Catwalking for a Cause

The Syeun Hotel Ballroom was transformed into a mini fashion house with the ladies in baju kebaya laced with intricate embroideries and beadworks while the men were in batik. They were there to honour their commitment in helping Perak Women for Women Society (PWW) raise funds for the society’s altruistic efforts in aiding abused women and children on the evening of Saturday, August 1.

During the fun-filled event, approximately 650 guests of multi-ethnicities, some from as far as KL and Johor Bahru, were entertained to a sumptuous 8-course Chinese dinner and while they dined, dances and songs performed by a local dance troupe kept them in the right mood to interact and enjoy the ambience. The entertainment culminated in a catwalk parade by members of the society led by its President, Halida Mohd Ali all dressed up in alluring baju kebaya, reminiscent of a bygone era. They carried placards denouncing violence to women and children, the hallmark of their society’s mission and objective.

PWW is a non-profit organisation which helps women and children in crisis. Money raised during the dinner would be utilised to sustain its shelter home and efforts in offering immediate assistance to women and children who are victims of domestic violence as well as promoting awareness on the issue.

“The satisfaction that comes from helping the battered and the abused in the community gives me the motivation to keep doing what I like best. I am passionate with what I am doing although some have questioned my interest,” said Halida to Ipoh Echo.

The highlight of the night was the performance by Francissca Peter, a one-time singing sensation, who rendered among others, a song written by her sister for the International Aid Organisation World Vision Malaysia and her chart hits.

Ipoh Echo got to do an exclusive one-on-one with the friendly songstress with a powerful vocal who has been singing for over three decades.

“There’re a lot of single mothers out there. Every day a child is killed, maimed or thrown away. This is a huge problem. I hope to see our government doing more to help these unfortunate souls. NGOs can do so much but if they don’t get financial support there’s little they can do to address the problem,” Francissca lamented. The singer was raised in Ipoh and was the product of single-parenthood too.

“I decided to become a singer by chance. We were very poor. I just looked at my mother and said, ‘Mum, I think I’ll just become a singer. Maybe I can earn some money to pay the rent and place some food on the table.”

“I am one of those people who pick themselves up and move on, even till today. I’ve gone through some very hard times some years back, but I picked myself up. I’ll take the bull by its horn and start all over again,” the singer-songwriter intimated with much charm and positivity when asked how she got started.

And her advice for all budding artists out there: “The new media is there for you, take advantage of it.”

She has a lot of fond memories of Ipoh, her hometown. “Food,” she blurted. “And my all-girls convent school life.”

Mei Kuan

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