Thursday June 21, 2012
Six groups compete in classical Indian drum competition
By ELWEEN LOKE
CLASSICAL Indian drumbeats reverberated throughout the Sri Shanmugathar Hindu Temple, drawing crowds of devotees to the place of worship in Kampung Acheh, Sitiawan.
K. Gayathri Kaladevi, 48, said she had always liked Indian classical drum performances ever since she was a girl.
“I was interested in learning how to play classical drums but was not given a chance to do so when I was younger,” said Gayathri, adding that listening to the lively beat of the drums made her feel young again.
Gayathri and her two friends, whom she had gone to the temple with, were among the hundreds of people who had turned up to watch six groups compete in a classical Indian drum competition organised by the temple committee.
Lumut MP Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, who was also present, recalled that he first visited the temple during its opening ceremony in 2000.
“Former MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and I were here for the historical event even though the ceremony was at 6am.
“This goes to prove the care and concern of Barisan Nasional leaders in matters of religion,” said Kong, who is also Transport Minister.
Kong added that political leaders must demonstrate respect for all religions.
“We must acknowledge the freedom to practise religion as enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he said, adding that freedom of religion had been a way of life for Malaysians since Independence.
Earlier, during a meet-the-people session organised by the Indian Progressive Front in Kampung Pekan Gurney, Kong gave his promise to the local Indian community that Barisan leaders would continue to work hard in looking after their needs.
“We will help those who need and deserve assistance whether in the form of money or service,” he said.
Kong and Pasir Panjang Barisan Nasional coordinator Dr Azizah Zohor also gave out foodstuff to six needy families.