IT WAS a memorable night for some 3,000 people who were entertained by local Hokkien gospel singer and songwriter Pastor Lim Gee Tiong during the Penang MCA Chinese New Year celebration held at the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA).
Many were seen snapping their fingers and tapping their feet as Lim belted out some lively tunes during the event titled ‘Arise and Shine for 1Malaysia’ on Monday.
Lim, from Sarawak, impressed the crowd with his versatility in rendering songs in several languages and the Hokkien dialect.
Entertaining: Lim serenading the audience at the state MCA Chinese New Year celebration held at the Penang International Sports Arena on Monday night.
The crowd responded with thunderous applause each time he finished belting out a number and at times, he had the crowd in stitches with his jokes and antics.
The audience were also treated to multi-cultural performances by the participating churches.
The Murut dance from Sabah was an eye-opener as many had never seen it performed before.
Present were MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Social Care Foundation chairman Tan Sri Robert Phang Miow Sin and state MCA Wanita chief Tan Cheng Liang.
Other dignitaries who attended the event included Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong, Deputy Information, Com-munication and Culture Minister Heng Seai Kie, MCA central committee member Datuk Seri Tan Chai Ho and The Star’s group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.
Ong, in his speech, said he hoped the coming Easter would become another occasion for the Christians in the country to converge under one roof to celebrate the festival.
Appreciated: Ong (centre) receiving a souvenir from northern region director of Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship Edmund Chan (right) during the state MCA New Year celebration dinner on Monday. With them is Tan.
He later told reporters that the MCA had a fruitful dialogue session with the Christian community leaders before Chinese New Year.
“We discussed a wide range of issues and concerns raised by the community.
“We believe that through proactive engagement with the religious communities, we can tear down barriers that stand in the way of the 1Malaysia concept.
“That was the reason we reached out to the religious communities,” he said, adding that the MCA’s Presidential Council had endorsed the formation of the 1Malaysia Community Alliance Non-Governmental Organisations Consultative Coun-cil,” he said.
The event, jointly organised by MCA, Full Gospel Business-men’s Fellowship and the participating churches, also aimed to share the message of love, unity and peace.
Residents of orphanages, drug rehabilitation homes and centres for the disabled were also invited to the event.