Spreading Chinese New Year cheer to neighbours

When Mr Pang Wei Ling moved into his four-room flat 13 years ago, his Chinese New Year decorations consisted of simple wall hangings and paper couplets.

Now he displays ornaments, a 2m-tall water feature and decorations stretching 30m from the door of his flat at Canberra Link in Sembawang to the lift landing.

The Pangs turn on festive lights and even hold a lion dance on the first morning of the new year. Their doors are open to neighbours of all races who also get hongbao or red packets.

"The electricity bill may be higher during this time, but it's worth it for a proper celebration with our neighbours," said the machine operator. Mr Pang, 48, spends $300 on decorations and takes 20 hours to put them up, with the help of his wife, Madam Tey Bee Eng, 37, and three children.

He added: "When my non-Chinese neighbours complimented my work, I started increasing the decorations." Madam Sofiah Afandi, 47, who lives next door, said: "You don't have to be of the same race to enjoy the same celebrations."

Mr Maloney Rodriguez Malelang, 41, a Filipino neighbour, said: "When they share their holidays with us, it makes me want to celebrate mine with them."

SAMANTHA GOH