Arts & CultureLIFESTYLE

Hooi Leng & Friends: Encore Malaysia

 

Friends of Perak Women for Women (PWW) rallied to organise the “Hooi Leng and Friends: Encore Malaysia” charity concert in benefit of PWW on Sunday, August 7 at The Dome Restaurant of Meru Valley Resort.

“We do not have funding from the government and the lease for the premise we are stationed in is almost finishing. PWW incurs an estimated monthly operating cost of RM10,000,” Mabel Wong, the President of PWW highlighted. A total of RM25,000 was raised from the fundraising concert sponsored by Kinta Properties.

Ipoh Echo had an exclusive one-on-one with Hooi Leng, a composer, pianist, recording artist and four-time Grammy Award winner. Born and bred in Ipoh, Hooi Leng emigrated to Washington state, USA seven years ago. Also known by the name Lynn Yew Evers, she had performed on many occasions in Ipoh, KL and Penang, even playing for former prime minister, Tun Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir and the late Sultan Azlan Shah, before she moved to America.

“I was a single mother with three young kids for eight years while I was living in Malaysia and I totally understand how difficult it is for the single mothers and abused women that PWW is supporting. I too was abused verbally and physically. We tend to hide it inside ourselves for fear of the shame it will bring to our families. In our culture, being a single mother is not something glamorous. I’m very glad that there are now advocates going around to counsel and educate these hapless women. It’s very meaningful for women to stand up for their rights. During my time, I had to educate myself! It means a lot to me to be able to do this concert for a noble cause in support of PWW,” Hooi Leng told Ipoh Echo.

Here’s her one precious advice for other single mothers out there, “Be strong, do not be afraid to go out for education and counselling and move on.”

When asked what she enjoyed the most about performing, she said, “When I go up to the stage and just start playing, I know it’s going to be beautiful.”

Having four albums to her name, her latest one, ‘Elysian’, is equally satisfying having won the Global Music Awards and Akademia Awards. Two of its pieces, ‘Bluebird Day’ and ‘Finding You’, were nominated in the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.

The close of 2015 brought Evers to the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York where she performed selected pieces from her award winning album ‘Dawn of Peace’, voted January 2016 Best Album in the ambient/instrumental category by Akademia.

October this year will see Lynn return again to Carnegie Hall, an accolade of the highest order for this Malaysian lass who has moved so far away to pursue her passion and yet her heart remains in her home town of Ipoh where she has returned for a worthy cause.

Accompanied by the ensemble comprising local musicians featuring the grand piano (Lynn) , flute (Cheryl Lee Foong Xin), saxophone (Foo Cheong Lin who played a most evocative and romantic ‘Misty’ ), double bass (Rester Ng Heng Young and Liew Soon Yee), the guests that night were in for a treat as the 15 compositions she played were mostly from ‘Elysian’.

“It tells the story of the last 15 years, from the hardships of being a single mom all the way through starting my new life at America till I saw the light at the end of the tunnel,” the amiable Hooi Leng explained. For instance, ‘As The Train Leaves’ recalls the first encounter between her and her current husband Jeff Evers, at the train station in Kuala Lumpur.

Last but not least, what does she miss the most about Ipoh? “The food! Nasi lemak, laksa and all the local delicacies,” she cited.

Perak Women for Women is a registered, apolitical, non profit and non governmental organisation set up in 2003 to enhance the status and the lives of women in Perak regardless of race, religion or social background. Besides providing support groups, training and public outreach programmes, PWW also provides a safe house for women and children in crisis. The safe house is a temporary measure to provide a transitional safe place for them to sort out their future plans. All of PWW’s services are free and confidential.

Contact PWW at:

52 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 31400 Ipoh, Perak. Tel: 05 546 9715. Fax: 05 541 5721
Email: perakwomenforwomen@gmail.com.  Website: www.pww.org.my
Facebook: perakwomenforwomen.

Mei Kuan

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Tan Mei Kuan

Tan Mei Kuan graduated with first-class honours and book prize from University of Malaya majoring in languages and linguistics (English). She is proficient in both written and spoken English and Malay. She is also conversant in Mandarin and has knowledge of Japanese and Korean languages. Mei Kuan has been on the Dean’s List for three years running. Having written for the campus newspaper and residential college magazine, joining Ipoh Echo has helped utilise her writing and language skills. In her spare time she enjoys running (races).

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