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PETALING JAYA, Feb 21 — Malaysians from different walks of life had a good time at Redberry Sdn Bhd’s Chinese New Year open house yesterday with a delectable array of food and fine company.
Among those who attended the event, held over lunch and dinner, were Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and MyPPP president Tan Sri M. Kayveas.
They were greeted on arrival by Ancom Berhad group managing director and Redberry chief executive officer Datuk Siew Ka Wei and Redberry chief operating officer and Malay Mail editor-in-chief Datuk Wong Sai Wan.
The crowd was entertained by a lion dance troupe which also featured a “miniature lion” manned by child performers who mesmerised the audience with their antics.
Lunch saw 90 children from four orphanages and 86 senior citizens from three homes tucking into the food and drinks while mingling in true “muhibbah” spirit.
Praise Emmanuel Children's Home manager Christopher Michael said it was the first open house the children attended since the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
“The children were very excited when I told them we were taking them to lunch at an open house. They always look forward to going out and being part of a festive celebration.
“Some of the children were especially excited by the food, especially the freshly fried noodles. It was such a joy to see the big smiles on their faces,” he said.
Lim Jun Ming, 11, had fun with his friends in trying every food item.
“The food was really delicious. I was also very happy to receive an ang pau,” he said.
V. Veena, 15, said the decorations were beautiful and the hosts extremely friendly.
“Everyone was enjoying themselves and laughing most of the time. I am glad I could attend this open house as it was the perfect chance for me to finally wear new clothes that I got for Chinese New Year. This is one of the best open houses I have been to in a very long time,” she said.
Esah Abdullah, a supervisor from the Baitu Saidati Khadijah Welfare Organisation for Orphans and the Poor in Gombak, said this was the second consecutive year the children had come for the Redberry open house.
“They were all very excited to put on their new clothes and could not wait to choose and eat their favourite food. I could see they were enjoying themselves, especially when they received their goodie bags and ang pau,” she said.
Sinaidah Alman, 19, said she made many new friends besides enjoying the food.
Children from the Shelter Home 1 and Shelter Home 2 also joined in the fun.
Lovely Nursing Home treasurer Ariffin Viknes Abdullah said this was the fifth Chinese New Year open house her residents had attended this year.
“Redberry’s open house has been just fantastic. The people were very polite and caring while the food served was just amazing. Our residents were excited to be in the midst of so many nice people,” he said.
Jeganathan Sebastian, 58, said it was good to be away from the home.
“It was a wonderful experience to be part of an environment totally different from the nursing home. I found it very touching to see so many children here playing and laughing. It reminded me of all the good times I enjoyed during my younger days,” he said.
Also present were residents of the My Manor Home and St Mary's Nursing Home.