Hindus have commended Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for joining in Hindu Thaipusam celebrations at Batu Caves Hindu shrine near Kuala Lumpur on February three.

Welcoming this visit, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, termed it as a “step in the right direction”. It sent the signals of inclusiveness and harmony in the Malaysian society.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Najib to do more for the minority ethnic Indian community of Malaysia so that they did not feel left out in south-east Asia’s most vibrant economies and had their share in the fruits of its decades of industrial growth. Hindus had contributed significantly to the building and development of Malaysia, Zed added.

Rajan Zed stressed the urgent need of empowering the Hindu community through various means; including creating helpful business environment for them, better equipping the entrepreneurs, providing more seats in higher-education institutions, etc.

Zed also welcomed Najib’s reported calls in the past of inter-religious dialogue. Dialogue would bring us mutual enrichment, Zed pointed out.

Rajan Zed stated that all religions should work together for a just and peaceful world. Religion was a powerful and complex component of human life so we must take it seriously. A more inclusive and broader understanding of religion was needed, Zed stressed.

Zed urged Najib to organize and preside over an annual dialogue session in capital Kuala Lumpur with leaders of all the existing religions in Malaysia and formulate a strategy of strengthening cohesiveness and unity among various communities in a diverse Malaysia.

Dressed in traditional Indian kurta, Najib was accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor during this visit to the shrine, where they reportedly spent about an hour witnessing the 125th Thaipusam celebrations attended by an estimated 1.6 million people.