An open letter to HEB

I write this on behalf of all Indians in Singapore.

Thaipusam is a festival close to all our hearts, as you would rightfully agree.

A law was passed in 1973 regarding playing loud musical instruments in public places.

But we still have Chinese lion dance troupe (or a Chingay festival). Or even door – to door visitations of lions and their musical troupe during Chinese New Year?

And we still have our Malay friends celebrating their joyous occasions, predominantly on Sundays, in the void deck.

And all these and more continue. It’s called tolerance. Something that Singapore is known for.
I am hundred and one percent sure, none of our non-Indian friends will oppose to our Thaipusam procession accompanied by the much needed music.

Music that gives solace and strength to the devotees who are marching towards their salvation.

Ban alcohol.
Ban weapons.
Ban unruly behaviour.

But why music?

And why treat the ones who are still trying to adhere to this unfounded restriction and doing the best they can on the holy day?

I am happy that such a prompt and personalised message came from HEB after the circulation of the highly disturbing video where we see HEB personnel trying to intimidate and interrupt a peaceful family’s procession. Simply because they were singing on a mic?

It’s an act of bullying. And it doesn’t suffice to say that volunteers have a hard time handling the festival.

Then they should be clearly trained. Instructions and attitude flows top down.

Some of my other concerns that I hope will be addressed :

Increase on price for paal kudam and kavadi
Nothing new has happened in the procession for the many years. Where is the revenue going to?

TIGHT LEASH
Why are we all treated with such a watchful eye and with so many restrictions that makes us look like collective bunch of trouble makers. What impression are we creating for the rest of Singapore?

I have participated in paal kudam for more than 20 years now and last few years has been so difficult standing in long queue with silence all around me.

Last night, we had bhajans in our house for my late auntie’s prayers. We sang from 12 midnight to 4.30am. This was right in the middle of a heartland neighbourhood with people who might be sleeping and waking up to get ready for their day.

But there wasn’t a single complaint.
This is called racial harmony.

Please let’s not point fingers at our non Indian friends and say that we are censoring ourselves for their benefit. I truly believe they are much more understanding than that.

If there are really some other reasons behind these restrictions, it’s high time that they be made transparent to Singaporeans.

For a start, why not a round table discussion with key members of the public for a candid discussion about what can be done to serve the community better?

If not, I fear, with true cause, that in the next few years, Thaipusam will not just be a silent affair. It will be an empty affair.

Seeking true remedies and answers,

 

Manjula Balakrishnan

 
.
 

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23 Responses to “An open letter to HEB”

  • xlandjy:

    Wah… the writer claims to represent all Indians … But, I have to remind him that I have never ask or appoint him to represent me … What a self inflated character..

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  • Bapak:

    Dear Manjula Balakrishnan,

    Firstly, I support you for music to be played at Thaipusam festival. I grew up with many Indian friends and supported them many times at this festival. I don’t see anything wrong with playing music. In fact, it adds colors to the festival. Without which it’s feels meaningless and not complete.

    But as usual, who did you vote for Manjula Balakrishnan? We have an Indian in high office to do good maybe she can help. But the covernment wants her to be Malay and she accepts, how sad?

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  • What are they afraid of?:

    Stop voting for this gov or our lived are going to be worse in time. Why this injustice towards our hindu devotees? Did some people complain n gov wants to placate this group ??? Very fishy.

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  • N.Jungne:

    Thank you Manjula Balakrishnan, well written. Music that gives solace and strength to the devotees, at the same time music can also calm the mind of initaites.

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  • LIONS:

    If not, I fear, with true cause, that in the next few years, Thaipusam will not just be a silent affair. It will be an empty affair.

    Seeking true remedies and answers,

    Manjula Balakrishnan
    ==========================================================================

    sir,your fears are real.
    not only an empty affair as it may be gone forever if more ANTI-THAIPUSAM FAKE INDIAN FTs become the louder voice???

    INDIAN FTs look down on local THAIPUSAM festivities n customs n the govt seems to condone this???

    INTEGRATION or rather DIS-INTEGRATION (DISAPPEARANCE) OF LOCAL INDIAN CULTURE brought here by our early indian forefathers???

    where is NATHAN,can we still cook curry if we live next to PRs???

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  • HarderTruths:

    This festival is a threat to the pappies as it is a symbol of people that there is a God that is higher than the pappies and the old man. This is why they will try to destroy $G’s festivals.

    Thaipusam is not just for Indians. Ask them. They will say the blessings of God are for everyone. Anyone is free to join and celebrate. This has always been our SG true heritage. We have always been united in such things.

    The pappies will always try to ban this festival above all others. It is a sign that there are $G people that believe in racial harmony and acceptance (not just tolerance). These people do not accept the government as the ultimate ruler of their lives and therefore these festivals are a threat to them.

    Remember our heritage and harmony, acceptance and sacrifice for one another. The pappies can destroy our economy but not our spirit and certainly not God.

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  • William C:

    Talk someone they charge if for creating fake news.

    Daft sinkers did not know fake news law is to silent your right to free speech and expression.

    Next time only PAP can talk. You just have to listen. You keep quiet.

    You really deserved what you voted for

    The servant telling the master how to behave.

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  • 2sets of rules?:

    One minority religion cannot play their music during a religious procession.
    On the other hand a majority race group can make a din at every religious , festive n even at void deck funeral prayers.
    Its enough to wake the dead.

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  • I'm Halimah also Jiak Liao Bee:

    I’m Chinese, local born, that is.
    Have never been any issue with any SG race regarding their festive or any other activities and they have never ever encroached on my personal space.
    I warmly welcome their traditional festivities and share their joy.
    Only Trash living amongst us do not understand our multi cultural activities.
    So who complained about the noise generated ? a FT ??
    Remember a PRC complained about the smell of curry and our good PAP lap dogs from the Town Council advised the Indian family not to cook curry to appease the PRC ???!!!
    Thaispusam have been going on for decades and i have yet to hear anyone complaining about the noise.
    It’s the “noise” that adds up to the atmosphere.
    Did you vote for your Indian MP, why have they not spoken up ???
    Oh, I forgot, they are too beholden to their PAPIGS political masters, their million $$ pay check at stake.

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  • Why why why???:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3Svwf35Ur0

    Do you think this is worst!!!

    Also, the noise of the lion dances. It is deafening to our ears.

    Why other race can celebrate with the inconveniences to many by closing the road at the heart of Singapore and with loud music, fire-crackers and fireworks!!

    How much $$$ were burnt and the unnecessary of the police forces being employed to handle the situation.

    Or may we say that such was organised by tau kong (powerful) people, so it is ok and leegal while the other NO allowed, because HEW is no powerful.

    Please be fair or else stop all these activities.

    Everyday, we read such saddening news and we feel very upset with the one-sided treatment.

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  • Why why why???:

    I'm Halimah also Jiak Liao Bee:
    I’m Chinese, local born, that is.
    Have never been any issue with any SG race regarding their festive or any other activities and they have never ever encroached on my personal space.
    I warmly welcome their traditional festivities and share their joy.
    Only Trash living amongst us do not understand our multi cultural activities.
    So who complained about the noise generated ? a FT ??

    Yes, you are on the spot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3Svwf35Ur0

    I’m Chinese and local-born too.
    I wonder why the roads along China Town can be closed and terrible loud music with unnecessary burning of fire-crackers and fire-works. Why such is allowed??? Don’t you all think that it is a real waste of tax-payers money by burning the crackers and setting up the stages and the amplification of the music.

    Also the beating of the DRUMS during the lion dance. This last for 15 days in a year while Thampusan only last a day in a year.

    Let’s live with harmony and enjoy each other festival.

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  • To xlandjy:

    xlandjy:
    Wah… the writer claims to represent all Indians … But, I have to remind him that I have never ask or appoint him to represent me … What a self inflated character..

    Dude, Manjula is a lady. If you address her as ‘him’ that means you are FAKE INDIAN. LOL!!

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  • xlandjy:

    To xlandjy: Dude, Manjula is a lady. If you address her as ‘him’ that means you are FAKE INDIAN. LOL!!

    What about Vivien? Male or female?

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  • Think tourism:

    This is a very unique occassion/ceremony .
    If less restrictions can be accomodated, think of how much tourism sg can attract.
    Right now theyre all running up to batu caves..
    So as usual Malaysia Boleh!
    All the gov restrictions seem to be a cover up of some other issue..
    SINGAPORE BODOH!

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  • conu eat shit:

    This is CLEARLY THE MAJORITY RACE BULLYING THE MINORITY RACE.Are Chingay procession and Saint Patrick’s Day also not foot procession?Or do the participants float above ground?

    And Saint Patrick’s Day was not even on the cards till lately.During Chinese New Year there are lion dance WHICH MAKES SUCH SUCH A DINE.And burning of i papermoney during ghost festival,burning the grass patches and polluating the air.And what about THE FUCKING FTs complaining about Indians cooking curry.IS THE LAW DIFFERENT FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS?

    Is this PAP government sucking FT DICKS.You INDIAN MINISTERS AND MP are you defending Indian rights OR SUCKING ON LOONG’s DICK!!!!!!MFs

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  • Self-Realization:

    “You cannot see That which is the Seer of seeing; you cannot hear That which is the Hearer of hearing; you cannot think of That which is the Thinker of thought; you cannot know That which is the Knower of knowledge. This is your Self, that is within all; everything else but This is perishable.” (Br. Upanishad 3.4.2)

    http://yogananda.com.au/upa/Upanishads01.html

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  • checkmate PAP:

    Singapore Indians are being sidelined just like the Malays.The Philiponos are considered Malays.This Government only SUPPORT FT,even the Thais can celebrate their water festival.Why cannot the native Indian celebrate their festival?

    President Halimak Yacob also Malay although born to Indian father.This PAP GOVERNMENT REALLY LOSE ITS MORAL COMPASS.

    Keppel Directors caught with THEIR PANTS DOWN bribing causing a NATIONAL EMBRASSMENT.GOONDU LOONG has the cancer spread to your FUCKING BRAIN?

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  • Concerned:

    By coincidence, 2 nights ago, i heard chinese music blaring in the early hours of the morning, from a temple in a nearby estate. That the music was being played that loud at that time – dawn had yet to break – in the middle of all this about Thaipusam and noise, was quite a surprise.

    Then there is the little matter of Chinese religious bonfires, which leave the most ghastly mess afterwards. In fact, one shop, a couple of DOORS from a petrol station in Frankel Ave, has a huge annual blaze. A stray spark and the entire estate around the petrol station could be on fire.

    It would seem lines are being drawn in all the wrong places.

    One can go on and on about some of the odd things happening now. How about the courses that teach you how to become a Serial En-blocer now being advertised? You can even use your skillsfuture money to pay for these courses!!! This is okay? Basically it means a house/flat is not a home. Just an investment. This is the way to build a nation? As 65% of the properties that are en-bloced are
    less than 30 years old – some are less than 10 years old!! – this is the way to be sustainable and environmentally friendly?

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  • conu eat shit:

    HEB is a PUPPET of PAP.So is Mendaki,Sinda,and Cda the PAP uses these organisations to DIVIDE AND RULE,something they learn from their colonial masters.Even when the saying the plage “PLAGE OUR SELF AS ONE UNITED PEOPLE’

    The PAP is a RACIST PARTY,excluting our MALAY brother from NS.Even after 50 years of nationhood the PAP do not trusT the MALAYS.They used GRC as as a cover to BRING THEIR CRONIES THROUGH THE BACK DOOR.Very few or none of these as hole entery type will be elected in a ONE ON ONE FIGHT.The racial qutoa in HDB flats is also a RACIST POLICY.This policy came into being after the late LION IN PARLIAMENT JBJ won Anson.IKAN U got so shaken up that he came up with this policy.

    The pap is SUCKING THE FT COCK,Saint Patrick’s Day,Water Festival.Were these MOTHER FUCKERS OUR SENIOR GENERATION?IKAN U you better WAKE UP FROM YOUR GRAVE.

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  • checkmate PAP:

    PAP u have another LITTLE INDIA INCIDENT brewing in your mids,prepare to ROAD RUN when it explodes in your faces.Remember the last time YOUR SPF ran with tails between their legs.This time they WILL SHIT IN THEIR PANTS.

    Your SPF CANNOT EVEN CATCH THE SINGPOST ROBBER.By now he might have already crossed our border.

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  • Enjoy:

    Let them enjoy their festival their way as long they do not create trouble.
    Ok to have some music if it make them happy…
    No need to complain…Enjoy la.

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  • Bystander:

    Dear Indian brother, Thaipusam procession is a large gathering of people together with a large number of spectators, and with the din of loud music, are enough to scare the daylights out of Govt.
    Plus threats of terrorism, all these make this paranoid Govt react like scared rabbits.
    Our sympathies, absolutely, walking with kavadis in silent mode destroys the mood of this colourful festival.
    Next GE, vote wisely and tell an opposition candidate of Indian descent who wins to bring up in Parliament for debate, if such candidate arises.

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  • To xlandjy:

    xlandjy: What about Vivien? Male or female?

    Vivien can be male or female, have you heard of famous Viv Richards??

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