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Jan 20, 2008

Badawi's Ponggal Festival causes million Ringgit losses to businessmen


The Malaysian economy is slowing down. The MIER projected our economic growth for 2008 to be less than 5% (if the recession in the US worsens).

Despite Government denials and cover ups, inflation is escalating. The price of food, chicken and fish has increased by at least 15% since 2007. Consumers do not have as much spending power.

Retail and wholesale businesses are also facing difficult conditions. Many face slower sales and losses because while costs of doing business have gone up, sales have not increased as much. On Saturday 19 January 2008, retailers and businessmen in the Jalan Masjid India got a rude shock when the busy shopping street was shut down completely beginning from 9 am in the morning until midnight. Saturday is the busiest shopping day in this area. But as the picture shows the Jalan Masjid India was deserted, there were few shoppers. Businessmen have lost millions of Ringgit in sales because of this road closure.

The reason for the road closure of Jalan Masjid India was because the PM were attending a Ponggal Festival organized by the ‘Barisan Nasional Bukit Bintang’. Few of the traders in Jalan Masjid India knew about this road closure or the fact that a Ponggal Festival was being organized in their area. Some traders are also confused why ‘Pesta Ponggal Bukit Bintang’ is being held in Jalan Masjid India and not in Jalan Bukit Bintang or elsewhere?

A few banners announcing the event were put up on Thursday 17th January but none of the traders were consulted or informed where or how the Ponggal Festival was to be held. There is some mystery. Other than ‘Barisan Nasional Bukit Bintang’ no one knew who were the real organizers behind this Ponggal Festival. The MIC was not involved. But the mystery was later solved. The Malaysian Hindu Sangam, the organisers behind the Hindraf protests are the same people behind this Ponggal Festival. The picture here shows Hindu Sangam written in white all over Jalan Masjid India. More...


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