Neighbours celebrate CNY together despite conflicts


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 04 Feb 2003

Compiled by ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN, LAM LI and S.ARULLDAS

CONFLICTS between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore have apparently not marred the people's relationship as thousands of holidaymakers and others traversed between the two countries during the Chinese New Year break, Nanyang Siang Pau reported.  

Nearly 100,000 Singaporeans entered Johor via the causeway between the eve and second day of the Lunar New Year, according to the immigration department. 

The huge influx caused long queues at the 1.2km causeway for days, said the daily, adding that many Singaporeans came with their families, bringing festive gifts and goodies for their friends and relatives. 

As the festive celebration fell on a weekend with replacement holidays on weekdays, schools in the island republic would only re-open today, giving many Singaporeans the opportunity to cross over to holiday in Malaysia.  

Sin Chew Daily quoted Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman as saying interactions between Malaysians and Singaporeans would continue to flourish regardless of disagreements between their governments. 

He also stressed the water issue with Singapore was about pricing and had nothing to do with its sovereignty or independence, adding that Johor would only supply treated water and not raw water to Singapore after year 2061. 

China Press reported that business boomed for black market four-digit outlets during the Chinese New Year as many Chinese banked on numbers betting for a prosperous year ahead. 

While legitimate outlets recorded an estimated 10% increase in business, the black market outlets were said to have attracted at least 20% more customers.  

The advantages of placing bets with black market operators include discounts, as for every RM12 of bets the customers were entitled to a RM2 rebate while the prize money remained the same as that paid by legitimate outlets.  

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