Contributed by Liew Kok Heng, Editor/Writer, and photos by James Lew
The 73rd Malaysian Bar Annual Dinner & Dance (“ADD”) — which took place a few hours after the conclusion of the 77th Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Bar (“AGM”) — was a glittering affair with the theme “Glitz & Glam”.
The attendees were dressed to impress, with the ladies adorned in elegant evening gowns, and the gentlemen looking sharp in their modern suits, ties, and tuxedos. The atmosphere was lively and filled with excitement as the guests mingled around, among fellow Members and former Members of the Bar, former Judges and Judges from the High Court and Court of Appeal (“CoA”), Judicial Commissioners, past Presidents of the Bar, as well as Ambassadors, High Commissioners, and representatives of various organisations. Among the guests were members and formers members of the Bench, and Members of the Bar — YAA Tun Tengku Maimum Tun Mat, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima David Wong Dak Wah, YA Mary Lim Thiam Suan, YA Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, YA Dato’ Collin Lawrence Sequerah, Tan Sri V C George, Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy, Dato’ George Varughese, and many more. In the foyer, a photo booth was set up with a luxurious backdrop to create the perfect 360-camera Instagram moment.
This year’s ADD, which was held at the Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, was attended by close to a thousand Members; a noteworthy point that the President of the Malaysian Bar, Karen Cheah Yee Lynn, quipped to be more than the attendees at the earlier-concluded AGM during her opening speech. She was introduced to the stage by the emcee for the evening, Gajen Nad, also a stand-up comedian, who humoured and entertained the audience with his lively and witty remarks.
A special presentation featuring the Past Presidents of the Malaysian Bar from 2019 to 2022 shortly followed, where Past Presidents Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor, Salim Bashir, and A G Kalidas, were invited to the stage to receive a commemorative trophy each for their outstanding service to the Bar, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dinner was served soon after, during which live performances from Os Pombos with evergreen numbers from their vast repertoire of songs and D8 Studio dancers — the latter who also performed the opening gambit to formally officiate the event — kept the guests entertained throughout the night.
This year, the Sports Personality Award was given to four outstanding Members of the Bar — Ng Ai Li, Adnan Seman @ Abdullah, James Chew Hock Chuan, and Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali — all of who had excelled in many sporting events, from cross-country running, volleyball, football, chess, to tennis, golf, squash, and hockey.
Prizes were also given away to lucky Members of the Bar for being best dressed, and also during the Lucky Draw session. The ADD might have officially ended by midnight, but a group of Members and Secretariat staff kept the party going all night long, dancing to their heart’s content. It was undoubtedly a grand event with a touch of glamour, and the guests left the Majestic Hotel with unforgettable memories of an enchanting evening.
Let’s raise a glass to the gracious sponsors of the night and the ADD Organising Committee members, including Secretary Anand Raj and Secretariat members Anne Andrew, Anthonia William, Azwa Zulsamli, Erin Samuel, Lily Aw, Masrita Jusoh, Rajen Devaraj (CEO of the Bar Council Secretariat), whose meticulous planning and attention to detail made this year’s ADD an unforgettable experience. May there be many more nights like this in the future!