KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Statues of three deities, including a 1.8m statue of the Chinese sea goddess Mazu, were flown in on business class from China to Malaysia, major Chinese dailies reported.
The statues arrived at the Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (July 1) 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.
The air tickets costing RM2,091 per ticket (S$671) were posted online and were widely circulated on social media.
The other two statues are Qian Li Yan (eyes that see thousand miles) and Shun Feng Er (ears that hear from far). They are regarded as the assistants to the Mazu goddess, who is widely believed to protect fishermen and sailors.
Sin Chew Daily reported that the organiser had purchased three business class tickets for the statues which were flown in to Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport.
A procession was held in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday before the statues were brought to Melaka on Monday. The statues will then be taken to Singapore before being sent back to China.
Previously, Selangor and Federal Territory Hainan Association president Dr C.Y. Tang was quoted as saying that the inaugural South-east Asia tour was organised by the Mazu ancestral temple in Meizhou and marks Mazu's "revisit" to the Maritime Silk Road. Malaysia is the first destination for the cultural exchange.