Malaysian Government in a fix over granting work permits to Hindu priestsSeptember 3rd, 2008 - 12:46 pm ICT by ANI
Kuala Lumpur, Sept.3 (ANI): The Human Resources and Home Ministries in Malaysia are reportedly at odds over the hiring of Hindu temple workers, including priests?
The New Strait Times quoted Malaysian Hindu Sangam president A. Vaithi-lingam as saying that while the Human Resources Ministry is in favour of their hiring, the Home Ministry seemed to be blocking the process.
This, he claimed, has spread fear among worshippers in over 200 Hindu temples nationwide that they may not have the services of priests in the near future.
Vaithilingam said temple workers have only been given a three-month extension on their work permits, then another month and finally, a two-day grace period to leave the country.
Vaithilingam, who also heads the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said early this year, the cabinet had lifted a blanket ban on Indian priests and temple workers imposed in December last year.
In May this year, the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry had said that the matter of hiring Indian priests had been resolved with the Human Resources Ministry, stating that priests and temple musicians would be given three-year work permits.
Vaithilingam wondered if the Home Ministry’’s stand against Indian temple workers was based on the fear that the workers supported the HINDRAF movement. (ANI)