Regent of Johor to grace century-old Johor Ancient Temple Chingay procession

JOHOR BARU: The Regent of Johor is expected to grace the century-old Johor Ancient Temple Chingay procession on Friday evening (March 1).

Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Association president Ho Sow Tong said that Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim is expected to be seated at the Gong Ying main stage - a purpose-built platform at Jalan Wong Ah Fook (in front of Komtar JBCC) - for the best view of the event.

“We were honoured when we heard that the Regent will be attending the significant event that marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations for the Chinese community in Johor.

“Besides Tunku Ismail, who is also Johor Crown Prince, Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and state health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon are also slated to attend the event,” he told The Star.

Ho said the coordinating agency, Tourism Johor, called for a meeting to finalise the event details on Feb 26 and added that the meeting was also attended by Tunku Ismail’s personal aide.

“During the meeting, we briefed his personal aide about the event’s itinerary and the performances that can be expected. I am sure the devotees and spectators are also excited to catch a glimpse of the Regent,” he said.

He added that Tunku Ismail’s father, His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, had also attended the Chingay procession four times before he became the 17th King of Malaysia.

“Tuanku graced the Chingay procession - the climatic event of a five-day festival - in 2016, 2017, 2018 and once when he was the Tunku Mahkota Johor in 2006,” Ho stated.

He said that the Sultan usually stayed for about an hour to enjoy the show and even showed his signature “love” symbol with his hands as the procession passed by.

Ho said the procession, a mix of cultural performances, devotees on foot and colourful floats, would kick off at the Xin Gong temple in Jalan Ulu Ayer Molek at around 7pm.

The procession would move along an 8km route in Johor Baru, where the five deities, each from the main dialect clans of Hokkien, Cantonese, Hainan, Hakka and Teochew, are brought for an annual “tour” to bless the city and its people.

The Chinese community in Johor Baru celebrates the Chingay Festival from the 19th to the 22nd day of the Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb 27 until March 2 this year.

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