THE Thaipusam celebration is never complete without the thaneer panthals (refreshment stalls) operated by volunteers happily distributing free food and drinks.
Jelutong Barisan Nasional parliamentary coordinator Datuk Baljit Singh handed out more than 1,000 packets of breakfast meals and drinks at his thaneer panthal.
Others in the corporate sector also did their part for the festival.
They included Sunway Hotel Georgetown Penang and Seberang Jaya, and Ivorycares which is the charity arm of Ivory Properties Group Berhad.
Besides food, volunteers from Ivorycares also distributed about 1,800 coconuts to the devotees.
Ivorycares Penang vice-president I Winnie Yeoh said it was their 12th year participating in the procession.
“Our company recognises Thaipusam as a celebration that brings the message of faith, endurance and penance and we are glad to do our part for the festival,” she said.
Consumers Association of Penang education officer N.V. Subbarow said about 50 thaneer panthal operators had agreed to paste signs saying ‘Food is God-Given, Don’t Waste’ at their stalls.
“They have given their full cooperation to ensure that the food given is not wasted,” he said.
Meanwhile, a hotel in George Town has denied that it barred Hindu devotees from its premises.
The hotel said it respects all festivals and also gives priority to the comfort, security and privacy of its guests.