ALL TURNED UP FOR THE BIRTHDAY PARTY EXCEPT THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRANT!
AROUND 600 GUESTS TURNED UP AT THE RESIDENCE OF THE BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER IN KUALA LUMPUR TO CELEBRATE THE OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY OF HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II ON 13 JUNE.
THE ONLY ONE MISSING WAS THE HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH HERSELF AS SHE WAS IN LONDON 8,000 MILES AWAY. STILL, THE PARTY WENT ON WITHOUT THE MAIN PROPONENT AS EVERYONE HAD A JOLLY GOOD TIME.
Dato Seri Idris Jala and HE Mr Simon Featherstone getting ready to toast
Samantha and HE Mr Simon Featherstone the British High Comissioner and the British community singing 'God Save the Queen'
The British High Commissioner singing 'God Save the Queen'
A toast to Her Majesty the Queen of UK!
Samantha from Garden International School singing Negara Ku
A toast to His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah
HE Mrs Gail Featherstone, HE Mr Simon Featherstone the British High Commissioner, Dato Seri Idris Jala the Representative of the Malaysian Government, Marina Tan, Emily Tan and Chris Tan. Marina Tan won the English Speaking Union International Public Speaking Competition in London and win with her speech 'The Game Changers'. Congratulations, Marina Tan!
A SPECIAL EXHIBITION WAS HELD SHOWING PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE VISIT OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II TO MALAYSIA IN 1974 WHEN THE KING OF MALAYSIA HAPPENED TO BE THE CURRENT KING OF MALAYSIA! AND NOW, FOR HER DIAMOND JUBILEE, THE NEW KING OF MALAYSIA AGAIN HAPPENS TO BE THE SULTAN OF KEDAH, THE FIRST AND ONLY SULTAN TO BE YANG DI PERTUAN AGONG TWICE!
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the late and great Sultanah Bahiyah and the yang DiPertuan Agong when he was King of Malaysia from 1970 to 1975 and he is again King of Malaysia! What a blessed coincidence!
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom and His Majesty the King of Malaysia, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, then the 5th Agong. Today he is the 14th King of Malaysia!
The Queen of England chatting with young Malaysians
The host was His Excellency Mr Simon Featherstone the British High Commissioner and his wife Her Excellency Madame Gail Featherstone. The residence was all done up as befitted the party mood though security was tight as Mother Hubbard's cupboard was bare. Why I think of these two disparate comparisons is beyond me but my brains work in wondrous ways its miracles to perform.
The road was closed to two-way traffic and only one way was allowed by the police. All guests had to walk through metal detector arch detectors marked 'Men' and 'Women' which was rather Islamic I thought. I walked through the 'Women' sector as the 'Men' had a long queue and I am better than any woman except Mother Mary and no one stopped me.
Gurkha buglers dressed like Highland pipers and Army Air Corps trumpeters stood at the entrance as the top brass from the British High Commission waited inside to welcome their guests.
We went downstairs where the action was as everyone waited for the official toast to the health and long reign of the Queen of England and the King of Malaysia. Student Samantha from Garden International School sang the national anthems 'God Save the Queen' and 'Negara Ku' and a toast was offered to Queen Elizabeth II and Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah.
The guest of honour was Dato' Sri Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. Said His Excellency Mr Simon Featherstone, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, "This
month we are celebrating the official birthday of Her Majesty the Queen but also her 60th Anniversary on the throne, only the second monarch in British history to reach this milestone. The prayer contained in the national anthem we have just sung
for the Queen "long to reign over us" has been answered in abundance.
"Many have watched the TV coverage of the wonderful Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London a week ago. Today we have our own celebrations in KL.
"Our bilateral relations have gone from strength to strength. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made a government visit to the UK last July and British Prime Minister David Cameron paid a return visit to Malaysia last April, the first serving British Prime Minister to come to Malaysia in nearly 20 years.
"I am particularly delighted to have our Guest of Honour tonight, Dato Seri Idris Jala, architect of Malaysia's Economic Transformation Programme. He has worked many years in London with Shell. He is an embodiment of the close UK-Malaysia trade and investment relationship. He is also a good friend and talented guitarist and I am depending on him to help out should our music system fail us."
Of course the British High Commissioner spoke about the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics that will again place London on the international radar. " I know many Malaysians will be attending or watching on TV. Through such events, we want the world to see us as we are---an open, creative and dynamic country which successfully combines history and tradition with modernity and innovation."
Grinned the arch diplomat, "So tonight we are not only celebrating 'Diamond' for The Queen but also anticipating 'Gold' for both Malaysia and Great Britain's Olympic teams!"