Malaysian Chinese usher in Tiger Year
 updatetime:2010-03-28 14:22:05   View:0 Source:
    The recent week has been filled with joy and excitement for more than six million Malaysians...
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The recent week has been filled with joy and excitement for more than six million Malaysians of Chinese descent in Malaysian when they ushered in the Year of the Tiger last Sunday.


Celebrations of the Chinese New Year were seen nationwide. Major streets, shopping malls, hotels, business premises were decorated with red lanterns and tiger sculptures symbolizing the Chinese zodiac of the year.

Of the 28 million population in Malaysia, some six million are of Chinese descent. Although only two days are declared Chinese New Year public holidays in the country, the celebrations may last for a month.

As usual, the headquarters of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur opened its door widely on the first day of Chinese New Year to welcome the public to celebrate the festival together.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, accompanied by his deputy and several other Malaysian ministers, arrived at the MCA headquarters to join the well-wishers last Sunday.

Besides government officials and politicians, leaders of various Chinese associations and guilds in the country were also present at the MCA headquarters.

Meanwhile, various Malaysian Chinese communities and groups also held all kinds of celebrations, inviting Malaysians of all races to share the joy.

The Chinese Assembly Hall of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor State held open house celebration at its historic building located here where delicious food was served to the well-wishers.

The northern Penang State was submerged in a strong Chinese New Year atmosphere as its residents were mainly Malaysian Chinese. A number of programs were in the pipeline until the 15th day of the Chinese New Year.

As 2010 marked the first year of the three-year Visit Penang Campaign, the Penang government has poured in efforts to decorate the state while rolling out various programs to woo tourists to the island.

In the Perak State, Menteri Besar (Chief Executive of the state) Zambry Abdul Kadir organized an open house at his official residence, the first time a non-Chinese Malaysian state leader holding such a function to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Zambry reportedly said that he would hold such celebrations in years to come given the unexpected large turnout at his official residence.

Chinese New Year celebrations in the country saw the lion dance, Chinese orchestra, Chinese cultural dance and many other traditional performances, attracting the eyesights of both locals and foreigners.

Thanks to the Year of the Tiger, a new element -- the tiger dance -- was added to the local culture when an inspired lion dance enthusiast invented the tiger dance last year.

Audience of all races in the country were overwhelmingly excited with the tiger dance as they had never seen it before.

Malaysia is a multi-racial country with Malays, Chinese and Indians constituting the main chunk of its population. Holding open houses to celebrate a festive season has been the norm in the country.

A few established temples located in the Selangor State and Kuala Lumpur, including the Dong Zen Temple and the Thean Hou Temple, are also attraction spots during this festive season where tourists could visit the lantern and flora festival.

In the southern Johor State, many Malaysian Chinese gathered at the century-old temple to pray for a more peaceful and prosperous Year of the Tiger.