KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — Malaysians displayed a remarkable spirit of togetherness as they joined in the festivities at various ‘open house’ events to mark Chinese New Year (CNY) today.
The gatherings saw ordinary Malaysians mingling with national and state political leaders as well as members of the business community and other groups, with the traditional tossing of the ‘yee sang’ salad symbolising good luck, prosperity and all things auspicious, drawing much attention of those present.
In the nation’s capital, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was the guest-of-honour at the CNY do hosted by the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) at its premises in Jalan Maharajalela that was decked out in red symbolising good luck and happiness.
She was welcomed by KLSCAH president Datuk Ong Seng Khek as well as an energetic lion dance performance, and later took part in the tossing of yee sang with other guests.
Also present were Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok as well as Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and Deputy Minister Liew Chin Tong.
In Penang, about 5,000 people joined Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng at the Chinese New Year ‘open house’ organised by the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce at the Penang International Convention Centre (SPICE) in Bayan Baru.
Penang Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas also attended the ‘open house’, along with Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya and Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang as well as state leaders.
Students of Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan © Heng Ee played music, sang and danced. The dignitaries also participated in the traditional tossing of the ‘yee sang’ salad.
In Johor, Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian attended a Chinese New Year open house organised by the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Federation at Wisma Tiong Hua in Johor Baru. Federation president Datuk Seri Tey Kim Chai was also present.
Osman urged all quarters to empower every segment of society regardless of race and beliefs.
“I request that the diversity of religion, customs and culture of the people should not be regarded as barriers and issues that can lead to difficulties and differences,” he said.
Osman also announced an allocation of RM100,000 from the state government to the Johor Bahru Tiong Hua Federation to carry out various activities.
Besides hosting ‘open house’, the Chinese community also visited temples as part of its Chinese New Year rituals and customs.
Bernama found that the Kuan Yin Temple in Klang, Selangor, had a steady stream of worshippers from as early as 8am.
The same was true in the case of the Then Sze Koon Temple in Jalan Bukit Temiang in Seremban, Negri Sembilan, with worshippers turning up as early as 7.30 am.
Negri Sembilan will host the national-level Chinese New Year Open House 2019 at Dataran Centrio in Seremban 2 on February 17.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to attend the event. — Bernama