SOME 800 guests were treated to a scrumptious buffet dinner at a Chinese New Year reception hosted by the Chinese embassy at St Regis Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Video clips showcasing popular tourist destinations in Malaysia and China, as well as major Chinese investments in Malaysia were shown before the arrival of the guests-of-honour — China’s ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Liow, who took the stage first, represented Malaysia to wish China and its 1.3 billion citizens a wonderful year ahead filled with happiness and joy.
Dr Huang, speaking after Liow, said whenever family and friends in China asked if he would return to celebrate the Lunar New Year, he would always answer, “The embassy is my home. So my home now is Malaysia.”
The cheerful ambassador said this was the fourth time he was spending Chinese New Year in Malaysia.
Before Malaysia, Dr Huang had been posted to the United States and Canada.
He said he would pay visits to friends and Chinese new villages in the upcoming days.
“I’ve received many Chinese New Year invitations, unfortunately I won’t be able to attend all of them,” he said.
Dr Huang, who once served as a law lecturer at Wuhan University, also wrote a couplet wishing all Malaysians a prosperous and peaceful year.
Liow and Dr Huang then led the audience in a toast to a lasting friendship between Malaysia and China and the wellbeing of the citizens in both countries.
After that, guests were free to enjoy their meal.
However, some guests were eager to take photographs with Dr Huang and Liow first to mark the occasion.
In the spirit of the festive season, all the dishes were named after auspicious four-word Chinese idioms, such as nian nian you yu (prosperity blessing for the year) for the fish and jin ji he shou (blessing from the golden rooster) for chicken rice.
Unlike traditional Chinese dinners where everyone would be seated, guests were served at standing tables to make it easier for everyone to mingle.
Among the invited guests were foreign diplomats, government officials and business leaders.
Star Media Group Berhad group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai was among the invited guests.
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