KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 — The Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award Gala Dinner 2018 truly lived up to expectations at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The gala dinner, hosted to recognise individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution towards meeting the goal of ending AIDS by 2030, managed to raise RM1.68 million in the process.
The night kicked off with the arrival of Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali at 8.15pm, with hundreds of honourable guests, celebrities and members of the media greeting her along the red carpet.
“I’m so grateful Tun Dr Siti Hasmah made time to come to the event. Her presence alone was something special and made it an even more memorable event,” MAF chairman Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman told Malay Mail.
Among the VIP guests at the gala dinner included Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Ancom Berhad executive chairman Datuk Siew Ka Wei, human rights lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Hilton Malaysia regional general manager Jamie Mead.
Guests were then treated to a four-course menu, which consisted of prawn and avocado with grapefruit guacamole as a starter, and a choice of a main course between the grilled Australian tenderloin beef and herb crusted sea bass fillet.
There was no shortage of entertainment too as MAF Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters Dayang Nurfaizah and Bob Yusof dazzled the audience with five songs each before the guests closed their dining session with a chocolate dessert.
Dr Adeeba described the gala dinner as a success when interviewed by Malay Mail after the event.
“The dinner was a success, kudos to the chef. We managed to make RM1.68 million which is an amazing amount considering the times we live in.
“There’s still a lot to be done to reach our goal but I felt the support of everyone in the room here today.
“When everyone works together, the time frame of achieving a goal will eventually be shortened,” she said.
The highlight of the night, however, was of course the awards ceremony.
Rumah Solehah’s Matron Fadzilah Abdul Hamid received the Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award for her contribution towards the cause and walked away with a cash prize of RM10,000 and a certificate of excellence.
For the first time too, MAF awarded five Patron’s Awards to various organisations and individuals.
Yayasan Sime Darby was awarded the Patron’s Award for excellence in corporate social responsibility, while Teratak Kasih Tok Nan Project was recognised for its outstanding contribution to ending AIDS.
Three others were recognised with the long service award, namely Datuk Maznah Jalil, Datin Mina Cheah-Foong and Hisham Hussein.
\ Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) president Bakhtiar Talhah echoed Dr Adeeba’s sentiments and described it as something magnificent.
“It’s heartening for me to see the support given by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, although he couldn’t be here with us today but through his speech, he showed that he is ready to support programmes that we have to do within the country.
“The ballroom, entertainment and food were elegant. It’s nice to see big corporations lending their support to be part of our effort to end AIDS,” Bakhtiar said.
Malay Mail was the media partner for the event.