Foundation’s charity dinner to pay tribute to nasi lemak

Maznah (left) and Saw showing the ‘Everything Nasi Lemak’ cookbook which will be launched at the Nostalgia Nasi Lemak charity dinner. — S.S.KANESAN/The Star

THE Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) will continue with its time-honoured tradition of hosting gala dinners with an all-new dining experience with the theme “Nostalgia Nasi Lemak”.

“The idea is to unite people with everyone’s favourite dish while shedding light on a timely issue, specifically the HIV/AIDS situation among women,” said MAF honorary treasurer Datuk Maznah Abdul Jalil.

She said the trend of new HIV infections among women showed no signs of slowing down despite a 50% reduction in overall new cases in a decade.

The least expected people to contract HIV are housewives comprising one-third of the 12,578 reported female infections.

“Women face heightened levels of HIV risks and because of the gender inequality and the stigma of society, they shy away from any lifesaving treatments or prevention,” said Maznah at Swiss Garden Hotel and Residences Kuala Lumpur.

The charity dinner, to be held on Nov 20, will commemorate the official launch of the book Everything Nasi Lemak, authored by celebrity chef Puan Sri Betty Saw.

The second edition of her 2013 bestselling cookbook will feature 75 kitchen-tested side dish recipes from Nyonya Beef Rendang and Potted Fish Otak-Otak to Mushroom Egg Roll and Ayam Pandan.

Nasi lemak is called the national dish for a very good reason because every Malaysian loves it despite the ethnic and cultural differences,” said Saw.

“It is this spirit of unity that inspired me to dedicate this book for a good cause.

“It is unacceptable that women living with HIV remain hidden and suffer in silence. I hope my cookbook will give these women the power to speak up,” she added.

“All proceeds from the book will benefit MAF treatment, care and support programmes for HIV-impacted women such as psychosocial counselling, health literacy, livelihood support and many more.

Stepping up to the bandwagon of this charitable endeavour is the hotel, which is offering full sponsorship of the charity dinner.

A representative from the hotel said the Nostalgia Nasi Lemak charity dinner will mark the beginning of a long-term social responsibility partnership between Swiss Garden International Hotels, Resorts and Inns, and MAF.

The charity dinner will be attended by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

It will feature Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters such as Bob Yusof with cameo appearances by comedienne Joanne Kam.

Nostalgia Nasi Lemak will be held on Nov 20 at the Grand Hibiscus Ballroom, Swiss Garden Hotel and Residences Kuala Lumpur.

Tables are priced at RM10,000, RM5,000 and RM3,000, all of which are eligible for tax exemption.

For details, call 012-9594 596 or email (Ahmad Arif), or call 019-441 3577 or email (Hafsah Nizar).

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