JOHOR BARU: The stage is set for Johor to host some 300,000 people, including the royalty and Cabinet ministers of Malaysia and Singapore, at the national Chinese New Year open house in Danga Bay on Jan 24.
Heading the list of VIPs would be the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid, Sultan of Johor Sultan Iskandar ibni Sultan Ibrahim and Sultanah of Johor Sultanah Zanariah Tengku Ahmad.
The gathering, known as Kongsi Raya, would also see the attendance of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and other ministers.
Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong is expected to lead his Cabinet, including Deputy Prime Minister Brig-Gen Lee Hsien Loong, to the gathering.
Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said the gathering would allow Malaysians and Singaporeans of all races and religions to celebrate Chinese New Year together.
We welcome Singaporeans to join us in this joyous occasion.
I hope everyone, especially the Chinese community who are celebrating the festival, will come and join the crowd. This is certainly the case of the more, the merrier, he told reporters after being briefed on the preparation for the event yesterday.
Kadir said that even though the event would be held at night, activities such as stunt shows, water activities and cooking sessions would be organised from Jan 23.
He said an attempt would be made to set a Malaysian record for the largest yee sang and some 250 tour guides and representatives of 22 TV stations would be covering the event.
State Tourism and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek urged people to come early to enjoy the activities.
He said the public should avoid driving there and instead take the free shuttle service from various pick-up points, including major hotels in the city.
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