By David Seow
Over 500 guests were at Syeun Hotel Ipoh recently for the inaugural Malaysia-China International Music Festival. With the support of Tourism Perak and 15 Clark Street, the musical show, organised by Showtime Studio, was to commemorate 45 years of bilateral ties between Malaysia and China.
The programme began with a performance by the Sam Tet Secondary School Marching Band, led by Lam Chee Choong. Other local acts included the Yuk Choy Chinese Orchestra and the Methodist Girls School traditional Indian dancers.
Representing China were pianist Zang Wan Lin and the Bomei Band, a wind orchestra consisting of 65 students from the Jiangxi Province. Both bands then joined forces to provide a sonically unique musical experience.
Among the invited guests were the State Executive Councillor for Tourism, Tan Kar Hing, President of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (Perak Chapter), Dato’ Gan Tack Kong, and Dr Leong Oon Keong, grandson of Leong Sin Nam. Also present were some 160 guests from China.
“Ipoh has rich ties with China, but not many people are aware,” said Kee Boon, an accomplished world-class pianist. “Dr Sun Yat-Sen came to Ipoh to raise funds for the revolution to establish a new China.” He hoped that the direct flight from Guangzhou to Ipoh would attract more visitors and put Ipoh on the map.
The show was sponsored by President of Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh, Chong Him Shoong, Dato’ Lee Heng, Andy Lim of Liu Bao Tea, and Executive Director of United MAEX He Yifeng as a means of using music to promote cultural exchange.
“We’re privileged to invite these musicians from China to play alongside us,” said Chong Him Shoong, the main sponsor of the event. “I was mesmerised by the world-class performances and the camaraderie that ensued. It augurs well for the future of this music festival being an annual fixture in Perak’s calendar of events.”