THE IPOH Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association’s 92nd anniversary celebration was a colourful and vibrant display of what its members do best.
With deft moves and high energy, its wushu exponents as well as lion and dragon dancers proved to all present why the Chin Woo name is still highly respected worldwide more than a century since its founding by Huo Yuanjia.
The celebration last Sunday night also witnessed a golden lion and three dragons – one gold, one silver and another fluorescent – come alive in electrifying performance.
In his speech, Chin Woo Athletic Association President Datuk Ooi Foh Sing called on members to continue dedicating their time and energy to its causes.
“Back in the old days when the Ipoh Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association started out, those with money donated. Those who didn’t, contributed their time, energy and expertise. It didn’t matter what clan they were from or their social status, all chipped in to make this association a reality,” he said.
Calling on members to remember this, Ooi said it is important for them to continue working as a team to further the causes of the association, one of which is to carry out charitable deeds.
In 1910, Huo had travelled to Shanghai to take on foreign exponents in highly publicised matches at a time when the Chinese were weak and disunited.
China’s sovereignty was being eroded by colonisation and foreign concessions with the Chinese being looked down on in their own country.
As they watched Huo fight and win the matches, the Chinese began to realise that they, too, were strong people and if they remained united and stayed away from opium, then there was hope in defending the country.
This led to the Chinese taking up martial arts and the birth of Chin Woo.
The Ipoh Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association was set up 14 years later.
Its adviser, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, who was also present, said members must uphold the four virtues of the Chin Woo spirit – patriotism, self-discipline, righteousness and benevolence – in order to stop the erosion of humanity.
Warning that advancements in technology are already leading to a breakdown in social norms and culture, Ong said may well come a time when people could no longer tell right from wrong.
“Crime will be rampant, killings will be common. Unless we do something about it now and unless we do the right thing, matters will become worse,” said Ong, who later donated RM20,000 to the association.
Also present was Federation of Chin Woo Association Malaysia President Oon Peng Lam.