Lone Chinese family in Muslim village loves Malay tradition

In full Malay gear: Siau Hooi and her husband looking resplendent at their wedding in Kampung Tebuk Haji Musa, Parit Buntar.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PARIT BUNTAR - The Ng family is one of a kind in Kampung Tebuk Haji Musa, being the only Chinese in the 3,000-strong Muslim village.

"No issue at all. I have lived here for decades. They come to my house for Chinese New Year and we go over for Raya. Ada kenduri, kami campur sekali. Biasa lah! (When there is a feast we all get together. It's normal!)," said the Ng family patriarch Air Chin, 61, better known as Ah Khaw in the village.

The Malay way is second nature to the family, if not the norm.

On Sunday, his youngest daughter, 28-year-old Siau Hooi, tied the knot with factory worker Lim Choon Yong, 37, in Malay customs. The accountant is the youngest among four siblings.

The bride and groom were decked out in Malay splendour for their wedding.

"We decided to reflect our friendship with our neighbours by holding our wedding ceremony in their tradition," Ah Khaw said.

"Most of the villagers, about 2,000 of them, attended the wedding. The family of the groom too was supportive of the Malay-style wedding.

"When Siao Hooi's two older brothers held their weddings in 2007 and 2010, they also married the Malay way, bersanding and all.

"My neighbours helped and chipped in whichever way they could. There was a gotong royong effort," Ah Khaw added.

Berita Harian yesterday highlighted the couple's wedding on Monday and reported how the neighbours thought nothing of extending a helping hand - from assisting with the bridal costumes to cooking up a delicious meal.

Ah Kaw said the family would hold a Chinese wedding dinner on Wednesday at a restaurant nearby before Siao Hooi returns to Singapore, where her husband is working.

Siau Hooi said she was proud to wear the Malay bridal costume.

"It is a memory worth a lifetime for my husband and I. I attended Chinese primary and secondary schools but I grew up with my Malay neighbours," said Siau Hooi.

"We are very close to each other," said Siau Hooi.

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