Out-of-towners enjoy themselves at CM’s open house


GEORGE TOWN: Nur Zahirah Abdul Ghani Lee never misses the Chinese New Year open house hosted by the Penang Chief Minister and willingly braves the traffic from Nibong Tebal on the Penang mainland every year.

The 26-year-old warehouse administrator, who is half-Chinese, said the celebration this year was extra special because she got to see Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the event.

“I cannot remember the last time I skipped the open house. Driving over was not too bad this time as there was not much traffic. It took us about an hour to get here, but it was worth it,” she said.

All smiles: (From left) Soon, Angela and Nur Zahirah at Chow’s Chinese New Year open house at Spice Arena in Bayan Baru, Penang. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The StarAll smiles: (From left) Soon, Angela and Nur Zahirah at Chow’s Chinese New Year open house at Spice Arena in Bayan Baru, Penang. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

Nur Zahirah said she and her family would always make it a point to drive over from their home in Nibong Tebal to enjoy the open house and festivities.

“My father is Chinese so we do celebrate the festival. I usually come over with my grandparents but this time, I am here with my parents.

“I look forward to the food and performances every year and they did not disappoint.

“As someone born of a mixed culture, it is nice to see everyone coming together to celebrate the festive season,” she said when met during Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow’s Chinese New Year open house at Setia Spice Arena in Bayan Lepas yesterday.

Student Angela James, 23, who is from Johor, said she was here on holiday with her family and found out about the open house on social media.

“We saw a post about it and decided to attend as we have not experienced something like this.

“I had an excellent time and it was wonderful to see such a multiracial event. The performances were incredible and the food was really good too,” she said.

Soon Zi Yun, 28, from Negri Sembilan said she attends the open house every year.

The animator said she comes to Penang to visit her relatives and takes the opportunity to attend the open house.

“I enjoyed the Chinese orchestra performance this time, it was special and something I have not witnessed before,” she said.

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