PUCHONG, Jan 8 — The traditional practices of a festival should not be made into an issue that could disrupt the harmony among the various races in the country, said Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the practice of hanging lanterns as a decoration for the Chinese New Year celebration is a culture and tradition of the Chinese community.
“The hanging of lanterns is just a customary practice. So, do not make it into an issue that could upset the harmony. We shared many similarities.
“Ever since our independence day, (the hanging of) lanterns has never been an issue. If it is on the grounds of safety, we can consider it but this has become a tradition, thus there shouldn’t be a problem,” she told a media conference after visiting Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Pusat Bandar Puchong 1, Pusat Bandar Puchong here today.
Dr Wan Azizah was joined by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religion) Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof as well as Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.
Commenting further, Dr Wan Azizah said the presence of other cabinet ministers at the school demonstrated the spirit of harmony and unity among them.
She said the Cabinet had, unanimously, wanted Malaysians to preserve the harmony of the nation.
Yesterday, a news portal reported that Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) threatened to report the school on an allegation that its Chinese New Year decorations were religious in nature.