IPOH – Optical shop operator Chan Yaw Choo takes the Thnee Kong Seh celebration (Jade Emperor God’s birthday) seriously.

So serious that he commissioned a skylift which lifted him 12m above ground and to let him offer prayers facing all directions.

Chan, 38, said the idea to use a skylift, decorated with an altar on the bucket, was to allow him to pray from a high altitude and pray for better things to come.

“Last year, I used a forklift which lifted me 4m above the ground,” he said.

“Next year, my target is to get a skylift or crane that can lift me 18m.” Speaking to reporters at his home in Taman Seri Tasek on Saturday night, when Hokkiens ushered in the ninth day of Chinese New Year, Chan revealed he prayed for the good health of all Malaysians.

He said the skylift belonged to his older brother, Kwee Fong, who was in the construction business.

“It took us about a month to plan the whole thing before executing it,” he said.

Laid out at the altar of Chan’s car porch were food and prayer paraphernalia.

There were also red and yellow royal robes measuring about 3m in length for both the Jade Emperor God and his empress.

Chan said all the prayer paraphernalia were folded by his wife.

“She started folding the thnee kong kim (pineapple-shaped gold item for the God of Heaven) and thnee kong poh (offerings folded in ‘gold’ paper) six months ago,” he said.


The celebration at Chan’s home began at about 11.30pm and was witnessed by about 100 friends and family members.

To add to the merriment, there were also eight Chinese drums beaten each time Chan finished praying at one direction.

According to legend, Hokkiens survived persecution in ancient China by hiding in a sugarcane plantation for nine days during Chinese New Year.

On the ninth day, which coincided with the Jade Emperor’s birthday, they emerged to find their enemies had gone.

They had been saved by the cover of sugarcane stalks.

Since then, Hokkiens have regarded this date as symbolic to their survival.

– Malay Mail