Gerakan vice-president A. Kohilan Pillay slammed those who created an issue out of nothing regarding the lion dance performance at Gerakan’s Chinese New Year open house celebration last Saturday.
He described the act as a grave offence to Prime Minister Najib Razak, and to the Chinese community.
In a statement today, he said the spin made on the short video allegedly showing the lion refusing to dance in front of the PM, was a childish political attack and also an ignorant disrespect of Chinese customs as well as traditions.
Kohilan explained that it was a tradition for the lion to peel a pomelo and some mandarin oranges as part of the dance performance.
He said the lion was bowed down to the ground to peel the fruits, known as ‘ching’, which symbolises luck in Chinese.
“Apart from skillful acrobatic dance, the awakening of the lion, looking for the ‘ching’, discovering the ‘ching’ and presenting it to the VIP guest in attendance, which in this case was the PM, was one of the highlights and culmination of the lion dance.
“It was childish and irresponsible for opposition to politicise the lion dance just to attack our PM. They simply failed to respect the Chinese traditional lion dance as an apolitical performance and took it in bad faith,” said Kohilan.
Kohilan reiterated that there was no need for the opposition to politicise everything.
The Gerakan veep pointed out that these irresponsible actions were damaging the political standards of this country and could create dangerous and unnecessary politicking or conflict.
He called on members of the public to jointly denounce the opposition’s actions and defend the socio-political norms and values in the society.
On Sunday, a pro-Mahathir Mohamad political blog OutSyed The Box shared the video which was originally uploaded on KiniTV.
While the original video did not highlight the lion dance, the blog zoomed in on the clip which was part of the video, showing the lion bowed down to the ground in front of the PM and his wife Rosmah Mansor.
OutSyed The Box gave his blog post the headline: ‘Gerakan lion refuses to dance for MO1’ and included in the narrative, a speculation, that it looks like the lion was protesting.
Malaysia Outlook yesterday spoke to Ivanpal Singh Grewar who said there was a simple explanation to the whole thing, and it wasn’t a protest.
The political secretary to Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong said the lion was bowed down to the ground because it was peeling a special fruit after having performed the dance in front of the VIP guests.