A Facebook group called the ‘Thaipusam Spraying Group’ has threatened to spray paint on women who dress inappropriately during next month’s celebration. The creator of the Facebook page, Henry Barnabas, shared photos revealing the backs of women dressed in different sarees along with a comment: "Advance warning to Hindu female patrons coming to Thaipusam festival, beware of being sprayed with aerosol paint if found inappropriate dressed..."
Image: The Star / Facebook
The group now has close to 150 members. Barnabas had posted on his personal Facebook page that his intentions were meant to defend and protect the ritual and culture of Hindus. “Let’s spread the positive message through this group, so they will also get knowledge and respect the meaning of Thaipusam. Most youngsters these days don’t know our history. Thaipusam for them is just to be glamorous, dancing, etc. Let’s bring some awareness among the youth and the upcoming generation,” he said.
Thaipusam Task Force coordinator G Gunaraj said it "will not condone such behaviour and will reach out to the police and enforcement officers. We will also be working together with local council enforcement officers and the police to monitor on Thaipusam day to see if anyone is carrying aerosol paint. There is a dress code that should be followed and we can only educate people to follow it. We can’t force them and it is not right to do so,” he added.
Image: The Star
Following this group’s actions, authorities have warned the public against any behaviour that can disrupt peace and harmony during religious ceremonies. Federal police Corporate Communications Head ACP Asmawati Ahmad told Free Malaysia Today
the post could be considered a crime, punishable under Section 507 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation, or Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for improper use of network facilities or network services.