Hindu Sangam said kavadi bearers who defied the new rules will be barred from entering the temple grounds.
PETALING JAYA: Devotees fulfilling their penance during Thaipusam in Batu Caves will no longer be allowed to carry “fancy” kavadis bearing logos of their associations, favourite soccer clubs, movie stars and uncommon fruits and items.
The Malaysian Hindu Sangam said devotees who failed to adhere to the new regulations will have to face the prospect of not being able to fullfill their religious obligations.
“The committee has decided on several new regulations to ensure a smooth Thaipusam. We will strictly adhere to the new rules.
“Devotees who defy the kavadi regulations will not be allowed into the temple to fulfill their penance,” said Hindu Sangam president RS Mohan Shan.
He said a new taskforce comprising Hindu Sangam, security officials and several other Indian NGOs had been set-up to ensure the new guidelines are properly implemented during the January 17 Thaipusam festival.
Speaking at a press conference, here, he said Kavadis should be designed in worship of Thaipusam’s lead deity which is Lord Muruga.
“This year we will not allow kavadis bearers to wear black skirts and smoke ceroot in the name of God.
“Devotees are also not allowed to have long fancy nails and hooks bearing uncommon fruits such as durians on their backs. This is not a real Thaipusam practice.
Mohan said his committee members will be monitoring the situation at the river side area to ensure devotees adhered to the new kavadi regulations.
“It is not going to be easy but we will try our level best to stop any irregularities,” he added.
He said in addition, owners of refreshment stalls within Batu Caves compound will be barred from using styrofoam cups.
“Only plastic cups will be allowed this year,” he said.
He also urged the media to assist in disseminating information of the new rules and regulations to their readers.