Stop politicising Deepavali issue, Penang Run organiser tells Gerakan

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GEORGE TOWN: The organiser of a run being held on Sunday, the day after Deepavali, slammed Gerakan for “politicising” the faux pas despite they having apologised to Indians in Penang.

Penang Run 2016 organiser Andrew Loh said Gerakan is taking advantage of this current situation by attacking the organiser just to get back at the Penang state government.

Loh questioned why the party did not say much when a similar situation occurred in 2013, when the run then was held during Thaipusam.

He pointed out that the 2013 organisers were not reprimanded nor were they asked to apologise to Indians, like what he had to do.

“I regret that Gerakan continues to politicise the 2016 Penang Run, eventhough I had already apologised.

“I do not wish to be dragged further into this political game by Gerakan to use the 2016 Penang Run to attack the Penang government,” Loh said in a statement today.

Gerakan was first to sound off on the choice of date, saying the organiser was insensitive towards the feelings of Indians and deprived them of the chance of competing in the event.

Deputy Chief Minister II and Hindu Endowments Board Chairman P Ramasamy demanded that the organiser apologise to Indians in the state.

The organiser then issued a statement saying the run will carry on as the date was chosen due to the “long weekend” and that it also coincided with the “national race calendar”.

The following day, he apologised to Indians, saying he “did not realise” that October 30 was the day after Deepavali.

Out of the 1,780 runners registered for this year’s run, only 56 were Indians, while in the previous edition of the event held in July this year, there were only 38 Indians.

Penang Run to carry on as usual, says organiser