Big bash to mark George Town’s city status

Flying machine: (From right) Patahiyah together with state executive councillors Lydia Ong and Chow Kon Yeow speaking to Mohd Nafi who is wearing a motorised fan on his back.

THE Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) will hold a major celebration tomorrow to mark the historic declaration of George Town as a city on New Year’s Day.

The highlight will be a motorised paraglider descending from the sky to present a proclamation scroll during the opening ceremony of the celebration called ‘George Town 1111’.

The pilot of the para-motor Mohd Nafi Sulaiman will take off from Fort Cornwallis and land at the stage near the Esplanade where invited officials will be seated for the ceremony at about 8pm tomorrow.

MPPP president Patahiyah Ismail said this would be a unique attraction for the celebration which was revived in 2008/2009 after Pakatan Rakyat took over the state government.

“The pilot will carry with him the national, state and the MPPP flags,” she told a press confe-rence.

At the celebration, set to be held from 5pm onwards, everything that is unique about Penang, from her culture to food, arts and sports, will be on display.

An estimated 100 stalls will be set up for a food, arts and crafts carnival.

A traditional sports carnival, aimed at promoting cultural heritage, is also being organised.

George Town’s city status was accorded by Queen Elizabeth ll on New Year’s Day in 1957.

Mohd Nafi, 32, from Malacca, said he had been active in the sport for the past four years.

He obtained his licence from the Malaysia Sports Aviation Federation.

The bank sales executive officer said he forked out RM20,000 from his own pocket for the gliding machine which he purchased from Europe.

Mohd Nafi said the flying of a para-motor has been a popular activity in Europe since 1986.

The aerial sport is something like paragliding, with the only difference being a big fan strapped onto the back of the pilot.

There are two components to a para-motor.

First, as the name suggests, is the motor and the second is the wing.

“Para-motoring, is actually paragliding but with a motor to propel you,” Mohd Nafi said.

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Category: News @ George Town