PETALING JAYA: Kedah Umno chief Mahdzir Khalid has urged the state government to include Songkran, the Thai new year festival, in its annual calendar of events.
Mahdzir said the festival celebrated by Thais in mid-April each year should be included in the state’s calendar of events in view of the community’s contribution towards Malaysia’s development.
The former rural development minister added that the Thai festival could contribute to the eco-tourism sector in Kedah.
“When Barisan Nasional governed Kedah in the past, it always recognised the contributions of the Thai community to the progress and development of the state as well as the country,” he said, according to Utusan Malaysia.
Mahdzir said the Thai community had long assimilated with the locals in Kedah, which made the state unique, particularly when it came to cultural festivities.
“The tolerance and cooperation practised by the Thai community are among the factors behind the unity, harmony and peace in Kedah,” he said.
The former Padang Terap MP also said the tourism, arts and culture ministry could promote Songkran at the national level as part of efforts to draw tourists.
Songkran, commonly known as Thailand’s “water festival”, is usually celebrated from April 13 to 15.