PM, Psy bring cheer to thousands at open house
MEMORABLE FUN: People from all walks of life gathered for state-level festive event
GEORGE TOWN: ACARNIVAL-LIKE atmosphere prevailed at Han Chiang College, here, where thousands converged to celebrate the Barisan Nasional state-level Chinese New Year open house.
People from all walks of life gathered for the festive event that saw Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak conveying well-wishes to all Malaysians celebrating the Lunar New Year.
Najib, attired in a maroon-coloured traditional Chinese outfit, and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrived at the Han Chiang College field at 10.50am.
They were welcomed by a lion dance troupe followed by a Chingay procession.
The grassy field was turned into a sea of colour as the 80,000-strong crowd arrived in busloads, families in tow, to participate in the flurry of activities lined up for the day.
The day started at 9.30am with performances of traditional and phoenix dances.
Asian Wave 2012 winner Shila Amzah then took centrestage as she belted out four songs, beginning with Mandarin number Zheng Fu (Na Ying) and followed by Adele's Set Fire to the Rain.
She then addressed the enthusiastic audience before beckoning them to sing along to her ballad Patah Seribu and another Mandarin hit, Forever Love.
The crowd was already all Psy-ched up by the time the Korean pop sensation made his appearance on stage at 12.15pm, singing his mega hit Oppa Gangnam Style.
Psy's short but sweet rendition of his signature song drove thousands of his fans wild.
The crowd, clearly not having had enough, then chanted for an encore.
Canadian couple Dan and Sharon Spott said this was their first Chinese New Year celebration and they enjoyed the unique experience of celebrating it with people of various religions.
"It was an eye-opener and I was happy to see all different races mingling with one another. It is not what we always see in Canada," said Sharon.
J. Suresh arrived with his family as early as 9am to avoid an expected traffic jam along the way.
"My two children, Gayathri who's 10 and Sutharsan, 9, are huge fans of Psy and they were awestruck watching him perform live," he said.