KUALA LUMPUR - A lion dance troupe is seeing red over a truncated video clip of its "lion" supposedly refusing to dance for the Prime Minister at the recent Gerakan Chinese New Year Open House.
Malaysia Gai Feng Lion & Dragon Dance Athletic Association founder Yong Kheng Chien (pic) said his 15-member troupe felt that they were unjustly wronged and became the target of irresponsible "politicians" and bloggers who have tarnished their image.
"It is very damaging to the association as we are professional lion dancers.
"I appeal to all to keep us out of politics," he told reporters at a press conference at Wisma PGRM here Thursday.
Yong said he felt compelled to clear the air over the recent video because it had gone viral and was picked up by bloggers.
"We feel aggrieved over claims that the lion dance troupe refused to perform and the wording 'even the lion is brave enough to protest against the Prime Minister'," he said.
"The lion dance troupe succeeded in peeling pomelo and oranges during their performance which lasted less than two minutes," he said.
The 45-second video clip showed the lion dancer crouching motionless for several seconds, watched by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and other VIPs during the open house at Menara PGRM on Saturday.
Yong, who is chief lion dance coach, said the video clip was shortened and did not show the troupe's entire performance.
He said the association is not seeking an apology from those behind the video, saying such a demand will only court more responses.
"I appeal to all parties not to get involved and use our cultural performance to divide the nation but to unite it," he added.
He noted that even Najib had praised the performance and was impressed by it.
Asked if the association will lodge a report with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) over the spread of false news, Yong said this is an option.
"If the matter doesn't end here, we will bring it up for discussion with the association committee to decide if a report should be made," he said.
Meanwhile, Ching Linn Kee, 25, who led the lion dance performance, said he was shocked that irresponsible parties targeted his performance.
It is learned that pro-Opposition bloggers were responsible for spreading the edited video.
The association, formed in 1995, has some 200 members in five states, with its lion dance performance coming in runners-up in the National Dragon and Lion Dance Championship.