MELAKA: Two best friends joined thousands of devotees on a 15km walk during the Chay Tien Foo Temple's procession here to promote the event as part of faith-based tourism for the state.
Andy Fong and Kent Tan, both lawyers, are among the temple's young committee and are promoting one of the state's largest religious gatherings as a tourism product.
When interviewed, Fong said Tan and he were schoolmates and went to the same university to pursue a law degree before jointly setting up a legal firm here.
"Probably, fate has brought us together to promote this temple, which had existed in this city for more than 80 years, as part of the religious tourism package for the state," he said on Sunday (Sept 24).
Fong and Tan, both 30 years old, are legal advisers to the Jalan Laksamana Cheng Ho temple dedicated to the Monkey God- Sun Wukong.
Fong said the temple has the potential to be part of faith-based tourism due to its long history.
"The temple committee members are also mostly youths and have ideas to lure tourists," he said.
Fong said his 26-year-old brother Alfred Fong was also part of the temple committee and was instrumental in organising the procession.
The procession on Saturday (Sept 23) saw some 2,500 devotees on the walk along the streets of the city, passing by popular tourist landmarks in Bandar Hilir.
The procession was celebrated with great vibrancy and colour.
Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong and other state leaders joined the procession.
On Sept 20, The Star reported that Melaka tourism, heritage, art and culture committee chairman Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul Rahman wants to turn major religious activities of all communities into faith-based tourism.
He said that the religious travel sub-sector aims to provide valuable and meaningful tourism experiences by showcasing Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists and Sikhs in the state.