Pro-Mahathir Mohamad political blog OutSyed The Box yesterday shared a video from KiniTV, giving the blogpost a headline which read: ‘Gerakan lion refuses to dance for MO1’.
The original title of the video was ‘VIP table at Gerakan open house bigger, Najib teases Liow’.
In the video, Prime Minister (PM) Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor were attending Gerakan’s Chinese New Year Open House on Saturday, in which it was made up of several short clips of them enjoying the celebration together with Gerakan President Mah Siew Keong and MCA President Liow Tiong Lai, amongst others.
In one of the clips, the group of VIP guests which included Najib and Rosmah, were seen standing in front of a lion which was part of a lion dance performance.
The lion was bowed down on the ground and did not move while the drums were playing. The lion stayed down for a few seconds, after which Najib took to patting the lion’s head.
The clip then cut to a different scene of a performance on the stage.
Based on that, in what sounded like mere speculation, OutSyed The Box wrote, “Gerakan lion refuses to dance for MO1. Yes I noticed this too. At first I thought the lion lying down and keeping still was part of the act. But it does not look that way. The lion just stayed down, as though the performance was over.”
Sharing a YouTube link to the KiniTV video, the blog then went on to add: “It looks like a protest. ‘We will not perform for you’.”
A quick check with Mah’s political secretary Ivanpal Singh Grewal found that there was a simple explanation to the whole thing, and it wasn’t a protest.
Ivanpal told Malaysia Outlook that he has seen the clip and explained that the reason the lion was bowed down to the ground was because it was peeling a special fruit.
This, he said, happened after the lion had already danced in front of the VIP guests.
He explained that it was a tradition for the lion to peel a special fruit, usually a pomelo, to be presented to the VIP guest in attendance, which in this case was the Prime Minister.
A check on Najib’s Facebook page also found that the PM, on Saturday Jan 28, had shared a photo of the lion presenting the fruit to him.
The picture Najib shared was captioned: “Was impressed by the lion dance performance in Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia’s open house earlier today. The lion dance is synonymous with Chinese New Year as it signifies a new beginning and is believed to bring good luck.”