Chinese statues fly business class to Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR • Statues of three deities, including a 1.8m-tall statue of the Chinese sea goddess Mazu, were recently flown on business class seats from China to Malaysia, Chinese language media reported.

The statues arrived at the Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday under the China- Malaysia Mazu Cultural Exchange programme.

Pictures of the statues on the seats in the business class section together with other passengers on the Xiamen Airlines flight were posted on the Selangor and Federal Territory Hainan Association's Facebook page.

Photos of the air tickets, costing RM2,091 (S$671) each, were also posted online and widely circulated on social media.

The other two statues are of Qian Li Yan, which means "eyes that see a thousand miles", and Shun Feng Er, meaning "ears that hear from far". They are regarded as the assistants of Mazu, who is widely believed to protect fishermen and sailors.

Sin Chew Daily reported that the programme organiser had bought three business class tickets for the statues, which were flown into Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport.

A procession was held in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday before the statues were taken to Melaka on Monday. The statues will then head to Singapore before being taken back to China.

Tickets for the flight from Xiamen to Kuala Lumpur which carried the three statues cost RM2,091 (S$671) each. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ SELANGOR AND FEDERAL TERRITORY HAINAN ASSOCIATION THEAN HOU TEMPLE

According to Hainan Association president C. Y. Tang, the statues' inaugural South-east Asia tour was organised by the Mazu ancestral temple on Meizhou Island, Fujian, and marks Mazu's "revisit" of the Maritime Silk Road. Malaysia is the first stop for the cultural exchange.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2017, with the headline 'Chinese statues fly business class to Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe