Ipoh, Apr 5 (ANI): To reduce the number of Hindu priests coming from India, the Malaysian Government is toying with the idea of setting up an academy to train and accredit priests in the country.
Human Resources Minister Dr S. Subramaniam said the Government had been toying with the idea of setting up such an academy for more than 15 years.
"At present, there are people practising locally as temple priests with various types of training which are very confusing. With the setting up of an academy, there will be a national body to recognise and accredit the priests," he said on Sunday.
He said at present, there were 350 priests from India serving at various local Hindu temples in the country, The Star reports.
"But there is a need for thousands of priests," Dr Subramaniam said, admitting that the local Hindu community might take some time to get used to the idea of having locally trained priests.
Dr Subramaniam said the Hindu Priests Association would be in charge of the syllabus, which had been drawn up after consultation with leading institutions in India.
He said under the syllabus, it would take five years to become a full-fledged priest.
"There are five grading, allowing those at each level to perform different functions," he said, adding that, for example, those who passed Grade One could perform the worship ritual puja while those with Grade Five could consecrate new temples. (ANI)