H.E Mr Paul Jones the ambassador of United States of America with Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and representative of the Malaysian Government.
The American ambassador with the Gerakan president
A photo of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak with President Barack Obama of USA was shown as the American ambassador praised the warm relationship between our two countries.
The American ambassador H.E Mr Paul Jones with the President of United States of America
THE AMBASSADOR OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, H.E MR PAUL JONES, HOSTED A GRAND PARTY AT RENAISSANCE BALLROOM IN KUALA LUMPUR TO CELEBRATE ITS 235TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM GREAT BRITAIN.
OF COURSE, LOOKING AT UNITED STATES NOW WITH A POPULATION OF AROUND 310 MILLION, ONE CAN BARELY BELIEVE IT WAS ONCE NOTHING MORE THAN A FARFLUNG BRITISH COLONY!
HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED AS USA IS NOW BIGGER, PHYSICALLY, FINANCIALLY AND MILITARILY, THAN ITS COLONIAL MASTER AND MOTHERLAND. MIND YOU, THE EARLY SETTLERS WERE MOSTLY FROM ENGLAND WHICH EXPLAINS WHY THERE IS A STATE NAMED NEW ENGLAND, ANOTHER STATE CALLED GEORGIA AFTER KING GEORGE II WHILE NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA WERE NAMED AFTER KING CHARLES II AND MARYLAND AFTER QUEEN MARY THE WIFE OF KING CHARLES I, NEW YORK AFTER THE DUKE OF YORK AND VIRGINIA AFTER THE VIRGIN QUEEN AKA QUEEN ELIZABETH 1.
THIS ALSO JUSTIFIES THE SO-CALLED, FAMOUS 'SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP' BETWEEN UNITED KINGDOM AND UNITED STATES THAT EXISTS TO THIS VERY DAY. THE ODD MAN OUT STATE IS LOUISIANA NAMED AFTER KING LOUIS XIV OF FRANCE AS THAT NATION AIDED THE EARLY SETTLERS TO BREAK AWAY FROM ENGLAND.
OF COURSE, AFTER KING GEORGE III LOST THE ORIGINAL 13 COLONIES IN 1776, GREAT BRITAIN WENT ON TO ANNEX INDIA AND VAST PARTS OF THE WORLD TO BUILD THE WORLD'S GREATEST AND BIGGEST EMPIRE IN HISTORY. AT THE PEAK OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE,ONE-QUARTER OF THE HUMAN POPULATION WERE PAYING HOMAGE TO QUEEN VICTORIA BEFORE WORLD WAR 1 BEGUN TO ERODE ENGLAND'S POWER.
OVER 400 GUESTS CAME TO CONGRATULATE THE TALL AND HANDSOME AMERICAN AMBASSADOR WHOSE LAST POSTING WAS DEPUTY AMBASSADOR IN MANILA FOR 4 YEARS AND MALAYSIA IS THE FIRST NATION TO WELCOME HIM AS AMBASSADOR.
MALAYSIA AND UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ENJOY A MOST AMICABLE RELATIONSHIP AND WE WERE REPRESENTED BY TAN SRI DR KOH TSU KOON, PRESIDENT OF GERAKAN AND MINISTER IN THE PRIME MINISTER'S DEPARTMENT.
FOUR MEMBERS OF THE MARINES CORPS MARCHED IN HOLDING TWO FLAGS AND LOCALS WERE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO SEE SOME PRECISION MARCHING BY THE PERFECTLY GROOMED YOUNG AMERICANS MANY MALAYSIANS LINK TO G.I JOE!
As they were blocking the entrance to the loo, I took this photo as consolation
Here come the Marines!
Carrying the flag of honour
Lowering the flag halfway
The representative of Malaysia and American ambassador toasting to the health and well being of each other's country
The American ambassador and Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon with guests
Renaissance ballroom was packed
Merrymaking under the chandelier
VIPs; left, HE Mr Marc Barety, ambassador of France, Datin Shalini Ganendra, Dato Dr Dennis Ganendra, Datuk Seri Samy Velu and Vincent de Paul
Kee Hua Chee and Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, longest serving president of MIC and longest serving Minister in the Malaysian cabinet.
The American ambassador was rather taken by my red and blue shoes
Kee Hua Chee, HE Paul Jones the ambassador of United States of America who attended my birthday party on 7 January 2011 and Princess Dr Becky Leogardo
The American ambassador with Princess Dr Becky Leogardo
The Italian ambassador HE Mr Folco de Luca Gabrielli, his wife Madam Nilou and son Brando
Michelle, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo and Elizabeth Lemay
Princess Dr Becky Leogardo, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Puan Sri Christine Tan Sri Khir Johari
Madame Melissa Lecaros, wife of the Philippines ambassador, Santha Oorjitham and Princess Dr Becky Leogardo
Princess Dr Becky Leogardo's outfit matched the American flag with the white representing the purity of her heart..
Another pose with her RM 70,000 Hermes Birkin lizardskin
We calculated and realised this chandelier could not fit in either her mansion nor my palatial condo as it is too long
Princess Dr Becky Leogardo with Colonel Michael Dembroski, United States Air Force who is 56 but looks 40
No, the security check point did not force her to remove her bra before she walked through the metal detector as she was already bra-less to begin with
The grand party to celebrate America's 235th year of independence from Great Britain
The fireworks were prerecorded on Capitol Hill and was not live broadcast from outside Renaissance hotel
Mrs G.M Quist Adebiyi, Minister, Nigeria High Commission and Michelle Manda, Deputy High Commissioner of Republic of Zambia
Charlotte Rosier, Charlotte Taylor and Mark Cox from British High Commission
Grace Ma, community liaison officer, United States embassy and husband Lt Colonel Stephen Ma of United States Army who is half Chinese I think
These two Marines said they could not give their names as part of the rules but I wonder...
HE Mr Paul Jones, American ambassador, Sanjeev Nanavati, CEO of Citi and Nasir Abbasi, Counselor for Commercial Affairs
Philippines born Paz and her husband Chief Giovcuni Vital, defence attache officer, United States embassy
Super tall couple; Olga from Sweden and her bf Clayton Grindle, Captain US Navy, Naval Attache
Colonel Jacques Lemay, Defence Advisor of British High Commission who I could hardly recognise in Saville Row pin stripe suit instead of uniform though he pointed out the invite read suit or batek so he could not wear his medals and Colonel Frederick Ramos, Defence and Armed Forces Attache, Philippines embassy
Colonel Frederick Ramos and Kee Hua Chee who is non-military
Kee Hua Chee with his RM 6,000 Louis Vuitton messenger bag gifted by Princess Dr Becky Leogardo for Xmas 2010 and Colonel Jacques Lemay, Defence Advisor, British High Commission.
An ambulance stood ready for those who over-ate
HE Mr Paul Jones the American ambassador opened and closed his speech in Bahasa Malaysia. "Selamat sejahtera dan selamat petang," he said in passable Malay though his pronunciation needed work. He thanked Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon for representing the Malaysian government and noted the Gerakan president's multiple degrees from some of America's finest universities and his interest in education.
Displaying great PR, the American ambassador declared "We are here for a double celebration---the 235th anniversary of the Independence of United States of America and the vibrant friendship between America and Malaysia" which received loud applause.
He also pointed to the two giant screens behind him and Tan Sri Koh which repeatedly showed photographs of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the Foreign Minister with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as well as of him with his president and former president Clinton. Photographs of other leading Malaysians were also shown greeting Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Continued the American ambassador, "These images also show young Americans learning other cultures and forging friendships that will endure for decades to come. They show leaders who meet more frequently, to find new avenues for collaboration. Hundreds of American businesses are full partners in Malaysia's remarkable economic success. Forty five companies provided support for this evening.
"Our trading has resulted in prosperity for both nations. A new chapter is beginning for 9 nations, among them America and Malaysia, to create a 21st century free trade agreement called Trans Pacific Partnership."
He also noted John Hopkins medical school and MIT are creating new partnerships for students and researchers in Malaysia and the Malaysian Prime Minister has forged a new partnership with New York Academy of Sciences. He said proudly, "President Obama and Secretary Clinton are sending an eminent American scientist as the US Science Envoy in time for Malaysia's Year of Science next year."
He declared he and his family have enjoyed Malaysia for the last 9 months since his posting and have taken to our food, sights and sounds like a fish to water. "I have visited almost all of Malaysia's states and many multiple times and will continue to do so."
"Let me conclude by saying 'Mari la kita terus sama mengukuhkan hubungan ini' or as Secretary Hillary Clinton said she departed, 'Malaysia-America bolih'!"
The feast then begun in earnest though there were no signs of that great American contribution to global culinary---McDonalds and KFC of which I am very partial to. As befitted America as the world's greatest super power, security was water tight but not oppressive. Usually my face was my passport but this time I was asked to show my invitation card which I had left in Princess Becky Leogardo's stretched Mercedes-Benz limousine as don't expect me to come in a Skoda.
The smiling receptionists then asked me to get another invite from the desk opposite. The guy checked my name on the computer and wrote '4424' on my new invite which was later stamped 4th July American Embassy Kuala Lumpur which was strange as the party was on 1 July 2011 though the actual Independence Day is 4th July.
At the bottom of the grand staircase, I was asked to produce my invite which was rather amusing as all the two security people were staring at me the instant I walked in as my shirt was glittering like a chandelier and everyone was doubtless admiring me and Princess Becky Leogardo who wore a sexy, bareback cocktail number by Michael Ong.Upstairs we were again asked by more security personnel to show our invitation cards which was even more beguiling as they must have seen me brandishing my card below which was 10 metres away.
Jumping Jiminy Cricket, there was even a metal detector like the ones at KLIA. I had to remove my RM 6,000 Louis Vuitton Damier messenger bag gifted by Princess Dr Becky Leogardo and my RM 5,800 limited edition Leica camera given by HRH Sultanah Kalsom of Pahang (so nice to have NICE friends!).
There was a long queue waiting to enter and shake hands with the ambassador but midway he had to leave to greet Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon so I missed shaking hands with him but made do by cornering him later for a photo. I must say His Excellency looks like a very tall and handsome version of Tom Cruise. He said his brother-in-law is even more handsome.
Once inside and after the toasting and speeches ended, it was time to make merry and mingle, something I have honed to a fine art.