T-shirts to spread Chingay cheer despite cancellation

Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Association president Ho Sow Tong (third from right) and representatives of the five dialect clan associations holding up the different Chingay T-shirt designs that are on sale.

THe annual Chingay celebration in Johor Baru has been called off this year due to Covid-19, but devotees can still buy T-shirts to commemorate the occasion and raise funds for Foon Yew High School Seri Alam branch.

Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Association deputy president Datuk Kelvin Lee said as in previous years, the association and the five dialect clans of Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese and Hainan have each produced a T-shirt design in conjunction with Chingay.

He said 1,000 limited-edition sets of six T-shirts are available at RM200.

“Proceeds from the sales will go towards Foon Yew High School Seri Alam’s construction fund, which still needs RM30mil.

“The school started classes in January this year after the construction was completed last year at an overall cost of RM83mil.

“We hope to contribute RM200,000 from T-shirt sales to the school, ” Lee said during an interview.

The decision to cancel the state’s iconic Chingay procession, which would have been its 151th, came after extended

discussions between the Johor Ancient Temple and the five dialect clan associations involved in the event.

Lee said the cancellation of the century-old procession from the 18th to 22nd day of the Lunar New Year should not dampen the spirit of the occasion.

He urged celebrants to wear the T-shirts as a show of support towards the temple’s efforts to obtain Unesco World Heritage status for Chingay.

The Chingay procession has previously drawn crowds of up to 400,000.

It was recognised as a National Cultural Heritage in 2012.

The T-shirts and other Chingay merchandise can be purchased via www.johorancienttemple.com

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