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3,000 lanterns, lion, dragon dances for 2019 CNY bash

22nd November, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: The Chinese New Year celebration next year will be merrier as the biggest lighting company in China has decided to hold the First Sabah International Lantern Festival and Folk Art Festival 2019 at the Prince Philip Park in Tanjung Aru here. Over 3,000 lanterns big and small in sizes featuring the iconic animals of Sabah such as orang utan and pygmy elephant as well as others will be installed for public viewing from Feb 1 to May 10. There will also be dragon and lion dance performances.

“Now tourists and local alike don’t have to travel to Chengdu to see the marvelous lanterns as they are bringing here to celebrate the Chinese New Year together with us.

“The lanterns will be put up from the Prince Philip Park right up to the first beach stretching about 3km,” Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said yesterday at her office in Wisma Tun Fuad here.

She announced the upcoming dual festivals after the organiser, Silk Road International Property Development Group Sdn Bhd executive director-cum-chief operating officer Chen Jian Bo and his members paid her a courtesy call to discuss the event.

“They have also held similar festivals in China and Europe the showcase the lanterns. It will take them about a month to set up the lanterns as they aspire to share the spirit of lanterns with the people in other parts of the world.

“The Folk Art Festival will provide a platform for us to promote cultural exchanges as we gear towards commemorating the 44th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations next year.

“This is part of our efforts to revive the glory days of Prince Philip Park as we are also holding the inaugural Tanjung Aru Beach Festival this weekend,” Liew said.

She said the dual festivals are opened to the public and an entrance fee will be imposed. On the Tanjung Aru Eco Development, Liew said the government is still in the process of reviewing the proposed project done by the previous government.

But what is important we still have the beach for the public to enjoy as we have few upcoming events there, she said.

She also said Sabah have no issue with the dual language road signs in Chinese language and Bahasa Malaysia.

“As for Sabah, it is for the convenient of the tourists especially the individual travellers from China and Taiwan. We have no issue with it. I hope the bi-language road signs will be increased.

“I think the Sabah Government has no problem with that,” Liew said in referring to the Chinese language road signs in Selangor where its Sultan had ordered to be taken down with only the Bahasa Malaysia language.

Meanwhile the dual festivals are organised by Silk Road International in collaboration with the Sabah Tourism Ministry, Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents and Consulate General of China in Kota Kinabalu.

Also present during the courtesy call were Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Wong Hong Jun, STB general manager Suzaini Ghani and Silk Road International (Sabah) vice president Prof Dr Dato’ Wilson Yong.

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