CHILDREN with special needs had a chance to shine and show off their musical talents at a special talent show at Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur.
The “One-Two-Star” Talent Show, hosted by Selangor Dredging Bhd (SDB) in collaboration with Milestone Productions, featured children with special needs performing songs inspired from the movies.
The talent show was an effort to further build the children’s confidence level, while showcasing their unique musical abilities that the world at large rarely gets to see.
It also formed part of SDB’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative after the success of the “One-Two-Juice” (a juice bar), “One-Two-Wash” (a car wash initiative) and “One-Two-Gift” (a soap-making project) programmes run by people with special needs.
Prior to the talent show, a workshop was held for all participants where coaches Dominic Lau and Joshua Gui provided the children with constructive feedback and encouragement.
SDB group managing director Teh Lip Kim said the purpose of the show was to educate the public about the hidden musical talents of the special children.
“It is a rare honour and privilege for all of us to come up here as a family to show our support for all these special children and their families, ” she said, in the company of her husband and two sons.
“As a mother of a special needs child, I understand just how challenging the journey can be for these children, ” she said.
“That said, it’s an extremely fulfilling journey for both parents and children in discovering the true meaning of unconditional love, courage and resilience.”
Teh’s son Mark, 13, also shared his personal experience about living with his brother Ming, 15, who is autistic.
Mark said the first time he tried talking to Ming was when they were very young.
“I asked him what his name is. He did not reply. And every time I tried to interact with him, he would not respond, so I began to wonder whether he liked me. As a result, I stopped talking to him and excluded him from my friends and my life, ” said Mark.
“After years of not treating him fairly, I was shocked to find out that he was suffering from autism. I then started talking to him again and included him in conversations so that he could gain more experience in conversing with others.
“By being with Ming constantly, I began to appreciate others who were also suffering from autism and it helped me see the world in a whole new light.”
He urged people not to look at autism as an illness but as a gift.
“My brother Ming has taught me so much about myself, and also about kindness, empathy and love. I cannot imagine a life without Ming and I love him with all my heart and soul, ” said Mark.
The event’s participants ranged from 10 to 22 years old, with every individual having gone through music therapy as well as lessons involving singing and playing musical instruments like piano, violin and drums.
After each performance, judges Sharizan Borhan and Lee Kok Leong offered their comments, similar to a talent show style.
At the end, all 14 participants gathered for a finale performance singing We Will Rock You to huge applause from the audience comprising participating families, non-governmental organisations and the public.
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