MAF event returns as Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award gala dinner

THE prestigious Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award gala dinner is back for the second year.

Previously known as the Red Ribbon Gala, the dinner organised by Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) will see the presentation of the coveted Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award to individuals and organisations that have made significant contribution to helping end AIDS by 2030 and raising funds for MAF.

The foundation will also present the Patron’s Awards to various individuals for their long-standing contributions in ending AIDS.

Funds raised from the gala will be channelled into HIV prevention and education, AIDS care and support for People Living with HIV (PLHIV).

MAF chairman Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said the money raised would go a long way in the foundation’s uphill battle to end AIDS in Malaysia by the targeted year.

“We have come a very long way in the last four decades of the HIV epidemic.

“We now have effective tools to prevent and treat the disease, so much so that there is a global goal to end AIDS by 2030 as set by UNAIDS, ” she said.

“In order to do that, PLHIV must be diagnosed and started on treatment as soon as possible. With treatment, PLHIV are able to lead a normal, healthy and productive life.

“Furthermore, PLHIV receiving effective treatment with a viral load that is undetectable means that they will not transmit the virus, ” she explained.

“However, despite free medication provided by the government, people living with the virus in Malaysia are still reluctant to come forward for treatment because of the fear of stigma and discrimination.”

She said the gala dinner, which raised RM1.68mil last year, would live up to its long-standing reputation of being the most prestigious fundraiser in Kuala Lumpur’s social calendar. Besides appearances by some of the MAF’s Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters, Indonesian diva Kris Dayanti will provide entertainment for the night. MAF patron Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir chairs the gala dinner organising committee.

Previous award recipients include the students of Limkokwing of Creative Technology (1996), Datuk Dr Christopher Lee (1998), Sister Jubaidah Bee Nagoor Pitchay (2006), PT Foundation (2008) and last year’s winner Matron Fadzilah Abdul Hamid. This year’s winner will receive a custom-made designer trophy, RM20,000 cash and a certificate of excellence.

The gala dinner will take place on Dec 14 at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

Tables are available in the following categories: Diamond (RM50,000); Platinum (RM30,000) and Gold (RM20,000). For details, call 012-247 3379 (Iza Suraiya, or 012-783 7853 (Pravin,

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