TURNING 50 happens only once, a milestone so significant that the anniversary is named in honour of the noblest of metals.
To celebrate a half-century’s work of engaging the nation since 1971, Star Media Group (SMG) pulled out all the stops with a black-tie gala to round off the year-long celebration.
The gala night was held at Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur in appreciation of the long-standing support from SMG’s business partners and stakeholders.
The guests of honour were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
Also present were more than 300 guests comprising leading personalities from renowned organisations and celebrities.
The celebration kicked off with an entrancing holographic performance and light show illustrating SMG as being the voice for the people before SMG chairman Tan Sri Chor Chee Heung addressed the guests.
Looking back over the past five decades of “Shaping the Nation Together”, Chor said none of it would have been possible without the long-standing support from all in attendance.“Thank you for the trust you have placed in us over the past 50 years, and thank you for continuing to support real and lasting change in Malaysian media.”
On the evolution from printed news to one of the top integrated media solutions providers in the country, Chor said the company remained guided by its core principles.
“It is our commitment to providing accurate, compelling and comprehensive stories to our readers, and being steadfast in our mission to ‘Inform, Inspire and Innovate’.
“Over the past year of our anniversary, we have reminisced, we have celebrated, and we have resonated with past accomplishments.
“Now, we look forward to what’s to come, and we set our sights on even greater goals,” he added.
For many of the attendees, the celebrations rekindled fond memories of how SMG’s flagship brand The Star played a role in their younger days.
“The Star has shaped not just the nation but also Malaysians like myself.
“When I started reading The Star as a youngster, I always started from the back pages where all the sports action was,” said Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) group chief executive officer Imri Mokhtar.
“As I grew up and now being older, I still find myself reading it from start to finish. The only difference is I am reading it from front to back now,” he added.
For some, the gala night was also a welcome sign of normality following the transition to Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan.
Between the eight-course meal, scenes of revelry among guests could be seen at every table.
Carlsberg Marketing Sdn Bhd corporate affairs director Pearl Lai Said the event was well organised and was glad to note that guests were masked for most of the event when not dining.
“We are all still learning to adjust to the new normal but as the host, SMG has done a good job by limiting each table to just five or six people as well as encouraging all guests to take Covid-19 self-tests before the event.
“The emcees were also constantly reminding us to stay safe throughout the event.”
Top Glove Finance executive director Lim Cheong Guan said it was good to finally have an opportunity to come out to an event again.
“I think the last time we went out for an event was last January, so it is great to be part of the celebrations.
Among other well-wishers, Lim said: “50 years is still considered ‘young’, but Top Glove is even younger at 30 years, so there are experiences on how to grow that we can learn from Star Media Group.”
Throughout the night, 988 FM and Suria FM radio presenters were on point with their entertaining performances, which were followed by local artiste Misha Omar’s performance. Entertaining guests during dinner was Frankie Sixes Band.
During the event, SMG’s charity arm Star Foundation also presented four organisations — Selangor and Federal Territory Association for the Mentally Handicapped, Pejabat Pembangunan Wanita Negeri Pulau Pinang, Vision to Transform and Hopes Malaysia Welfare Association — RM50,000 each to support their projects to better the lives of local communities.