THE China-Malaysia Youth Exchange Programme in Penang gave talents from both countries an international platform to shine.
Held over five days, it brought together 32 local youngsters from primary and secondary school levels, with 60 of their Chinese counterparts.
They indulged in a series of music, arts and dance exchanges, capped off with a gala dinner held at the grand ballroom of The Top@Komtar.
It was sponsored by City of Dreams (COD) of Ewein Berhad, whose group managing director Datuk Ewe Swee Kheng was among the 500 guests in attendance.
As the guests feasted on a sumptuous multi-course Chinese dinner, the students kept them entertained with a lineup of vibrant performances.
There were charming folk dances and rousing nationalistic routines, alongside musical numbers, wushu displays and belly dancing.
A Chinese calligraphy master then exhibited his deft brush skills, creating two scrolls on the spot as an eager crowd gathered to snap photos.
These were then presented to Ewe and also Leon Lee – the CEO of Zeon Properties Sdn Bhd, COD’s exclusive marketer and also event co-sponsor.
Lee, who was also the dinner’s organising chairman, said the transnational exchange programme was aimed at channelling youthful inspiration, energy and passions.
Such activities, he believes, would not only have a life-changing impact on every participant, but also create an innovative, gregarious and sociable generation.
“As Nelson Mandela once said, the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.
“Therefore it is very important to promote such exchanges because almost everything that is great, has been done by youth,” he added in his speech.
Lee also gave a presentation on Penang’s charms and tourist attractions, for the benefit of Chinese guests who were in attendance.
Among those present at the recent dinner were the Consul-General of China in Penang, Lu Shiwei, and deputy Consul-General, Leng Xiaoming.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow lauded the state’s great ties with China, whose investments and projects helped create job opportunities and boosted the local economy.
On the tourism sector, Chow said Penang has become one of Chinese tourists’ top destinations, with many wanting to come here due to its rich cultural attractions.
Also present were State Assembly Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang, Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng, State Women and Family Development, Gender Equality and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Chong Eng, and Zeon Properties chairman Alex Lee.
Joining them were the counsellor of China’s Gansu province Su Xiaolin, and chairman of Nine Provinces (Beijing) Media Co Ltd Ren Taiyu.
The exchange programme was organised by Nine Provinces.
Chinese students who wanted to participate first had to qualify via a show held in Beijing.
Besides the activities in Penang, the group also visited Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
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