KOTA KINABALU: Seventeen lion dance troupes from seven districts received a lion head each yesterday.
The lion heads is being presented to them by the State Government in conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year.
Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang, along with Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah, Liberal Democratic Party deputy president Senator Datuk Chin Su Phin, Likas Community Development Leader (PPM) Chin Shu Ying, Luyang PPM Datuk Agnes Shim and Sabah Dragon, Unicorn and Lion Dance Association Danny Kok handed over the lion heads the dance troupes from the west coast at Wisma Innoprise here.
The 17 lion heads were presented to lion dance troupes from Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Kota Belud, Papar, Membakut, Beaufort and Sipitang.
Teo said the number of lion heads contributed by the State Government has been reduced slightly this year due to the drop in crude oil price in recent months, which has impacted on our State’s revenue.
In spite of that, he said the State Government has never ceased to support Chinese cultural activities, including the lion dance, albeit a slight decrease in the number of lion heads given out this year.
He added that lion dance troupes who have not received lion heads from the State Government last year were given priority this year.
“I hope the lion dance troupes in Sabah will understand.”
Last year, the State Government has contributed around 60 lion heads to lion dance troupes in the State.
The lion dance troupes who received their lions heads yesterday are Persatuan Tarian-Tarian Naga & Singa Lee Kiong Sabah, Jawatankuasa Penduduk Kolombong, Persatuan Tarian Tarian Unicorn Lee, Persatuan Tarian Naga Dan Singa Kwong Ngai Sabah, Kota Kinabalu Hakka Association, Persatuan Penganut Dewa Kuan Tee, Kelab Kebudayaan Sukodwagu Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) Inanam Sabah (KKSWI), Kelab Tarian Naga dan Singa Wan San Long Yi, Kelab Sukan dan Rekreasi Kg Tatahan Kionsom Inanam, Kota Kianbalu, Sabah, Pertubuhan Pendidikan Akhlak Che Sui Khor Kota Kinabalu, Persatuan Pengurusan Tokong Tao Yu Huang, Tuaran, Sabah, Papar Middle School, SJK(C) St Joseph Papar, Jawatankuasa Pengurusan Tokong Chik Sing Leak Sing, Membakut, Sabah, Persatuan Penganut Dewa Thien Fook Kung Beaufort, Sabah, Kuil Hock Teck Kong Sipitang and Persatuan Pengurusan Tokong Cina Kota Belud, Sabah.
The remaining 23 lion heads will be given to lion dance troupes in Sandakan (8), Tawau (3), Lahad Datu (1), Semporna (1), Keningau (2), Tenom (2), Tambunan (1), Kudat (3) and Kota Marudu (2).
“I wish to thank the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman for granting the allocation to support Chinese cultural activities even though the drop in oil prices has affected the State’s revenue.”
On the other hand, Teo hoped that the dragon, unicorn and lion dance troupes in Sabah would actively showcase the unique lion dance culture during the Chinese New Year season.
Nowadays, Teo said many bumiputras were participating in lion dance troupes which he deemed a good sign because this showed that other races were also enjoyed Chinese cultural performances.
Meanwhile, Sabah Dragon, Unicorn and Lion Dance Association Danny Kok expressed his gratitude towards Musa for giving out the lion heads and unicorns annually since 2010.
“We have to salute Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman, the Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang, Senators and elected representatives who are instrumental in ensuring continuous sponsorship of lion heads.”
Kok also took the opportunity to advise lion dance troupes in the State to maintain discipline and order when they were performing during the Chinese New Year.
“We do not want any unforeseen incidents like fighting. This is our Chinese culture, we are promoting 1Malaysia and 1Sabah,” he stressed.
Kok added that leaders of lion dance troupes have to be respectable in order to show other races that we were the model state.
“During Chinese New Year, we have (visiting) friends and relatives from other countries as well, so be disciplined and orderly,” he urged.- Sayangsabah