A total of 500 rice packets of 5 kg each were distributed to senior citizens who showed up at the Ramah Mesra Malam Tanglung mooncake festival celebration at Section 21 SEA Park in Petaling Jaya recently.
It was all smiles for the five hundred elderly folks when they received their rice packets at the SEA Park RT centre. Thanks to the kind people at SEA Park Poh Toh Association, a non-profit organisation, which sponsored the 500 packets of rice worth RM6,500 for the elderly that was the main highlight of the celebration held in conjunction with the Mid Autumn Festival.
More than 2,000 people of all races attended the event and among them were Kampung Tunku state assemblyman Lau Weng San, MCA PJU Community Task Force chairman Dato’ Dr. Wong Sai Hou, National Unity and Integration Department Petaling district officer Shaik Zaiful Nizam Bin Shaik Mansoor and former Damansara Utama state assemblyman Dato’ Lim Choon Kin.
“This is the first time we are giving away free rice packets as goodies in our community events to appreciate senior citizens,” said Cliff Yin, deputy chairman of Section 21 SEA Park Rukun Tetangga (RT) which co-organised the event with Section 21 SEA Park Residents Association (RA).
“We just want to give some festive cheer to the senior citizens of all races aged 60 and above. The crowd turnout is tremendous. In fact, we are overhelmed to see many healthy senior citizens out there with full of zest.
A retiree Lim Chiong, 62, who took a bus here from Kelana Jaya said, “This is a nice surprise (the rice packet) but it is meaningful.”
“We are happy to see families and friends of all races, young and old from different backgrounds coming together to participate in this celebration which is aimed at promoting ties and unity among the various races and also to showcase the Chinese traditions and cultures to the various communities,” added Cliff.
Dato’ Wong who pledged RM3,000 to SEA Park RT said: “I see many young and elderly ones gathering together here today and this is good for strengthening family bonding during the Mid–Autumn Festival.”
Whilst the old folks were happy with their rice, the children excitedly received their colourful lanterns of various shapes. Other goodies distributed were mooncakes and prawn crackers. There were also iced-cool three-layered tea and Sunkist fruit juice drinks sponsored by F&N Dairies.
The activities lined up included a lantern walkabout and performances such as dragon dance, lion dance, line dance, Chinese yo-yo diablo demonstration and karaoke session which kept the mammoth crowd entertained while they enjoyed their meal of fried meehoon and curry chicken.
The colourful lantern walkabout in the town area was led by Dato’ Wong and SEA Park RA chairman Gan Keng. A dragon dance troupe and two lion dance troupes from University of Malaya accompanied hundreds of children, their parents and individuals who carried the brightly coloured paper lanterns.
Among the sponsors were a kind resident Tee Hock Yu who sponsored 3,000 pieces of mooncakes worth RM5,400 and a Datuk Teh who sponsored RM1,000 worth of prawn crackers. As for the fried meehoon and chicken curry, a food stall operator Mohasin Bin Ibrahim came forward to sponsor 40 chickens while traders in SEA Park wet market jointly contributed vegetables, sauce, coconut milk and other ingredients.
The Mid-Autumn Festival or Tung Chiu (also known as Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival) is celebrated by the Chinese on the fifteenth day of the eight month of the Chinese lunar calendar which fell on Monday 12th September this year.
The story goes that during the notorious Mongol rulers of the Yuan dynasty (1271 to 1368) in China, the people suffered and this led to a revolution by Chu Yuan Zhang who successfully overthrown the Mongol rulers.
This was achieved by secretly inserting a note into the mooncake without the knowledge of the Mongol rulers and distributed to the people during the autumn period. The message in the note called on the people to unite and revolt at the same time on the 15th day of the eight moon.