BINTULU: The presence of thousands of people from all walks of life at the opening of Bintulu Tanglung Carnival 2018 at Naim Bintulu Paragon Street mall on Saturday evening is a testament of strong unity among Sarawakians.
In stating this, Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip hailed the carnival as a good avenue to foster greater understanding and unity among all races.
“Regardless of race and religion we are here participating in peace and this is a sign of the harmony in Sarawak,” the Jepak assemblyman said in his address at the opening of the carnival, representing Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Also present were Assistant Minister of Native Laws and Customs and Kakus assemblyman Datuk John Sikie Tayai, Bintulu Resident Jack Aman Luat, Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) general manager Rodziah Morshidi, Sarawak Federation of Registered Chinese Associations (Forca) president Hii Teck Yun, Forca Bintulu president Hii Toh Him and organising chairman Chin Chee Fui. However, Talib cautioned the people to be more careful with outsiders who might bring more harm than good to the unity of the locals.
“There are people outside Sarawak who want us to be divided. They don’t know our culture, so they are campaigning on racial issues.
“Do you want to support them or carry on our tradition of harmony, the choice is ours, we choose the way we live,” said Talib.
He stressed that what Bintulu achieved so far had been significantly contributed by the way locals lived in peace and harmony.
“We speak in harmony, the implication is important. If there is no harmony in Bintulu we would not have the big functions.
“We have big LNG plant, with our local CEO (chief executive officer Pau Kiew Huai), it doesn’t matter where you come from or of what race, if you are good you go to the top,” he added.
Talib said all races in Sarawak are represented in the corporate field and administration.
“We must live together in peace, we choose the best for ourselves, now we have to pass the baton to young people, it is a challenge, with our young people to lead in harmony,” he added.
Hii Teck Yun congratulated Forca Bintulu for successfully organising the carnival and was happy to see people of all walks of life attending and participating in the various activities throughout the five-day event.
Meanwhile, Chin said Forca Bintulu first organised the Bintulu Tanglung Festival in 2010 and was eventually renamed as Bintulu Tanglung Carnival.
He said each year the event is organised by Forca in collaboration with Bintulu Resident’s Office and Bintulu Development Authority to celebrate the season of Mid-Autumn as practised by the Chinese community since thousand years ago.
“This event has been part of our Bintulu Calendar. The date of this Mid-Autumn is the 15th of August of the Lunar Calendar when we see the biggest and brightest full moon in the sky.
“There were many stories and tales about Mid-Autumn in the Chinese records, but the most significant way of celebrating this culture is the making and eating of moon-cake during the festival,” said Chin.
He added the Chinese also call this day as the Eastern Valentine Day as many youngsters will take this very romantic day to get to know each other and eventually go for a date.
Many programmes have been lined up for this event; namely food fair, stage shows, lion dance competitions, Maju Sarawak Run, tanglung harmony ride, children talent competition, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese chess, Halal moon-cake DIY, lantern making competition, tea party and others.
“We are expecting thousands of visitors to visit to this five-day carnival from September 13 till 17, with a firework to mark the ending of the carnival,” Chin said.