PETALING JAYA: The negative reaction to the video clip that seemed to show the “lion refusing to dance” for Prime Minister Najib Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor and other VIPs at the Gerakan Chinese New Year Open House has brought rebuke from a party leader.
Gerakan vice-president A Kohilan Pillay said the mocking of the tradition with the corresponding political attack against Najib was childish and disrespectful of Chinese customs.
“It was a tradition for the lion to peel a pomelo and some mandarin oranges during the lion dance.
“Hence, the lion was bowed down on the ground and was at the time peeling the special fruits known as ‘ching’ which symbolizes luck in Chinese,” Kohilan said in explaining the extended time that the “lion” seemed to be motionless.
The 45-second video clip, which has gone viral on social media, showed the lion dancer crouching motionless, watched by Najib, Rosmah, Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong, and other VIPs during the open house held at Menara PGRM on Saturday.
Kohilan alleged the clip had been manipulated by the opposition to politicise and “spin every event” that could put the Barisan Nasional leadership in a bad light.
“The performance was all part of a skillful acrobatic dance, with the awakening of the lion, looking for the ‘ching’, discovering the ‘ching’ and presenting it to the VIP guest in attendance.
“It was one of the highlights and culmination in the lion dance and clearly the opposition was deliberately spinning the performance,” Kohilan said, accusing the opposition of failing to respect the Chinese traditional lion dance as an apolitical performance.
Kohilan added that there was no need for the opposition to politicise and spin every event.