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Malaysia: Floats add to celebrations

by NURADZIMMAH DAIM, The Malay Mail, May 23, 2005

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- More than 20,000 devotees took part in the Wesak Day float procession which began and ended at the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields last night. The event, organised by the Joint Wesak Celebration Committee, was launched by Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.

The committee represents more that 60 societies, associations and temples in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

?We are very delighted with the response from devotees who came from various societies and associations united for the occasion,? said committee honorary secretary-general A. Hemadasa.

Holding candles, the crowd walked with 15 beautiful floats through Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

Chempaka Buddhist Lodge from Taman SEA, Petaling Jaya, took part with two floats ferrying 20 children from its Sunday school.

Its vice-president and chairman Tan Eng Chye said the centre had encouraged the children to take part.

?We sang motivational songs along the way,? he said.

Another devotee, sales manager Loong Kwee Ying and husband Tan Seng Soon, a shipping manager, both 46, from Desa Petaling said they would bring their family along every year to join the procession.

?It?s a way of cleansing the body and soul and despite the long walk, it was a breeze,? said Tan, accompanied by Loong, their children and in-laws.

Lee Lim Chuan, 11, from Sentul said she was happy to join in the procession with her family.

?This is my third outing and it was fun walking with others,? she said.

Earlier in the morning, blood donation, organ pledging and a pictorial exhibition were held at the temple.

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