Rift between Penang Chinese Clan Council and DAP govt means no annual festival

GEORGE TOWN: It is beginning to look like the relationship between the Penang Chinese Clan Council and the DAP-led state government has reached a point of no return, as the latter has revealed that it has no plans to hold the annual Chinese Cultural and Festival New Year celebrations in the next 60 days.

The event has been an annual feature for the Chinese community for the last seven years, but since last year, the relationship between the council and the state has been frosty, in part due to the delay in the handing over of a clan house at Love Lane.

Now Tanjong MP Ng Wei Aik, who is the state liaison officer for the council, told journalists here that the state has no plans to engage them to hold the event, because its chairman, Anthony Chang has his own interests.

"We do not want to get involved in organising it because the council cannot seem to agree on the dates. Furthermore, there are some political and personal agenda."

Ng accused Chang of harbouring an agenda in distancing the council from co-organising the event – something which both of them (state and council) have done in the past few years.

Furthermore, Ng said he was made to understand that the council plans to "punish" any organisation under its umbrella who break ranks and plan to organise such an event.

Earlier, one of the past organisers had reportedly offered to mediate for both sides so that the event could proceed, except the dates must be changed from Feb 18 to Feb 25, next year.

"It is a Chinese heritage and community event, yet some quarters decided to politicise it. We are disappointed," said Ng after officiating the Malaysia Book of Records event at Beach Road here.

The event saw the event organiser – TLM Event Sdn Bhd securing the most number of participants and books exchanged between 7am and noon.

Altogether 1,982 participants exchanged a total of 2,653 books during the period, and it made it into the national book of records.

Chang could not be reached for comment.