Sluggish times seen until October

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 10 Feb 2009

Flames predict slow economy

GEORGE TOWN: The sluggish economy in the country will only pick up in October, according to the oracle of Tua Pek Kong or the God of Prosperity.

The deity had predicted during the annual Chneah Hoay (flame-watching) ceremony here at the Hai Choo Soo (Sea Pearl) Temple in Tanjung Tokong last night that the country’s economy would be slow for the first nine months of the year.

However, the economy is ex- pected to pick up slightly in October.

The ceremony on the eve of Chap Goh Meh last night was the 119th Chneah Hoay at the temple.

The seafront temple ground was filled with devotees, mostly businessmen, who started coming as early as 10pm to pray and witness the ceremony.

Makeshift hawker stalls were set up along the routes and around the area.

Those who attended the flame-watching ceremony were anxious because of the sluggish global economy.

The deity is believed to be able to predict the country’s economy for the Chinese lunar year, through the flames from some 60 burning joss sticks.

The prediction is based on the height and intensity of the flames, and the speed with which the embers in the deity’s urn flare up.

The embers were fanned in three stages – once each for every four months of the lunar year.

The ceremony, which lasted about 20 minutes, began at 11.45pm to the sounds of clashing cymbals.

Lights, candles and oil lamps were put out to enable the Poh Hock Seah Temple committee members to scrutinise the flames for prediction.

Poh Hock Seah Temple president Datuk Lim Chooi Beng said the embers were burning but it was difficult to get an intense flame.

“This is the worst scenario in the last 30 years. My advice is to spend wisely,” he said, adding that the brightest flame was at 12.03am.

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