JOHOR BARU, Feb 12 ― The 150th Johor Baru Chingay Parade 2020, slated for this Friday evening, has been officially cancelled, organiser Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association announced today.

However, the association said religious events that are traditionally part of the parade will still continue, albeit on a smaller scale.

Its president Ho Sow Tong said the decision to call off the parade was after careful deliberation of the state government’s warning that it would not be able to effectively screen all the visitors for the infectious Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak if the event went ahead.

“We respect the state government’s decision and will cancel this activity despite the procession of the deities being our tradition.


“So for this year, we will do the next best thing after negotiations with the state government where the five deities will be paraded on the back of trucks, while the dragon and lion dances, as well as the parade floats have been cancelled,” said Ho in a broadcast on Facebook today.

The announcement came minutes after the Johor Mentri Besar’s Office urged the organisers to cancel the parade over concerns the coronavirus could spread.

Ho apologised for the 11th-hour cancellation of the parade that has taken place since 1870.


“I am very sorry. Everyone has worked hard to prepare for the parade, especially the floats,” he said, adding that the other religious ceremonies on February 13 and 15 will continue on a smaller scale.

Earlier, the Johor government called on the Johor Baru Chingay Parade 2020 organisers to cancel the annual event scheduled for this Friday to curb the infectious coronavirus from spreading further.

The annual Chingay parade celebrates the five deities representing Johor Baru’s five Chinese clan associations — the Teochew, Hokkien, Hainan, Hakka and Cantonese.

The iconic event has drawn crowds as large as 400,000 people previously and has been recognised by the Malaysia National Cultural Heritage since 2012.