Monday, November 22, 2010

NZMS Celebrates 21st

NZMS, the New Zealand Malaysian Society turn 21st last week.

To celebrate the occasion, members were "invited" (after paying $35 / head) to attend the function at the Manor Park Golf Club in Lower Hutt.

Saturday, 5 pm; I thought we head off early, since I volunteered to take some pictures for them. Just my Malaysian luck that the panel beater's courtesy car, a "Honda U.S. Wagon" failed to start!

With a car model named like that, what did I expect?!

Too late to call AA, I was suppose to be there at 6 pm! I ring my neighbor, in a panic; my good neighbor Diana calm me down and said Alex will take us there! A friend in need, indeed!

At 5.15 pm we were whooshing our way to Manor Park in Alex's spaceship like Toyota Prius :) Thank you Alex and Diana!

Now back to the celebration...

The function was held in the club room overlooking the impressive green, but I find the room rather small and the chairs are too low for sitting comfort.

The function started with the national anthems of Malaysian and New Zealand, followed by a very impressive opening medley dance which choreographed the three main cultures of Malaysia.

Opening Medley Dance consisting of Tarian Joget, Chinese Fan Dance and Bhangra Indian Dance. Performed by Prem Gill, Poonam Kumar, Sheryl Carani and Geeta Balakrishnan.

After the dance came the speeches...

Dato Hasnudin Hamzah, high Commissioner to New Zealand said it is his earnest hope that the NZMS will continue to move forward strongly for the benefits of the Malaysian communities, not only in Wellington, but throughout New Zealand.

"NZMS has much to contribute in galvanizing towards a much closer relationship between Malaysia and New Zealand, especially in strengthening people to people relations of the two friendly nations."

Leonie Kueh, 2010-2011 President of NZMS call upon all Malaysians in New Zealand to celebrate their culture together through NZMS.

"Now after 21 years the society has become something we can really be proud of!" she said.

And they cut the NZMS 21st birthday cake!

Lets not kid ourselves, the highlight of the night of course is the food! Not any food; but fairdinkum authentic Malaysian food!

There were Mee Goreng, Kari Kambing (lamb curry), Ayam Percik (grilled chicken in coconut sauce), Paceri Nenas (pineapple patcheri), Nasi Tomato (tomato rice) and salad with chilli vinaigrette.

The menu also mentioned there are Crumbed Fish and Tartar Sauce, an all time Kiwi favourite; NOT TONIGHT! Compare to the Malaysian fare, the Kiwi fav tastes absolutely bland!

For dessert there were the usual cheese cake and sticky date pudding. But the surprise sweet was Tapai, a traditional sweet glutinous rice paste fermented to create a tangy twist; it is an acquired taste though ;)

The sumptuous Malaysian cuisine was prepared by Suriah Burns and Azlan Nursham Anuar.

Remaining of the night were taken up by more cultural dances and more lucky draw.

Emcees of the night, Darren Lee and Elaine Koh did a great job of getting the crowd sane and happy. Above is their comedy skit "How Malaysian Punish Their Naughty Kids, the PC Way"! Ha ha ha...

Highlight of the night was our friend Avelyne who gave demo of line dancing and with the audiences joined in :)

All in all, a pleasant evening out; I wish NZMS all the best.

Oh... it was Avelyne and David who gave us a ride home in their ultra cool Honda Accord, the digital dash display make my Mazda 3 look dated! Thanks for the lift guys!

Famous Last Words:

I might be wrong, but it seems to me; even the venue was packed, half of the crowd at the function were not Malaysian Members. Was the poor response due to the venue?

I also noticed the unsettle expression on faces in reaction to the really long thank you, thank him; thank her speech near the end. Was that really necessary?

Don't get me wrong, overall; it was a great effort put forward by the new committee!

For The Record:

The Society was founded by Mr. Nathan Saminathan at the request of Mr. Pathmanathan, the First Secretary of the Malaysian Embassy way back in 1989.

Mr. Saminathan was living in Wellington at the time and did all the hard yards to register (with his own money) and call for the first potluck lunch meeting at the Meadowland School on a sunny day in June of 1989.

Mr. Saminathan moved to Auckland in 1990 and formed the Auckland Malaysian Society.


What's In A Name?

I discovered NZMS can mean, apart from New Zealand Malaysian Society:

1) New Zealand Microbiological Society

2) New Zealand Medical and Scientific Ltd

3) New Zealand Mathematical Society

4) New Zealand Micrographics Services (where I work)

And, would you believe...

Even the destructive New Zealand Mud Snail !!

Who do you think is the "rightful" owner?? ;)

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Anonymous said...

A very good write-up. The seating arrangement wasn't great but finding a place that will allow catering for Malaysian food for a large crowd proved elusive. The cost is another factor that put a lot of Malaysian off. You are right about the 'THANK YOU' speech. It's was getting boring, reminds me of 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf'. The new committee was also being put in a very difficult position having to get this done.
Nevertheless, it turn out 'ok' in the end.
Best Regards, JC Chin

Anonymous said...

Honda US Wagon....from a panelbeater in Tawa - Sovereign ????...oh no , if that is the case. Their workmanship is below apprentice level. I had an insurance job done there and was in for a shock. Not only the repair was poor, paint matching was no where near the original paint and bit of clips and decals missing. Only reason I took my car there was that I was just up the road from them. Will never go there again, ever and will never even recommend to my worst enemy, if I have one.beration

Anonymous said...

Your blog summarises the event really well. Yes, even though the invitation cost '$35', I understand that all the committee members paid $35 too even though they put in the hard yard to organise this function. Well done and thank you.
I too feel the lack of Malaysian participation in this, two-thirds would be better. (Having said that, it was also good to see a mixed of people from various cultures). My gut feelings is the cost might have prevented a lot of Malaysian families from attending.
The event at the Johnsonville community centre last year has so many Malaysian and this is what we need. Cut down on trying to be upper class or fanciful, just a simple dinner event is all Malaysian ask for -- candles, DJ's and non essentials are all a waste of $. Majority of Malaysian are good at looking after their finances and retirement plans. The location is also another problem if one relies on public transport or friends. Looking forward to the next event with more Malaysian participation especially the younger generations, ie families. Thanks again to the committee, you did a fine job.