The Johor Bahru Hokkien Association Museum, the first of its kind in the country, has been set up to conserve the heritage of previous generations of the community and educate the present one.
After two years in the making, it is now open to the public at no cost for the next three months.
The Johor Bahru Hokkien Association (JBHA) president, Lim Ik Kim, said conservation efforts will one day benefit the younger generation as they try to understand their roots.
Lim welcomes everyone to visit the museum, mainly the non-Chinese, so that they are better able to understand better Hokkien Chinese traditions and festivals.
Lim said that the allocation of RM200,000 received from the Menteri Besar of Johor, Ghani Othman, was highly appreciated. He also encouraged other clan and dialect associations to seek government funding in order to conserve their heritage.
The guest of honour for the opening ceremony was the president of the Federation of Hokkien Associations Malaysia (FHAM), Tay Hock Seng. Tay, in his remarkable speech, praise the JBHA for being the first of 188 Hokkien Associations nationwide to set up such a museum.
Tay also mentioned that the government should treat all vernacular schools equally and provide similar funding for the development of those schools, and not wait until the general election draws near to distribute the allocation.
National history shows that Chinese schools have cultivated talent and contributed greatly to nation-building.
The grand opening ceremony of the museum attracted over 500 guest, mainly Chinese community leaders from over 50 Chinese associations in Johor Bahru.
The JB Hokkien Museum has a full display of stories of the Hokkien who came to Johor Bahru and Malaysia from 1900. They were known for their contribution to the development of Johor Bahru before and after the Second World War. The museum also showcases various Hokkien food, marriage traditions, festivals and the contribution of JBHA towards the Chinese education in Johor Bahru.
The museum is open from Monday To Friday ( 9am to 5pm ) and Saturday ( 9am to 1pm). It is located at the JB Hokkien Association Building, Jalan Yahya Awal, Johor Bahru, (07) 221 1688.