Pelaburan Mara Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Nazim Rahman (centre) and Institut Onn Ja’afar (IOJ) chief executive officer Charles Mohan (3rd from left) mingle with children and guests during the Chinese New Year open house at the Kuala Lumpur Homeless Transit Centre. Pic by MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA

KUALA LUMPUR: The antics of the colourful lion in the lion-dance mesmerised the residents of the Kuala Lumpur Homeless Transit Centre here today as they were treated to the festivities of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The dance was part of the ‘JOM CNY’ event organised by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Institut Onn Ja’afar (IOJ) with the cooperation of Pelaburan Mara Bhd and several other NGOs.

Besides the residents of the centre, the event also included 250 people comprising unfortunate children in the Chow Kit area as well as several volunteers.

Cheng Kim Whang, 46, who was celebrating Chinese New Year for the first time at the centre said he was touched and happy with the celebrations as he missed his siblings.

Cheng who is from Raub, Pahang and had been living in the centre for four months, said, he stopped celebrating the festival after his parents died five years ago.

“The last time I spent Chinese New Year with my family was five years ago, after that I never met my siblings again. They have their own families now and I live alone,” he told Bernama.

“I miss them and I want to spend the festive season with them, but I do not want to inconvenience them,” he said.

In the case of Charlie Chua, 58, who had been staying at the transit centre for almost a year, the festive season this year was spent with his new family here, comprising people of various races.

“Chinese New Year celebrations at the centre is a new, joyful experience even though my family is not here. These people are also my family,” Chua , who is from Johor, said.

According to IOJ chief executive officer Charles Mohan, the programme was organised so that nobody would feel left out during the festive season. -- BERNAMA

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