THE Covid-19 pandemic and the movement control order will not stop the Meng Eng Soo Open Day 2020 from taking place on July 7.
Held to mark George Town World Heritage City Day each year, the event this time around will be a virtual one.
Event organising chairman Tan Kean Tatt from the Penang Cultural Inheritors Society said the society had been entrusted by Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC) to carry out the event.
He said the organising committee decided to hold the first ever Meng Eng Soo virtual open day with the support of clan leaders.
The open day is held each year in honour of the Ghee Hin Organisation which was among the foremost Chinese societies that helped develop Penang when it was founded in 1786.
“The Meng Eng Soo Open Day 2020 embraces the theme ‘Reminiscing Memories’ as a tribute to our ancestors who travelled south to Nanyang with no possessions, ” said Tan at a press conference.
“Our forefathers sailed across the ocean, worked diligently and settled down to build futures for their families.
“The public can join us in our virtual open day on Meng Eng Soo’s Facebook page live on July 7 from 6pm to 10pm.
“The most exciting online activity planned for the open day is undoubtedly the Meng Eng Soo 360° round tour.
“Those who are interested can enter this ancestral temple which is rich with history.”
Within the temple are the 165 ancestral tablets of founding members, preserved in perfect condition to this day.
Ghee Hin members founded Meng Eng Soo under a legalised organisation in 1890 after the British Government criminalised both Ghee Hin and its rival Hai San society by declaring them secret societies following the Penang Riots in 1867.
PCCC chairman Datuk Yeap Beow Chong said the organising committee would be presenting a series of videos about traditional trades, games and food.
“We hope that the public can appreciate the immense charm and increasing value of our tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
“In order to deepen public understanding of the story behind the three and a half incense sticks and the contributions of Meng Eng Soo in Penang then, the organising committee will be carrying out a drawing contest before the open day.
“The contest is open to Malaysians of all ages for free with the aim to nurture young talents.
“A short video shooting contest will also be held to encourage more people to learn about our heritage.
“Those who are interested to sign up may visit the official Facebook page of Meng Eng Soo at https://www.facebook.com/MengEngSoo, ” he said.
Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng lauded the move to hold a virtual open day.
“I admire the organising committee’s courage, creativity and perseverance in wanting to hold the virtual open day despite the Covid-19 pandemic, ” said Teh.
Also at the press conference were PCCC honorary secretary Lim Choon Hwang, executive secretary Kwok Shoo Chen and event technical lead Tan Yar Loon.
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