Drummers perform in front of the stage at the Chingay celebrations in Johor Baru
JOHOR BARU: It was double joy as Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and Johor Tunku Mahkota Tunku Ismail joined hundreds of thousands for the Chingay celebrations here.
The crowd waved the state flag and chanted "Daulat Tuanku" when Sultan Ibrahim and his son arrived at about 9pm for the annual event to mark the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations here Friday.
It was Tunku Ismail's first time appearing for the Chingay parade, just a week after attending Thaipusam celebrations with the people in Masai on Feb 9.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, China’s ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang, Singapore consul-general in Johor Baru Rajpal Singh, Johor Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong and Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Association president Datuk Seri Tey Kim Chai also attended the event.
Sultan Ibrahim, who made history as the first Johor Ruler to attend the parade in the state last year, launched the event by sounding a Chinese festive drum several times for the second consecutive year.
Deities of the five main clans in Johor - Hakka, Teochew, Hokkien, Cantonese and Hainanese - are taken on a 9km tour on foot to bless the city and its people during the parade.
The crowd was also awed by elaborately decorated floats, big head dolls, bearers of huge flags from the five clans, lion and dragon dance performances as well as fireworks throughout the four-hour-long event.
Dimsum.my, Malaysia's latest subscription video-on-demand service, also made its debut at the event with a prosperity-themed float and in line with the Year of Rooster.