Jade Emperor’s birthday celebration at Chew Jetty cancelled for the second year

THE Thnee Kong Seh (Jade Emperor’s birthday) celebration at Chew Jetty has been cancelled for the second consecutive year.


After much discussion between the state government, Chew Jetty Association and Clan Jetties Village Community Management Council (MPKK), the celebration has been called off this year in view of the Covid-19 situation.


Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi said that the Jade Emperor’s birthday celebration at Chew Jetty was an annual affair and had attracted over 10,000 people in the past.


“We have to cancel the event this year due to the threat of Covid-19. The Omicron variant is said to be spreading more quickly than the other variants.


“We prioritise the safety and security of the residents and the community at large, hence, with a heavy heart, the celebration has to be cancelled,” he told a press conference at Chew Jetty today.


Among those present were Chew Jetty Association chairman Chew Choon Seng, its secretary Chew Beng Hing and Clan Jetties Village Community Management Council chairman Chan Kim Keat.


According to folklore, the Jade Emperor is the deity who rescued the Hokkien ancestors from an invading army in China. It is believed that the Hokkiens from the Fujian province had survived persecution by the Mongols during China’s Song Dynasty by hiding in a sugarcane plantation for nine consecutive days. They came out from hiding on the ninth day of the Lunar New Year, which is also the Jade Emperor’s birthday.


Since then, the Hokkiens have celebrated the Lunar New Year on a grander scale on the ninth day than the first day.


During the celebration in the past, devotees would gather at the grand altar (at the entrance of Chew Jetty) and place offerings such as roasted meat, fruits, huat kuih (prosperity cake), mee koo (red tortoise bun), ang koo (bean paste cake) and rice wine at the altar.


Sugarcane stalks were also tied around the altar and devotees would hold joss sticks and offer their prayers. Visitors would also be entertained by the scintillating lion dance on stilts and amazing fireworks display.


A file pic of the Jade Emperor’s birthday celebration in front of Chew Jetty (courtesy of GTWHI).


On a separate matter, Gooi said that the restoration work of the Chao Yuan Gong temple at Chew Jetty has been completed after two years.


“The restoration work was supposed to complete last year but it was delayed due to the various movement control orders (MCOs) then.


“The total restoration cost was RM2.5 million. We thank Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who is also the Tanjong MP and Padang Kota assemblyman, for the RM200,000 allocation.


“We are also grateful for the RM50,000 allocation from the RIBI (non-Islamic houses of worship) Fund which was used to restore the 117-year-old Chao Yuan Gong temple,” he said.


Gooi (centre), Choon Seng (left) and Beng Hing (right) checking out the newly-restored Chao Yuan Gong temple at Chew Jetty.


Gooi said the temple committee would be holding a religious ceremony on Jan 22 to open the temple.


“The event is by invitation only, and the invitation will be given out by the temple committee.


“The temple will be observing standard operating procedures (SOPs) as required,” he said.



Story by Christopher Tan

Pix by Law Suun Ting