Shining spotlight on Nibong Tebal

Azhar (in blue shirt) trying out Chinese calligraphy, one of the many activities on offer at the two-day festival held to promote the charms of Nibong Tebal. To his right is H’ng.

THE two-day Nibong Tebal Festival, which aimed to bring arts and culture to the town on the Penang mainland, met with overwhelming response.

Jawi assemblyman H’ng Mooi Lye said many festivals had been held in other parts of Seberang Prai including the popular Butterworth Fringe Festival in December.

“Therefore, my service centre in collaboration with Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) decided it was time to hold an arts programme in Nibong Tebal,” he said at the event held in Jalan Pasar Lama on Jan 20-21.

Dikir Barat performance at Nibong Tebal Festival.Dikir Barat performance at Nibong Tebal Festival.

“We hope it can help boost the local economy in line with plans to redevelop Nibong Tebal.”

H’ng, who is also state local government, town and country planning committee chairman, said there were many interesting locations around Nibong Tebal that had not been introduced to the public.

Dramatic fire performance captivating the crowd.Dramatic fire performance captivating the crowd.

“In fact, there were many comments on social media asking where Jalan Pasar Lama or Nibong Tebal is.

“This shows that this area has not reached its full potential, as even Penangites are not familiar with this place.

“I hope more people will get the chance to discover the beauty of Nibong Tebal.”

 Visitors getting a feel for the traditional art of batik. — Photos: Zhafaran NasIb/The Star Visitors getting a feel for the traditional art of batik. — Photos: Zhafaran NasIb/The Star

He added that if the quiet Jalan Pasar Lama lined with old shophouses was livened up with attractions, maybe it would attract more businesses to operate there.

The festival offered more than 30 free programmes in addition to food trucks serving a wide range of delicious food.

Highlights of the festival included performances by international artistes Yoltic Atzin Lopez from Mexico and Alessandra Azzaro from Italy and cultural performances by local groups.

A young boy being shown the secrets of playing with fire. A young boy being shown the secrets of playing with fire.

Visitors also participated in hands-on workshops and traditional games while a Kombi Photo Booth provided extra fun.

Retired civil servant Robert Khoo, 71, from Bandar Tasek Mutiara, Simpang Ampat said he enjoyed his visit.

“I wish more activities can be organised to revive the town.”

Electrician Francis Lim, 63, from Sungai Bakap, thanked organisers for coming up with an idea to brighten up Nibong Tebal.

“They can explore ways to promote other areas of the district too.”

Present at the event was Seberang Prai mayor Datuk Azhar Arshad.

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