Thaipusam may draw record crowd

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Thaipusam may draw record crowd Empty Thaipusam may draw record crowd

Post by Priya on Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:19 pm

KUALA LUMPUR: A record-breaking 1.3 million devotees and visitors are expected to pack Batu Caves for the Thaipusam celebration this Sunday.
The figure is an increase from the one million people that attended the celebration last year. The Batu Caves temple committee has been making preparations to cater to the expected massive crowd.
Recently, it spent RM640,000 to improve basic amenities like public toilets and water supply. There will also be more than 600 stalls selling food, drinks, trinkets, clothing and souvenirs.
Security is another aspect being stressed on. More than 1,000 policemen will be stationed at the temple grounds and its surrounding area on that day.
Also for the first time, there will be a 15-minute fireworks display on the eve of Thaipusam. The fireworks would be lighted at midnight, followed by a chariot procession.
Temple committee chairman Datuk T. Nadarajah advised those coming not to wear jewellery or carry big amounts of cash, and to take public transportation to avoid congestion in the area.
In Penang, those wishing to break coconuts for Thaipusam will have to pay a higher price for the essential item.
The price of the Mawar B grade coconut, suitable for devotees to smash as an act of fulfilling vows, has increased by 50% due to poor harvest during the rainy season.
One of the main coconut wholesalers on the island M. Joel Jeyachandran said retailers would sell the coconuts between RM1.70 and RM1.80, especially during Thaipusam.
Last year, the coconut was sold for about RM1. Joel Jeyachandran, whose shop is in Datuk Keramat, said he expected the price to increase after June, as one of the four main coconut plantations would be converted into an oil-palm estate.
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