Category: Tourism News

Multicultural the official way to go

By CHONG CHEE SEONG

Johor government to make all cultures components of state’s heritage.

Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (fifth from left) officiating the event at Jalan Bentayan in Muar.

THE Johor government has formulated a policy to develop the cultures of all races and accept them as part of the state’s heritage.

Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the state government placed great importance on the cultures of all races.

He said currently, the zapin dance and the gasing game have been accepted.

Ghani said he had toured many countries and found that the tango and samba is part of the national heritage of certain countries.

“Johor’s zapin is as good as the tango and samba, and it would go down well with the people as part of the state’s heritage.

“I am also proud that Muar’s Chinese community has come up with the lion dance to enrich Johor’s cultural heritage,” he said after declaring open the lion dance replica at Jalan Bentayan in Muar recently.

The Menteri Besar said he was informed that the Muar lion dance troupe, trained by the Kun Seng Keng Lion Dance Association, had to date won 41 world championship titles.

He said the association had also trained Malay and Indian youths to perform the dance.

Ghani said he was first informed that a lion dance replica would be built in Muar two years ago.

“I supported the idea since Muar is commonly acknowledged as the place where ‘kings of the lion dance’ are birthed.

“With the replica, the first-of-its-kind in the world, Malaysia, and in particular Muar, is poised to draw more tourists,” he said, adding that most towns in the country had lion dance troupes, but Muar’s was considered the best in the world.

Ghani also congratulated the Muar Chinese community for building the lion dance replica. He encouraged other races to develop their cultures in order to be accepted as part of the state’s heritage.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently announced that the government had decided to gazette the Johor Baru Chingay procession as a national heritage. Ghani said it would also be included as part of Johor’s heritage.

Later, Ghani allocated RM100,000 towards the construction of the Muar lion dance replica.

Category: Tourism News