not paint their faces or bodies or wear any form of disguise”.

      Is shouting considered unruly behaviour? If it is, what do we do about people screaming (often vulgarity) during a football match? And if painting one’s face is prohibited, then those who paint their faces during National Day Parades should be disallowed too. What about disguise? Are we also going to ban the lion dance and the bighead doll that accompanies the lion? What about the guy in the Tua Pek Kong costume giving out ang pows?

      This is the problem with Singapore. The Government makes rules that arbitrarily discriminate against certain sections of the community. This creates resentment among the people.

      When the authorities should be relaxing rules to allow for more spontaneity and expression, it does the opposite and enforces even more conformity in our society.

      Singaporeans are, by and large, a tolerant people when it comes to religious and ethnic ceremonies. Hungry Ghost Festival getais, deity processions, Malay weddings, and Chinese funerals have been taking place frequently in our midst and for many decades.

      So it seemed more than a little strange that one of the reasons cited was that “residents of new homes along the processions 4km route” had complained about the Thaipusam festival. The procession courses through parts of Orchard Road and Tank Road which means that it does not affect Singaporean heartlanders. So who are the real complainants? Are they Singaporeans?

      What about the road closures? Are the complaints because of the inconvenience caused by the closure of the roads? If that’s the case, then what about the road closures for the F1 race and National Day parades which occur for several days and weekends. The Thaipusam festival occurs only for one day in a year.

      The pervasive social control the government wields on Singapore society applies not only to religious issues. In 1987, then Prime Minister and current Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said: “If we had not intervened on very personal matters – who your neighbour is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.”

      The potential for this resentment may not be evident now as the PAP continues to take a heavy-handed authoritarian approach on social issues against segments of the population. But there are indications that resentment is building up, and the PAP may find itself falling from its authoritarian grace simply because the people have had enough.

      The PAP deflects political responsibility by getting the government-appointed HEB to announce the restrictions. It doesn’t hide anything.

      If the new rules are a reaction to the recent gang violence, then it is overkill. Does the police have evidence that Thaipusam festivities are related to violence?

      The ban on drums, body painting and music removes the traditional and religious elements of Thaipusam. It will only disappoint those seeking religious solace as they take part in this annual event.

      The PAP champions religious tolerance among Singaporeans. It does not seem to practice what it preaches.

      Teoh Tian Jing is a member of the Young Democrats, the youth wing of the SDP.

      Be our supporters:

      http://www.facebook.com/yoursdp

  • the Bear's Avatar
    149,694 posts since Feb '01
    • may i ask if you will KPKB if things blow up, saying the gabrament didn't do anything "pro-active" about it?

      and now they do something "pro-active" you KPKB?

      what would you do?

      as much as i think the bloody MIW are ham-fisted, and they lack any subtlety, something is being done...

       

  • Fcukpap's Avatar
    7,295 posts since Dec '09
    • more people are fighting on buses song song gao jurong.....

       things cannot be overruled or overdone in favour one for another...u simply cannot overreact or over punish on issues its like an academic theory of a frying egg....a sunny side up will turn out to a green omelette...

      the gabrament cannot over gabra just because their combo scholars say so....human life here will turn out to be combo meals

  • Zweiz's Avatar
    399 posts since Aug '10
    • Originally posted by SGVoice:

       

      Under the new rules, no singing or music is allowed in the procession, and portable music equipment are banned as well. The 2011 guidelines states that “shouting and other forms of unruly behavior is prohibited; participants shall not paint their faces or bodies or wear any form of disguise”.

      ...

      The ban on drums, body painting and music removes the traditional and religious elements of Thaipusam. It will only disappoint those seeking religious solace as they take part in this annual event.

      judging from various youtube videos (my knowledge of thaipusam is limited), drums, body painting & music seems to be common during thaipusam

      this restriction seems equivalent to banning drums and lion dance costumes for the chinese

  • Trees.wah's Avatar
    2 posts since Jan '11
  • Deino's Avatar
    5,529 posts since May '07
  • Trees.wah's Avatar
    2 posts since Jan '11
    • Every year my family and friends (non-Hindus) enjoy watching the Thaipussam procession and celebrations along Serangoon road. It is heartwarming that charitable Hindus even provide drinks and snacks to onlookers celebrating with them. The rhythmic sounds of drums are part and parcel of the holy event. In Japan, there are countless street processions celebrated throughout the year with gongs and drums adding to the atmosphere and festivity. Such events are great tourist attractions. Similarly, Singapore could definitely benefit from such a event as a tourist attraction as well.

      Curtailing this event by banning music along the route is too drastic. Singapore is a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. Is such a measure not indicative of religious intolerance? It is surprising that the authorities took such quick action to curb a holy festival that is celebrated and enjoyed by many Singaporeans. Is this not hypocritical?

  • Deino's Avatar
    5,529 posts since May '07
    • Something is wrong with the authorities. I think they are trying to kick their own bucket.

  • Wiser's Avatar
    1,237 posts since Jan '11
    • with the latest restrictions, it is no longer Thaipuisam.

      For many years, i enjoy watching the procession. It's a procession of thanksgiving to Gods for wish fulfilled. It's a procession of gratefulness and a procession of believers of a higher power. Now this is suppressed.  Very sad.

       

       

       

    • Originally posted by Deino:

      Something is wrong with the authorities. I think they are trying to kick their own bucket.

      .

       

      Thaipuisam has been going on for so many years in Singapore and passing the Orchard with many tourists taking photos and even video-taping it. It's a good source of tourist attraction too. Last time the Singapore tourism Board loves to use Thaipuisam as one of Singapore tourist attraction.  What happened now ?

      Isn't STBP an government board? Last time they die die must put Thaipuisam in one of their marketing poster, now they ban it???

      Edited by Wiser 13 Jan `11, 3:45PM
  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • Originally posted by Wiser:

       

      Thaipuisam has been going on for so many years in Singapore and passing the Orchard with many tourists taking photos and even video-taping it. It's a good source of tourist attraction too. Last time the Singapore tourism Board loves to use Thaipuisam as one of Singapore tourist attraction.  What happened now ?

      Isn't STBP an government board? Last time they die die must put Thaipuisam in one of their marketing poster, now they ban it???


      Not Thaipuisam lah, it thaipusam, you pui here and there, no wonder the govt put on restriction. Not to worry, thaipusam is a kind of hindu Gods celebration, if govt is going to restrict it here and there, touch wood, bad thing will fall upon singapore, let wait and see.

    • Today, our govt see Casinopusam  more important than Thaipusam

  • Asromanista2001's Avatar
    3,957 posts since May '10
    • you non-Indians complain so much for what.............

       

      the Indians are not complaining mah...................maybe they're still trying to find the guts to do so...........

       

      i hope the following bad things will befall S'pore.............

      1) LKY and son die of massive heart attacks ............

      2) all top ministers kana struck by lightning at Natioanl Day Parade......

      3) all foreigners leave S'pore...............

  • deathmaster's Avatar
    1,829 posts since Sep '07
    • this is a joke. at least there's meaning to the thaipusam celebrations. not like this is a group of protestors or rioters por smth.

      its just a group of people marching on a route, for religious purposes.

      Under the new rules, no singing or music is allowed in the procession, and portable music equipment are banned as well. The 2011 guidelines states that “shouting and other forms of unruly behavior is prohibited; participants shall not paint their faces or bodies or wear any form of disguise”.

      if there's no singing or music, then the poccession will be silent. no paint or disguise means that thaipusam will be reduced to a group of half naked indian men with extensive body piercings walking down the streets in silence.  wtf is that?

      thaipusam is worth watching as compared to pointless celebrations such as chingay. wtf is chingay all about?

      it does not celebrate anything, yet no restrictions are placed on it.

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • Originally posted by Asromanista2001:

      you non-Indians complain so much for what.............

       

      the Indians are not complaining mah...................maybe they're still trying to find the guts to do so...........

       

      i hope the following bad things will befall S'pore.............

      1) LKY and son die of massive heart attacks ............

      2) all top ministers kana struck by lightning at Natioanl Day Parade......

      3) all foreigners leave S'pore...............


      non indian cannot complaint meh, i also eat bryani at banana leaf resturant ok, then that muthu curry also me and dad favorite, we are singaporeans, pledge ourselves as one united people regardless of race, language and religion. If we are not united, foreigner invasion will become a reality and in 100 years time, you can hardly find a true singaporean in singapore. And if you can get one, it will be very very rare...oh! you singaporean ar!!!???? OMG!!! we found a singaporean...big news lor

  • Wiser's Avatar
    1,237 posts since Jan '11
    • hello, please don't make Thaipusam a holy procession become anti-PAP rally.

      It's not fair to the religion and the believers.  It's bad enough they are being restricted with new laws.

      I do agree with one new rule, that they must appoint an representative to oversee the kavadi carrier.  It's for the good of the Kavadi carrier, that someone is there to be responsible for him. 

       

    • Non-indians can also be a Hindu.  Non-indians can also be participating in the Thaipusam procession. Why are you so narrow minded?

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • ar?? anti PAP rally?? no lah, why so sensitive, we are just open for discussion, and some point taken, you can close road here and there for F1, you cannot do it for a cultural activity in singapore?? And with  2.4 litre car I am driving while paying thousand over road tax, you close the city road for days just to have your F1 zooming away?? whereas thaipusam is just short 1/2 day or more , and you restrict their movement and expression??

      So far, did thaipusam in singapore created any problem of riot or mass fighting?? I think we all go happily and went home happily, either particpants or sightseeing, no problem at all. Frankly, I love PAP, they created a good business enviroment for me to earn a good living here, but they should take care on youth slashing each other than a mere enjoyable Thaipusam for all.

      And if Thaipusam  cannot shout or paint or behavor in a happy manner, ask them to make NDP a funneral pocession better. No fly over, no face painting, no shouting, no majulah Singapura.

  • Askingyouto's Avatar
    815 posts since Oct '10
    • Originally posted by angel7030:


      non indian cannot complaint meh, i also eat bryani at banana leaf resturant ok, then that muthu curry also me and dad favorite, we are singaporeans, pledge ourselves as one united people regardless of race, language and religion. If we are not united, foreigner invasion will become a reality and in 100 years time, you can hardly find a true singaporean in singapore. And if you can get one, it will be very very rare...oh! you singaporean ar!!!???? OMG!!! we found a singaporean...big news lor

      Sinkaporeans now olredi very rare, no need to wait so long.

      Edited by Askingyouto 13 Jan `11, 11:03PM
  • Asromanista2001's Avatar
    3,957 posts since May '10
    • Originally posted by angel7030:


      non indian cannot complaint meh, i also eat bryani at banana leaf resturant ok, then that muthu curry also me and dad favorite, we are singaporeans, pledge ourselves as one united people regardless of race, language and religion. If we are not united, foreigner invasion will become a reality and in 100 years time, you can hardly find a true singaporean in singapore. And if you can get one, it will be very very rare...oh! you singaporean ar!!!???? OMG!!! we found a singaporean...big news lor

       

       

      so finally you let slip you're not Taiwanese lah...............i knew it all along.......

       

      i bet you're a guy too.................

  • frakfrakfrak's Avatar
    311 posts since Dec '06
    • I think the opinions of the people who are against these rulings are of little consequence to the people who have decided on this matter. END OF STORY.

      Edited by frakfrakfrak 14 Jan `11, 4:22PM
  • mancha's Avatar
    8,961 posts since Sep '04
    • What's really behind the restriction on Thaipusam?

      Just to gauge the peoples' reaction before the run up to the elections.

  • gunner77's Avatar
    41,025 posts since Apr '06
    • You take away all the noise, its no longer called thaipusam.

      Just like you take away lion dance drums, its no longer lion dances.

      Here is the catch.

      You think the singaporean hindus will complain? no they won't, i tell you why.

      Most of them will go across the causeway and do their thaipusam. Over the causeway, totally no restriction.

      Which why, before all these rule there are already some singapoeans going there to do.

      So, with these new rules, more numbers they are going over there to the thaipusam.

      what happens when more singaporeans go over there and do? here no people, no longer a tourist attraction.

      Then only the people who set the rules will cry. mark my words.

  • dotaro's Avatar
    799 posts since Mar '04
    • Originally posted by Asromanista2001:

       

       

      so finally you let slip you're not Taiwanese lah...............i knew it all along.......

       

      i bet you're a guy too.................

      Heh....BINGO! A gutless loser who poses around as a woman.

  • Veggie Bao's Avatar
    1,714 posts since Aug '09
    • SDP is so irresponsible.

      This may or may not have any bigger "motives", but is it wise to allege and insinuate as such?

      Is it wise to attack the government and tinker with "religious harmony" issue to muck it around and gain some political mileage ?

      It seems that SDP is willing to do anything and sacrifice anything as long as it can gain something from it.

      SDP......truely deplorable.

Please Login or Signup to reply.