JOHOR BARU: The turnout for the MCA’s 54th birthday bash, themed “Unite for Dignity,” was a pleasant surprise as the number doubled to over 12,000 – filling up the entire MPJB indoor stadium in Jalan Tebrau here.
Perhaps the song with the lyrics “Cai shen dai lai hao yu zhao ... Ta shuo jin nian cai yuan hao (The God of Prosperity brings good news ... He says this is a lucky and prosperous year)” which kicked off the cultural performances best summed up the wish of the party’s more than one million members.
The crowd was orderly throughout the three-hour long celebration despite the shortage of food packets (rice and dishes) and souvenirs for those present.
Coming from all over the country, they arrived by the busloads.
The floor was quiet and attentive when president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik and secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Ting Chew Peh delivered their speeches – besides the occasional applause to show their strong support for the messages conveyed by both leaders.
“The mood is a resounding voice for peace and unity in the party. Let’s all get down to work,” said Dr Ling.
The crowd yesterday was about six times the usual 2,000 to 3,000 at previous celebrations.
Those present included deputy president Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek, vice-presidents Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and Datuk Chan Kong Choy and Wanita chairman Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.
Among those absent were vice-president Datuk Chua Jui Meng and MCA Youth chairman Datuk Ong Tee Keat.
Besides the traditional programmes for every anniversary celebration – inspection of the guard of honour by the president, raising of the party flag and singing of the party song – there were also very interesting cultural performances to thrill the crowd.
They included the acrobatic performance by two seven-year-old girls from Shanghai, Kao Man-Na and Kan Xiao-Han, together with another acrobat Li Xiao-Ni and the dance troupe from the Yayasan Warisan Johor.
Johor MCA proved to be a gracious host with many of its members giving up their food packets and souvenirs for their comrades from other states who had turned up at the last minute, said organising committee chairman Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek.
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