THE MAJESTIC HOTEL FINALLY REOPENED AFTER A HIATUS OF 18 YEARS AND NOW KUALA LUMPUR CAN BOAST OF A GRANDE DAME HOTEL SIMILAR TO THE RAFFLES OF SINGAPORE, PENINSULA OF HONG KONG, MANDARIN ORIENTAL OF BANGKOK AND EVEN THE STRAND OF YANGON, MYANMAR.
Dato Mark Yeoh, the Man of the Hour at the Grand Opening of Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, a Leading Hotel of the World
Dato Mark Yeoh, Executive Director of YTL Hotels and Kee Hua Chee
Madame Gail Featherstone, wife of the British High Commissioner, daughter Lucy and His Excellency the British High Commissioner Simon Featherstone
Dato Yusli Mohammad Yusoff and Datin, Dato Yeoh Soo Ming and Datuk Robert Tan
Dato Mark Yeoh and daughter, like father like daughter!
Kee Hua Chee and Jennifer Ong
The Majestic was once the best hotel in the Malay peninsula (as Malaysia did not exist then) when it opened in 1932 when most of the attendees were not yet born. However, some were and actually patronised the old Majestic!
One was Dato Maria Menado, the famous actress from Sulawesi, Indonesia whose real name was Liesbet Dotulong. Now 80, she told me she used to patronise the old Majestic some 60 years ago!
Now still looking glamorous in tudung and sunglasses, she said, "The first Asian Film Festival was held here and I stayed in this hotel back then. I met Hong Kong stars and remember posing in the corridors. UMNO and MCA held their meetings here in the rooftop. Majestic was the best hotel then and now it is the best hotel again!"
Gosh, no wonder Dato Maria Menado has been appointed Ambassador of Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, now a Leading Hotel of the World. This is a major accolade as it was approved even before the hotel was completed, such is the power and trust generated by YTL Group which runs the property now under the YTL Classic Hotels group as there is also a superb Majestic Malacca.
I told Dato Maria Menado she was once known as the most beautiful woman in Malaya and she laughed. "That was history, a long time ago. Maybe I was beautiful then but now I am old and times have changed."
In 1957, Time magazine described her as 'the most beautiful woman in Malaya' while United Press International, a news organisation, referred to her as 'the most interesting woman in Southeast Asia."
Now wonder this still feisty woman caught the eye of the then Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Abu Bakar Ri'ayatuddin who proposed and they married in 1963 when she was 30.
As a result, she had to stop acting and all her movies, especially the vampire 'Pontianak' series which made her famous, were banned from being screened. After Sultan Abu Bakar's death she moved to KL and applied to Sultan Ahmad Shah, the current Sultan of Pahang, to allow her movies to be shown again. His Royal Highness consented but by then, most of the original movie reels had been thrown into mines for some bizarre reason by Ho Ah Loke, the boss of Cathay Keris and were irreparably damaged or lost. Why Ho did not offer the films to National Archives remains a mystery and the loss is beyond cost in the history of Malaysian movies.
During the video presentation, the song that accompanied it was sung by Dato Maria Menado and was called 'Arjuna Ku'. I am off to buy this song first thing tomorrow as it sounded so sultry, haunting, classic and subtly sexy, not like me who is blatantly sexy.
Said Dato Mark Yeoh, executive director of YTL Hotels who was the man of the hour, "My communications director Izan Yusuf has written a very nice speech but I prefer to speak from my heart and it is all about gratitude.
"I wish to thank Datuk Zuraidah Majid for pushing through this project which had been stuck for 12 years. I also wish to thank architect Zaidan Tahir who designed the new Majestic and is now involved in our Bath hotel. I remember 18 years ago I chased him out of the room for giving a lousy presentation and look at him now! Well done and we are so proud of you, Zaidan!"
Dato Mark Yeoh also thanked Dato Maria Menado who came to the old Majestic with P.Ramlee and also noted top guns like Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Razak came here to discuss plans about independence for Malaya. UMNO and MCA members used to congregate here from 1932 onwards.
He also thanked the Tan family who used to work in the original Majestic which used to be the German Council. Irene and Jenny Tan, daughters of Tan Meng Tan the Bar Captain, were presented with an exclusive print of their father.
Later, Lim Heng Suan,the son of the founder of Majestic Hotel, presented a giant key to Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay whose company YTL Group is now the new owner of Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Kee Hua Chee and Jennifer Ong
2-faced Kee Hua Chee with 1-face Jennifer Ong
Sylvia Law nee Chew of YTL, the long serving PA to Tan Sri Francis Yeoh and she is so powerful she even has her own PA! A PA for a PA! I love it
Sylvia Law and Jennifer Ong
Mawar Proehoeman, Ida Lokman carrying spiffy Kenzo handbag and Collin Edmonds
Kee Hua Chee with his 2 faces and Jennifer Ong
Jennifer Ong and hubby Christopher Lim of CRS Advisory
Izan Yusuf, Corporate Communications Director of YTL Hotels and hubby Paul Wilson of Wasco Coatings Malaysia Sdn Bhd
Dato and Datin Yusli Yusoff, Dato Yeoh Soo Ming and hubby Dato Robert Tan
Gene Low, director of Low Yat Group and Angela Ng, director of Quintaessentia (she really MUST change the name of her tongue-twister company!)
Sabera Shaik of Masa Kini Theatre Company, Low Gee Tat, director of Low Yat Group and Angela Ng, director of Quintaessentia
Dr Melissa Foo and daddy Dr Foo Chi Chean of mydentist. Imagine both daughter and father are dental surgeons! Like father, like daughter! She inherited his brains!
Melissa Foo and Kee Hua Chee
Dramatic shot using my Leica camera of my table guests
Only select tables had such grand floral displays ok!
Only I thought of taking this creative photo of Tan Sri Francis Yeoh from this angle!
Dramatic and unsual view of Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, MD of YTL Group, delivering his welcome address
The Grand Ballroom of Majestic Hotel
Dato Yasmin Yusuf was emcee of the evening
Dato Mark Yeoh, director of YTL Hotels, presenting special print of Tan Meng Tan, the Bar Captain of Majestic Hotel, to Tan's daughters Jenny Ng and Irene Tan
Don't worry, the Majestic is in safe and capable hands now under the YTL Group!
Tan Sri Francis Yeoh giving his address
Lim Heng Suan from the original Lim family who founded Majestic Hotel in 1932, about to give the key to Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, chairman of YTL Group
Lim Heng Suan waiting for Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, partriarch and founder of YTL Group
The symbolic handover from one clan to another---from the Lims to the Yeohs! With the handing over the key to Majestic Hotel, it signals the passing of an old era to a new age!
Kudos all round! Lim Heng Suan and Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay
Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay returning to the Main Table. There were no Royalty like King or Sultan or Prime Minister which surprised many.
David Poo of Hong Bee Land and partner but not of the sexual kind he told me
David Poo of Hong Bee Land and partner (business, not sex)
Pot of shrimps as from olden days from the old Majestic menu
York Spencer (right) from Carlsberg and friends
Kee Hua Chee, Dato Mark Yeoh of YTL Hotels and Dr Melissa Foo
Dr Foo Chi Chean, top dental surgeon, Dato Thavalingam Thavarajah, top lawyer from Lee Jishamuddin Allen & Gledhill and Dato Mark Yeoh, top hotelier
Dato Mark Yeoh and friends
Dato Mark Yeoh and friends
Top fashion creator Jenny Hiu of Lady Jane boutique, the first super successful Malaysian designer who caters only to the richest strata of local and regional high society. She is the favourite couturier to Brunei royalty which explains her sports cars and millions! I love her watch!
Gorgeous royal couple; Tunku Johanez bin Dato Sri Utama Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Al-Haj of Kedah and wife Che Puan Winnie Sophia Low of Ampang Park, KL
YM Tunku Johanez bin Dato Seri Utama Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Al-Haj, prince of Kedah and Che Puan Winnie Sophia Low are stunningly good-looking and well-matched, a golden Malaysian couple blessed with everything and they are my favourite Young Couple
Dr Ruban Nathan is the man to go when you need to fix your skin and hair. His Dr Ruban's Skin & Hair Clinic is in Damansara Heights and I adore his sister Malini
Shaline and hubby Dr Ruban Nathan...look at her skin and hair!
Law Chin Wat of Mulpha International and Gina Hansen of Talktravel
Law Chin Wat with drinking buddy Datuk Teo Chok Boo and Datin Teo
Law Chin Wat and friends
Law Chin Wat and friends
Anthony Koh of AmInvestment Bank, Law Chin Wato of Mulpha and Ronn Yong of Mulpha
Anthony Koh, Law Chin Wat and Ronn Yong
Datuk Dr Paul Chan co-founder of HELP, Datin Chan-Low Kam Yoke co-founder of HELP, Jennifer Ong and Christopher Lim
Datuk Dr Paul Chan of HELP University, Datin Chan-Low Kam Yoke of HELP University, Jennifer Ong of Great Eastern Life and Christopher Lim of CRS Advisory
Caring, sharing and wonderfully compassionate couple Datuk and Datin Chan who co-founded HELP University, the university of achievers.
Datuk Dr Paul Chan, Vice-Chancellor, President and Co-Founder of HELP University with his wife Datin Chan-Low Kam Yoke who co-founded HELP University. Datuk Dr Paul Chan innocently asked me to introduce poor people to him so he could help them. I sighed, "I am the last person you should ask that. I only know the rich and famous." Without batting an eyelid, he replied, "Even better, they can help HELP!"
Handsome and dishy Joseph Yeoh. You can tell he is from the Yeoh clan by his facial features and cheek bones.
Twins separated at birth probably; Joseph Yeoh and Kee Hua Chee with his improved portrait done in sequins
Tan Sri Francis Yeoh visiting the tables
June Wong, managing editor of The Star and hubby KK Tan. She cut her hair only hours earlier so this is her first photo of her new, short-cropped and stylish hair!
June Wong, Managing Editor of The Star, Malaysia's leading newspaper with 1.556 million readers daily and KK Tan
KK Tan, June Wong managing editor of The Star and old friend Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, MD of YTL Group whose family fortune is around RM 8 billion
KK Tan, June Wong and Tan Sri Francis Yeoh
2 VI (Victoria Institute) boys!
VI Old Boys! So clicquish
Datuk Ooi Chean See, famous conductor, June Wong, famous Managing Editor of The Star and KK Tan, famous antiques/heritage items businessman
Datuk Ooi Chean See, June Wong, KK Tan and Dato Mark Yeoh of YTL Hotels, the man of the hour!
Rahmah Dato Mahmood, sister of the late and great Datin Seri Endon, former First Lady and her Japanese hubby