Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
BRIGHT lanterns have added an air of festivity at the Esplanade and other parts of George Town in Penang after the launching of the lighting of the Chinese New Year street lanterns was held on Feb 9.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng thanked sponsors Eastern & Oriental Berhad for contributing RM200,000 for the hanging of the red lanterns in George Town and also Nikaco for contributing 8,000 lanterns.
Also present at the ceremony in Esplanade were E&O Berhad Group hospitality and lifestyle director Micheal Saxton and Nikaco managing director Datuk Chin Poh Chye, Tanjung MP Ng Wei Aik and Komtar assemblymember Teh Lai Heng.
“I also want to thank everyone who has made this effort possible. This is a city that celebrates diversity, a multicultural pot where all the different races and different faiths can live together in harmony,” said Lim.
“And what Micheal Saxton said about Penang is very exciting because we have a lot of art and cultural happenings. They are something that we have been supporting and promoting over the last 10 years.
“Penang has emerged from nothing to becoming one of the centres, if not the centre, of art and culture in Malaysia. And of course our wall paintings. This is not just testimony only of local talents but also foreign talents who are interested in coming here.”
Lanterns were seen strung over several streets like Cannon Street, Armenian Street, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, King Street, Church Street, Bishop Street, Light Street, Beach Street and Weld Quay.
Lanterns were also hung on a 4.7m-high structure at the Esplanade, thanks to the sponsorship of E&O.
Earlier, Saxton said E&O is very proud of Penang, of its nonstop activities, of its culture and the arts.
“When you walk in George Town today, it is much different than it was before. There are so many happenings, so many restaurants, cafes, museums … something to do.
“You can have something new to do in George Town each day. So, it’s a very exciting place to live. I’ve been here 14 years and I hope I’m here another 14.
“So, again E&O is very proud to be involved in the lanterns’ ceremony. We love it and we are very happy to be here.”