National Day of China

THE FIRST OF October marks the National Day of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

We were in Hong Kong when China celebrated its 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC in 2009. It was held on a grand scale across China as well as on the island. Besides the customary flag-raising ceremony held at the Golden Bauhinia Square, there was also a display of fireworks at night at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, HKCEC.

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(Top) The ceremony underway at the Golden Bauhinia Square, HK ; (Bottom) After the flag-raising ceremony, guests adjourned to the Grand Hall, HKCEC for a reception. (1 Oct 2009)

(Top) The ceremony underway at the Golden Bauhinia Square, HK ; (Bottom) After the flag-raising ceremony, guests adjourned to the Grand Hall, HKCEC for a reception. (1 Oct 2009)

View of HK Island taken from the Grand Hall, HKCEC. (1 Oct 2009)

View of HK Island taken from the Grand Hall, HKCEC. (1 Oct 2009)

Not to miss out, the kids followed the news coverage at home – on TV and in the newspaper. (1 Oct 2009)

Not to miss out, the kids followed the news coverage at home – on TV and in the newspaper. (1 Oct 2009)

TV news coverage of China’s 60th Anniversary celebrations in Beijing which took place in Tiananmen Square, attended by then-Chinese President Hu Jintao and his predecessor Jiang Zemin.

TV news coverage of China’s 60th Anniversary celebrations in Beijing which took place in Tiananmen Square, attended by then-Chinese President Hu Jintao and his predecessor Jiang Zemin. (1 Oct 2009)

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At the National Day Fireworks Display Dinner in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, held at the Grand Hall, HKCEC. (1 Oct 2009)

At the National Day Fireworks Display Dinner in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China, held at the Grand Hall, HKCEC. (1 Oct 2009)

The following October we attended our final flag-raising ceremony… same venue, same routine, same friendly faces.

Besides the guys being colleagues, this group shares another common thing… while one is Russian, the rest have been based in the Russian capital before; with friends Rebeka and Daravan. (1 Oct 2010)

(L) Besides the guys being colleagues, this group shares another common thing… while one is Russian, the rest have been based in the Russian capital before; (R) With friends Rebeka and Daravan. (1 Oct 2010)

Another view of HK Island taken from the Grand Hall, HKCEC. (1 Oct 2010)

Another view of HK Island taken from the Grand Hall, HKCEC. (1 Oct 2010)

Related post: The Establishment of Hong Kong SAR (link)

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National Day in Washington DC, 1999

MEMORY OF MY earlier official National Day celebrations in Washington DC held on 9th September1999.

The top photo was damaged by poor storage and humidity! (Top) The officers with Ambassador Dato’ Ghazzali Sheikh Abd. Khalid and Deputy Chief of Mission Dr. Fauziah  Taib; (Bottom) The ladies with Ambassador and Datin Faridah.

The top photo was damaged by poor storage and humidity! (Top) The officers with Ambassador Dato’ Ghazzali Sheikh Abd. Khalid and Deputy Chief of Mission Dr. Fauziah Taib; (Bottom) The ladies with Ambassador and Datin Faridah.

Our subsequent National Day receptions… in Belgrade, Serbia (link), Moscow, Russia (link) and Hong Kong (link).

National Day in Hong Kong, 2008-2010

WE HAD THREE National Day receptions while in Hong Kong, with all three held at Island Shangri-La.

Our first was held on 5th September 2008. The guest of honour was Secretary of Justice Mr. Wong Yan Lung.

(Top) Hubby and Mr. Wong shared a toast on stage and a light moment afterwards; (Center, L-R) I too got to meet the Justice Secretary; as well as a distinguished and humble gentleman, RK; Standing next to the ice-sculpture of Petronas Twin Towers; (Bottom) A group photo with the staff who helped make the event a success. (Island Shangri-La, 5 Sept 2008)

(Top) Hubby and Mr. Wong shared a toast on stage and a light moment afterwards; (Center, L-R) I too got to meet the Justice Secretary; as well as Mr. RK; Standing next to the ice-sculpture of Petronas Twin Towers; (Bottom) A group photo with the staff who helped make the event a success. (Island Shangri-La, 5 Sept 2008)

Our second was held on 9th of October 2009 (postponed to October due to the puasa month that year). The guest of honour was Secretary of Finance Mr. John Tsang. We were indeed honoured that he came as he had just been discharged from the hospital the previous week after a heart surgery (link).

(Top) Hubby and Mr. Tsang stood on stage while the national anthems of both countries were played; (Center, L-R) Toasting to one’s health and continued good relations between the two nations; a picture with Mr. Tsang; (Bottom, L-R) Greeting the guests, including Mr. and Mrs. RK; once again an ice-sculpture of the Twin Towers. (Island Shangri-La, 9 Oct 2009)

(Top) Hubby and Mr. Tsang stood on stage while the national anthems of both countries were played; (Center, L-R) Toasting to one’s health and continued good relations between the two nations; a picture with Mr. Tsang; (Bottom, L-R) Greeting the guests, including Mr. and Mrs. RK; once again an ice-sculpture of the Twin Towers. (Island Shangri-La, 9 Oct 2009)

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(Top) A group photo once again; (Bottom) Twin Towers ice-sculpture; the “roti canai” man displayed his skills, and the buffet spread. (Island Shangri-La, 9 Oct 2009)

Our final one was on 3rd September 2010. Once again, Secretary of Justice Mr. Wong Yan Lung came as the guest of honour.

(Top) Another toast between the two gentlemen; (Bottom, L-R) A photo with the Justice Secretary Mr. Wong; and Mr. & Mrs. RK who graced the event. (Island Shangri-La, 3 Sept 2010)

(Top) Another toast between the two gentlemen; (Bottom, L-R) A photo with the Justice Secretary Mr. Wong; and Mr. & Mrs. RK who graced the event. (Island Shangri-La, 3 Sept 2010)

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(Top) A final group photo for the album; (Bottom) Malaysian-themed decorations and cake. (Island Shangri-La, 3 Sept 2010)

As I look back at these events, I also recall fondly the guests who came – our foreign colleagues, friends, acquaintances – and also the hotel staff, all of whom are now part of my merdeka memory.

Our previous National Day receptions in Washington DC, USA (link), Belgrade, Serbia (link) and Moscow, Russia (link).

“The Standard” Article

The Standard, 6Oct2010Heart-op finance chief raring to go             (The Standard, 6 October 2009, page 7)

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah put in a light but full day’s work yesterday as he recovers from emergency heart surgery.

However, Tsang is on doctor’s orders to take “a good rest”, so any trips overseas will have to wait until next month.

Tsang, 58, who looked every inch the classic work-obsessed “Type A” personality as he strolled into the SAR government headquarters, was at his office yesterday from 11am to 6.40pm.

He will begin “full-time work” today, attending this morning’s Executive Council meeting and later a Legislative Council meeting.

Tsang suffered a heart attack on the night of September 27. He had hardly any pulse when he was admitted to the emergency room of Queen Mary Hospital, hours after arriving home from Pittsburg in the United States where he attended the G20 summit.

Tsang attributed his survival to his wife Lynn, who is a nurse and immediately recognised the signs of a heart attack.

Dr Stephen Lee Wai-luen, chief of cardiology at Queen Mary Hospital and a University of Hong Kong professor, was on-call that night. He conducted emergency balloon-stent angioplasty to unclog the arteries in Tsang’s heart.

Looking quite well yesterday, Tsang simply waved to reporters waiting outside his office but did not take any questions.

He was discharged from hospital last Saturday.

The same day, he was supposed to have embarked on a 10-day trip to Istanbul, Turkey, for the International Monetary Fund annual meeting followed by stops in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. No official has been assigned to replace Tsang at the meetings her missed.

Lee has not warned Tsang against flying but strongly advises him to “take a good rest.”

His next overseas trip is scheduled for Singapore next month. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO summit is being held in the city-state.

Tsang is expected to spend time in his office catching up on reports and paperwork until his first public function post-surgery on Friday at a Malaysian National Day reception. (link)

50th National Day in Moscow, 2007

AFTER CELEBRATING OUR 50th National Day in Belgrade, Serbia (link), we returned to Moscow for another round of celebrations.

Turning five-zero is a milestone, so it was held on a grander scale compared to the two previous years. It was held at Renaissance Hotel, Moscow on Tuesday, 4th September 2007. Two chefs were flown in to prepare a truly Malaysian fare while an artiste was at hand to demonstrate batik-painting.

Ice-sculpture of Petronas Twin Towers; Chef Bahar in his element preparing roti canai; the artiste watched as Muscovite guests tried their hands at batik-painting.

Ice-sculpture of Petronas Twin Towers; Chef Bahar in his element preparing roti canai; the artiste watched as Muscovite guests tried their hands at batik-painting.

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(Top) The dancers – mainly our medical students in the Russian capital – taking a break from their performance; (Bottom) The staff, all smiles after a memorable evening spent with friends and colleagues, Renaissance Hotel, Moscow, 4 Sept 2007.

Our other National Day receptions… in Washington DC (link) and Hong Kong (link).