Prepared by: Afif Ridhwan Roslan
Photos by: Mirzan Mustafa Kamal
The 2017 UNAM Prime Minister Biennial Dinner was an auspicious gala dinner that was hosted on the 30th of October at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur. The fundraising dinner entertained various corporate figures, diplomats, public leaders and our very own UNAM Youth members.
We began the evening with a meeting led by Arfan Othman, where he briefed us on our tasks for the night prior to the dinner. The role played by UNAM Youth in this dinner was subtle, but pertinent. We handled the ushering of guests and registration of media.
The dinner began with pre-drinks by the foyer of the Sapphire Room. As drinks were served, so were smiles as guests enjoyed the company of each other. UNAM Youth members did not miss out on the opportunity, as we mingled amongst ourselves, some of us did so with their partners they brought along for the dinner.
After pre-drinks, everyone was seated in the Sapphire Room, while UNAM Youth Members and Dato’ Zainal Abidin await the presence of the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. As the Prime Minister arrived, so did the cocassion begin.
The dinner began with an address from Tan Sri Razali, who commented on the need for moderation to prevent rising extremist sentiments within the nation. He recalled several UN missions of the past where moderation was crucial towards the success of these missions. The author recalls Tan Sri Razali leading the UN envoy to Myanmar to negotiate the release of Aung Suu Kyi from house arrest.
As food was served, so a string quartet accompanied the dinner. From classical arrangements to covers of contemporary local songs, the ambience of the room was magnificent.
Of course, the highlight of the dinner was the speech from the Prime Minister himself. On the topic of governance, Prime Minister Najib Razak began by highlighting the achievements of Malaysia in terms of economy and security. Prime Minister Najib noted Malaysia and China’s recent partnership as a prosperous one, and Malaysia is in the time of prosperity.
Moving forward, Prime Minister Najib Razak highlighted the coming of fake news within the Malaysian media circle. Noting statements made by a “former leader”, according to the PM, the PM mentioned that Malaysia is not as corrupted as claimed by the former leader, citing a statistic from an international organisation. The author would note that the World Audit ranks Malaysia as the 44th country in their Corruption Rank table, and 55 on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
The dinner soon ended following the closing remarks of the Prime Minister. Guests enjoyed their time and UNAM Youth, the committee and volunteers both, had a great time mingling with Governing Council members. The dinner ended at 11 PM.