A JARO Chinese New Year tradition


The global pandemic, with its health and safety requirements, compelled Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation (JARO) to interrupt their annual tradition to host a hotel lunch with their staff, for the past two Chinese New Year celebrations.


Happy to celebrate Chinese New Year with
a hotel buffet lunch again at New York Hotel JB

This special outing to the hotel restaurant for a Chinese New Year buffet lunch, generously sponsored by the hotel, was a treat that the staff enjoyed every year for the past eight years before the global pandemic reached Johor.


After a two-year hiatus, the JARO staff were delighted to celebrate Chinese New Year with a buffet lunch again, hosted at the New York Hotel, Johor Baru.


Recently, some 50 staff from the three workshops in JARO – tailoring, basketry and book-binding – were at the hotel restaurant again to enjoy a sumptuous buffet spread.


Well-wishers from the Johor Baru Tiong Hua
Association presenting Ang Pau to JARO staff

JARO Chairman, Datuk Jimmy Low Boon Hong, and the administrative committee in JARO, welcomed a guests from various corporations and well-wishers from the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association to join in the celebration.


Last year, this Chinese New Year celebration was downsized and hosted in the premises of JARO so this year, it was good to host a full-scale lunch gathering in the hotel that came complete with the tradition of presenting a pair of mandarin oranges and Ang Pau, red packets filled with fortune money, to the staff.


New York Hotel General Manager, Tan Ai Lee,
presenting Ang Pau to JARO staff

Datuk Jimmy was grateful for the support from the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association and the presence of representatives from the five main dialect groups – Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan and Cantonese – who shared the festive goodwill by presenting Ang Pau to the JARO staff.


These generous guests were familiar with how JARO provides training and employment for people with disabilities in workshops that create quality, custom-made handicrafts and book-binding services.


Long-serving JARO committee member who
recently stepped down from her role, Datin
Patricia Lim, presenting Ang Pau to the staff

In addition to receiving training, employment and a salary, JARO also provided staff with EPF savings and SOCSO insurance coverage.


With the training provided, some of the trained staff were able to find employment elsewhere and left JARO to pursue their own careers.


New York Hotel General Manager, Ms Tan Ai Lee, who was also familiar with this JARO Chinese New Year tradition, was also present to welcome guests and presented each of the JARO staff with Ang Pau.


The brand-new goods van donated by
Brightcon Sdn Bhd to JARO

While Datuk Jimmy was concerned that the global pandemic had affected businesses and NGO’s like JARO, he was pleased with the generosity of Brightcon Sdn Bhd and their kind donation of a goods van to JARO.


Brightcon Sdn Bhd was the Main Contractor for the JARO building upgrading and renovation in 2018, a project that was initiated by Think City Johor Baru.


After taking up the JARO building project, Brightcon secured various construction projects in Johor that included work with the Persada International Convention Center, the Johor Baru town center beautification project, some projects with His Majesty, the Sultan of Johor in Mersing and most recently, the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project.


Datuk Jimmy receiving the key to the van from
Brightcon representatives, witnessed by well-
wishers from JB Tiong Hua Association

As JARO still had a balance payment due to Brightcon for the renovation project, Datuk Jimmy approached their Director, Chai Quek Liong and Robert Chai, who kindly agreed to a 50% discount on the balance sum.


Aware that JARO had an aging goods van that was in use for the past 30 years and clearly due for replacement, Brightcon generously donated a brand-new van to JARO.


The highlight of this Chinese New Year celebration was the official handing over of a Toyota Hiace 2.5 Diesel Panel Van presented by Brightcon representatives to Datuk Jimmy, and witnessed by the well-wishers from the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association.


Chinese New Year festive goodwill is shared
among the staff of JARO and well-wishers

This Chinese New Year lunch hosted in a hotel was among the annual celebrations in a calendar of social events that JARO has with their staff, including Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and the International Day for the Disabled.


Visit the JARO showroom for your next handicraft and souvenir shopping spree to buy proudly Johor-made products that are a pride to own and pleasure to present to others.


The refreshed showroom is stocked with a wide range of quality handicrafts and souvenirs along with a small stock of My Johor Stories* books.


Open from Sunday to Thursday, 8am to 5pm. Closed on Friday and Saturday.


Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation or JARO is located at No. 18, Jalan Sungai Chat, 80100 Johor Baru, Johor. Tel: +607 – 224 5632.


* Get your copies of my 2017 MPH Non-Fiction Bestseller, My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage (RM32.90) and my recently launched BookThree, the final instalment to complete the trilogy of My Johor Stories.


The JARO story is documented in My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now (RM35.90), among other proudly Johor brands featured in this book.

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