KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians from all walks of life attended MCA’s Chinese New Year Open House in a joyful display of harmony.
Hosting its Chinese New Year open house for the first time as a member of the opposition did not dampen the party’s celebration.
A crowd comprising party members and supporters along with other Malaysians and foreigners gathered at the party headquarters on Tuesday morning to join MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and other party leaders at the event.
“It doesn’t matter if we are holding it as the opposition or as a ruling party in the government.
“It’s a festive season that we celebrate together with other Malaysians,” Dr Wee said.
Among the politicians who attended included Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, MIC president Tan Sri S. A. Vigneswaran and leaders from Gerakan.
Tents set up outside Wisma MCA offered the public a chance to take part in traditional games such as Batu Seremban.
The crowd were also treated to a lion dance, songs and cultural performances.
Foreign students, tourists and diplomats who attended the event were impressed by the festive cheer and harmony on display.
Somalian national Abdisamad Abdullah, who has been living in Gombak for a year, was amazed at how merry the open house was, with people of all races mingling with each other over food and festive-themed games.
“I feel so happy to be here. I see so many people from different cultures and backgrounds here and I really appreciate it,” said the Masters student.
Married expatriate couple Chris Harrison, 28, and Eve Harrison, 30 both from the United Kingdom, wanted to do something different to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
“My wife and I have lived here for about a year. We didn’t want to do touristy stuff for Chinese New Year and a colleague suggested we check out the MCA open house.
“This is our first time coming to any Malaysian open house ever. I think it’s a really nice idea. London has more diversity but Malaysia does it better,” said Harrison, an accountant.
They also brought their friend Sebastian Hirsz, 28, who was visiting from the United Kingdom.
Hirsz, a technologist, said the event reminded him of the New Year’s celebration back home as there were people of diverse backgrounds celebrating with each other.
Housewife Listiana Jumari, 42, looked forward every year to when Wisma MCA would open its doors to the public for the annual gathering.
This year, she took her son Muhammad Haziq Muhammad Hairi, seven, and her neighbour only known as Ema, 46, who is also a housewife.
“I’m here every year because the atmosphere is always so lively and it makes me very happy. We just want to enjoy and this is the place to be,” said Listiana, who lives in Ampang.
Ema, who brought her two kids Nur Ain Khairuddin, five, and Marisa Khairuddin, six, wanted her young ones to mingle with those of different race and religion.
“Besides it being a happy occasion, we can also expose them to tolerance and unity among races,” she said.
Dr Wee later attended the Chinese New Year open house hosted by the Kuala Lumpur And Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).
He was joined by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
The four joined the KLSCAH committee members to toss the yee sang, in hopes for a prosperous Year of the Pig.