THE success of last month’s Chingay procession in Johor Baru has breathed new life into the Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Association’s efforts to seek Unesco World Heritage status for the annual event.
Association president Ho Sow Tong said they met with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing about submitting an application to Unesco through official channels.
“The minister reacted positively to our request and said he would bring the matter to Putrajaya.
“We hope it can be done as soon as possible to bring the event to greater heights,” he said.
Ho added that the Chingay procession was an iconic event for the people of Johor.
It drew more than 300,000 local and international spectators and participants when it returned in February following three years of scaled down celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is also considered a significant event for the Chinese community as a way of marking the end of the Lunar New Year celebration.
The Johor Baru Chingay procession was accorded national heritage status by the government in 2012.
This led the Johor Ancient Temple, under the association, to submit a request for World Heritage recognition.
Meanwhile, the temple’s secretary Lee Poo Sin said the success of the recent Chingay procession, which was attended by Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, showcased the event’s world-class potential.
“Even after a gap of three years, we still managed to pull off the large-scale festivities without prior rehearsal.
“The temple committee set strict rules to ensure the Chingay procession ran smoothly and we are thankful to the government agencies for their cooperation.
“The fact that we can hold such an event in our multicultural country is quite a feat and should be cherished by all,” he added.