It was a dazzling night for over 900 present at the Inspirational & Outstanding AMCian Award Presentation Night organised by the Ave Maria Convent Alumni Association (AMCAA) in conjunction with its 35th anniversary. It was held at the ballroom of Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites on Saturday, May 20.
It kicked off with the grand entrance of the VIPs through the giant star arch into the hollywood-themed hall with the accompaniment of the school band.
“Through tonight’s event, we will donate RM100,000 to our alma mater (primary and secondary school) for their planned activities and meaningful projects for the benefit of our dear sisters in Ave Maria Convent,” Moy Ooi Thye, president of AMCAA stated.
“Tonight, we are here to show our love for our school. From great schools, come great alumni. And to be part of the prestigious alumni of Ave Maria, it’s a badge of honour we all wear with pride,” guest of honour, Datin Irene Lee, board chairlady of SMJK and SJK(C) Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh said.
The gong-hitting ceremony by the platinum category donors (contributing RM5000 and above) signified the opening of the event. Among the donors were Puan Sri Dato’ Sandra Lee, representing Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, Foo Mee Har, Datin Jade Ting and Dato’ Lee Chee Leong.
A total of 10 awardees were selected to receive the Inspirational & Outstanding AMCian Award based on their lifetime achievements, inspirational stories, abilities to overcome challenges, contributions to society and their various honours. The distinguished panel of judges were made up of Dato’ Chew Soo Ho, retired high court judge, Dr Lim Chie Kean, CEO of Fatimah Hospital Ipoh, Puan Sri Dato’ Sandra Lee, founder and chairman of Persatuan Daybreak Ipoh, Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingam, board member of The Women Institute of Management and SeeFoon Chan-Koppen, director of Ipoh Echo community newspaper.
Tan Bing-Xuan, graduated in 2009, was the youngest award winner. She was suddenly struck down by a rare illness, rapid onset dystonia parkinsonism (RDP), at the age of 10 which left her severely disabled and wheelchair-bound. There is apparently no cure for RDP which causes movement abnormalities with severe muscular stiffness, cramps and seizures in her limbs, making it difficult to walk, talk and carry out normal activities of daily life. Despite her disability, she achieved excellent SPM results (8A+, 2A) and received Top Special Student in SPM award from the then Education Minister. Then, she secured a JPA scholarship to pursue an accounting degree in Multimedia University, Cyberjaya. Five years later, she graduated with first class honours and honoured with CPA Australia Book Award. Currently, she is an associate dealing with risk management matters in one of the Big 4 accounting firms.
The other winners were Datuk Dr Choo Yuen May for her major contributions to the Malaysian palm oil industry; Dato’ Elaine Teh Chooi Peng, chairman and founding partner of Octopus Group; Foo Mee Har for her distinguished career of 20 years with Standard Chartered Bank despite often being the youngest and only female amongst her peers; Irene Lock Sow Mei, a chemical engineer with Petronas and active motivational speaker who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia back in 2009; Lee Yee Ming, sought after internationally to speak on deposit insurance and insurance guarantee schemes; Dato’ Leong Sir Ley, prominent lawyer with a property development empire in Malaysia; Stephanie Khor See Voon, co-founder and CEO of the Inmagine Group; Dr Tan Chew Khang, for serving in the healthcare sector for 27 years while testifying God’s goodness; and Yeap Yen Chin, principal of MY Dancesport Studio and winner of numerous international titles in Latin dance open championships.