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Najib Picks P Ramlee’s Hits For Asean Gala Dinner

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KUALA LUMPUR: A compilation of P.Ramlee’s famous tracks – Getaran Jiwa, Kwek Mambo and Menceceh Bujang Lapok – have been personally picked by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for the Gala Dinner to honour Asean leaders and delegates this Saturday.

National Culture and Arts Department director-general Datuk Norliza Rofli said the prime minister had high admiration for the Malaysian legend as the late P.Ramlee is seen as an icon of unity, with his compositions of easy-listening and pleasant music.

“Our prime minister has also given his ‘personal touch’ for the performances to be special,” she told Bernama on what is in store for the Gala Dinner.

She said Najib, who will host the Gala Dinner with his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wanted a performance that would further boost relations among the 10 countries that make up Asean.

Just like the 26th Asean Summit held Kuala Lumpur in April, Norliza said Najib had asked for every performance to have a storyline that not only portrayed Malaysia as Asean Chairman for 2015, but also the regional grouping as one community.

She said the two-hour dinner show will feature five segments from the P. Ramlee era, to songs and dances of various ethnic groups in the country, performances by Asean member countries and a special segment on its dialogue partners through their respective culture and music.

“As the host, the prime minister would definitely want his guests especially his counterparts to feel at home by watching and listening to performances that display every country’s uniqueness,” she said.

A patriotic song called ‘Tanah Pusaka’ and ‘Standing In The Eyes Of The World’ will be played at the opening session of the dinner to represent Malaysia as one of the most respected countries in the world.

While enjoying mouth-watering food served by the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) culinary team, guests will also be entertained by an ‘ala’ broadway performance featuring big names in the industry such as Sean Ghazi and Stephen Rahman Hughes.

The leaders and delegates will then have the opportunity to watch a performance by a talented group of Permata Seni children who will belt out the popular ‘Heal The World’ song.

As for the finale, she said the Asean theme song entitled ‘One’ will be sung.

With a 429-strong group of well-trained performers including musicians, artistes and dancers, Norliza was optimistic that the gala dinner would bring sweet memories to everyone.

Touching on the technical aspects, Norliza said a special three-feet hydraulic podium has been installed in the dining hall to ensure everyone’s eyes will be on Najib while he delivers his speech.

Other than that, the Wau Bulan (a traditional Malaysian kite) themed stage that reflects the culture and heritage of the country, LED screens on walls and visuals on the 10 Asean countries would also be displayed to enhance the mood and ambience, she added. – Bernama

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