Wee: Clan associations present SOP for Chingay

Onsite visit: Dr Wee (third from right) and Halimah having a discussion at the Johor Ancient Temple.

PETALING JAYA: Inputs made by clan associations over the annual Chingay festival will be tabled in the upcoming Covid-19 pandemic management quartet committee, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The MCA president said this came following an engagement session attended by National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, Johor Baru Tiong Hua Federation and five Tiong Hua associations based in Johor Baru yesterday.

“They made a presentation on the proposed standard operating procedure (SOP) for the Chingay parade festival by taking into account the current Covid-19 situation.

“Various inputs were tabled on methods to prevent Covid-19 during the festival last year and also an assurance to abide by the SOP during this year’s parade.

“Findings of the discussion will be tabled to the committee,” he in a statement on Facebook yesterday.

On Dec 7, Halimah told the Dewan Rakyat that the government decided to allow the Thaipusam celebration but without the silver chariot procession.

She said the prohibition on processions was also extended to the Chingay flag-bearing procession, which will be held next month.

Dr Wee said during the engagement session, Halimah explained in detail regarding the SOP for Chinese New Year celebrations, which included guidelines for non-Muslim religious activities.

“Those who attended understood the SOP outlined by the government is for the people’s benefit,” he said.

The Transport Minister also said together with Halimah, they visited the Johor Ancient Temple, which hosts the Chingay festival annually.“We were welcomed by Johor Baru Chinese community leaders and the temple’s committee gave a briefing regarding its history and the Chingay celebration.

“We were also informed that the Chingay parade is a normal practice every year that does not cause any nuisance to locals,” he said.

The Chingay festival has been held in Johor annually since 1870 and it falls on Feb 21 this year.

It was one of the main tourism programmes in Johor which attracted thousands of local and foreign tourists from various countries.

The event would take place mainly along Jalan Wong Ah Fook in the city centre.

During the festival, deities worshipped by the five main Johor clans – Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese and Hainan – would be taken on a 7.8km-long tour on foot to bless the city and its people.

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