Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang has denied claims on social media that a lion dance troupe had refused to perform before Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor during the party's Chinese New Year open house in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend.
In a Facebook posting, he explained that the lion dancers appeared to be standing still, which sparked off the speculation, because they were peeling a pomelo and several oranges for the prime minister and his wife.
He later uploaded a video which depicted the lion dance troupe "serving" a dish full of fruits to Najib and urged critics to apologise for making unfounded allegations.
“It takes time to do this. None of the performers are Superman.
“I doubt anyone could have peeled a pomelo and a few oranges in less than 30 seconds," he said, adding that such a feat would be impossible for anyone, regardless of whether they are performing a lion dance or otherwise.
Tan said this was part of a Chinese New Year tradition where the lion dancers would present a pomelo to a special guest, as well as oranges which symbolise prosperity.
“It is unfortunate that some irresponsible people chose to twist and fabricate lies towards the professional lion dancers who had a great performance.
“Even PM Najib personally praised their performance in his Facebook account after the event,” he pointed out in the posting, which also took a swipe at the opposition for politicising the matter.
In a series of tweets today, Tan also responded to PKR Youth deputy chief Dr Afif Bahardin who had shared the 45-second video clip by KiniTV which showed the “lion” crouching motionless for several seconds before Najib, Rosmah, Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong and other VIPs.
“I’m more than happy to explain to you and opposition members on Lion Dance… Please don’t spin and insult,” said Tan to Afif who had tweeted, “Betul ke Singa tak mau menari? Sebab takut @najibrazak atau @tankengliang? (Is it true the lion did not want to dance? Because of fear for Najib or Tan?)”
The Gerakan leader also criticised Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, who shared the video and tweeted, “Interesting development. Salute to the brave lion dance performers!”
“Thank you to @afifbahardin @mariachin @Bersatu members for proving why people no longer trust opposition & Bersih. Spins and lies won’t last,” said Tan.
The Star Online, meanwhile, quoted Mah's political secretary Ivanpal Singh Grewal as stating that the entire lion dance performance was actually 10-minutes long but only 45 seconds was shown in the viral video.- Mkini