GEORGE TOWN: The founder of Penang CNY Celebrations or Miao Hui (temple festival) has come forward to show his support for the event.
Datuk Seri Stephen Yeap Leong Huat, who initiated the inaugural one in 1999, which was called Penang CNY Street Party then, said the celebration is important for preserving the heritage and history of the Chinese here.
“We started in a humble way with only four clan houses and associations taking part.
“It was a biannual event and it became an annual affair since 2005. Penang Chinese Clan Council (PCCC) never missed a single year.
“The participating organisations increased over the years and the scale became bigger. Miao Hui became an event for us to pass on our heritage and culture to the younger generation,” said Yeap, who is the founder and former chairman of PCCC, in a press conference at Khoo Kongsi yesterday.
He was among the representatives from 16 organisations who called for the press conference to express support for Penang CNY Celebrations 2018 and its coordinator Kwoh Shoo Chen.
Yeap, who is now PCCC executive adviser, said he disagreed with PCCC’s decision not to organise the event this year.
“After serious consideration, I feel I have to support the event and it has to be continued no matter how.
“Although I will not be in Penang when it is to be held, I announce that I am in full support of the Miao Hui,” he said.
Yeap urged the public, clan houses and associations to give support and even sponsor the expenses.
“The working committee is looking at collecting RM150,000 and they have only collected RM60,000 so far,” he added.
Kwoh announced that the 16 supporting clan houses and associations will open their premises for the public during celebrations.
“They each will have specially-planned activities featuring their respective traditional food, languages, artworks and histories.
“A total of 316 people have signed up as our volunteers so far and we will also have 180 hawker stalls and 60 exhibition units taking part,” she added.
The celebrations will be held on several streets in the heritage enclave including Lebuh King, Lebuh Bishop, Lebuh Gereja, Lebuh Penang, Lebuh Chulia, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Lebuh Cannon and Lebuh Armenian on Feb 25.