Downpour disrupts state-level Chap Goh Meh celebration at Penang’s Esplanade

The initial turn out for the the "Experience Penang: Chap Goh Meh 2023" was encouraging before the weather turned for the worst.

GEORGE TOWN: The 2023 state-level Chap Goh Meh celebration at Esplanade was cancelled midway due to heavy rain on Sunday (Feb 5).

The event’s emcee had initially stopped the event at 8pm to allow the rain to subside but 30 minutes later was forced to announce that the event "Experience Penang: Chap Goh Meh 2023" would be postponed to another date.

"We would like to apologise to all of you that the event will be postponed to another date due to the heavy rain," said the announcer.

Earlier, thousands of local and foreign visitors alike thronged Esplanade from as early as 4.30pm to join in the event that featured local artists such as Vic Teo and Shila Hamzah.

At 6.30pm, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow arrived at Esplanade with Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming and Deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying.

Their arrival was welcomed by a lion dance performance before they were ushered to the Esplanade seawall to throw oranges to signify the Chap Goh Meh celebration.

Among the highlights was a fireworks display scheduled at 11pm.

One of the visitors at the event who only wanted to be known as Yap said he felt a bit disappointed after the event was cancelled.

"It's an act of God, we can’t do anything... hopefully they will organise another event in the distant future," he said.

State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the decision to postpone of the event was made after organisers took into consideration the safety of all who attended the event.

"The bad weather condition prompted us to postpone the event. Safety is our main priority in our decision making," he said.

Yeoh said the heavy rain coupled with strong wind made it too dangerous for the event to be continued.

He added that crowd size during the event was encouraging as the weather was initially fine and they had expected 50,000 to turn up had the event carried on.

Yeoh saif that the state government will hold a meeting soon to decide on what to do next.

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