MEMBER of PAS non-Muslim Supporters Wing (DHPP) Steven Koh Tien Yew has chosen to celebrate the forthcoming Chinese New Year (CNY) in moderation to demonstrate solidarity with the plight of Palestinians who face suffering and devastation following a slew of Israeli attacks since Oct 7 last year.
“I decided to simply complete the custom on the first day of the lunar new year celebration while remaining in solidarity with the Palestinians on a humanitarian basis,” the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Jawi state assembly candidate during last August’s six states election was quoted by HarakahDaily as saying.
Koh who also stood as a Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate for the Bukit Mertajam parliament constituency during the 15th General Election (GE15) in November 2022 further reminded the Chinese community in Malaysia to look after of their safety and health to celebrate the festival alongside fellow Malaysians.
“Don’t forget those in need, be moderate in welcoming the new year and don’t forget to take care of your safety so that nothing untoward happens,” he noted.
CNY will be celebrated on Feb 10 (Saturday) and 11 (Sunday) by people of Chinese origin all over the world to mark the birth of a new year in the lunar calendar.
According to the belief of the community, this year marks the year of the wood dragon – the fifth animal in the cycle of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac – which will last until Jan 28, 2025.
Koh who is also a community activist said that dragons symbolise power, wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture. Usually on New Year’s Eve, he and his family will gather for a big meal which is intended to strengthen family ties.
“May this Year of the Dragon bring blessings, health, profit and mutual prosperity,” added Koh who only polled 14,037 votes against his namesake Steven Sim Chee Keong (now Human Resources Minister) who polled 71,722 votes during the GE15’s Bukit Mertajam parliamentary seat contest. – Feb 6, 2024