IT was a meaningful event in more than one way. First, a group of 100 disabled people from Felda settlements nationwide converged in Kuala Lumpur recently to put up a talent show that saw many in the audience wiping their tears.
For some, it was their first trip to the capital. Their audience included Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as the guest of honour, and his wife Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor.
One person who caught the attention of the crowd was Mohd Hafizie Mohd Fauzi, a disabled child from Malacca, during his poem recital on stage.
His poem, Aku OKU (orang kurang upaya) or “I am a Disabled Person,” stirred the hearts of many, particularly Rosmah, who described the moment as “very touching”.
The performers endeared themselves to the audience with their talents, confidence and, most of all, their courage, and also moved many to tears.
The Semai Bakti Charity Night was jointly organised by Bakti (Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers) where Rosmah is acting president and the Felda Settlers' Federation (Gabungan Wawasan Generasi Felda).
The 900 guests included mentris besar, chief ministers, ministers and their wives and corporate leaders.
“I am so glad those present were impressed by the disabled and the organiser,” said Rosmah during an interview at the Bangunan Bakti Siti Hasmah (BBSH), Kuala Lumpur, last Wednesday.
The event raised RM2.2 mil to help the disabled in Felda settlements nationwide.
It has also driven home the message that “ good team spirit can make the difference”.
In this case, it was the collaboration between Bakti members at the federal level and the wives of the mentris besar and chief ministers.
Praising the disabled for being so cheerful and enthusiastic, Rosmah also credited those running the community rehabilitation programme centres at the Felda settlements, saying their efforts and patience had helped to make the event possible.
Rosmah, who sang a duet, Cindai, with another disabled person Yusfarina Mohd Yusak, also believes that people - able-bodied or otherwise - have their own potential that could be unleashed when given the proper care, training, motivation and opportunity.
The show, which lasted an hour and 20 minutes, began with Mohd Adam Hashim and Ering Ailin who did the Pencak Silat and a dance to welcome Najib's arrival
To make sure everything went well, Rosmah was extra attentive; down to details like the lodging for the disabled and timing the length of the show.
And she had compelling reasons to do so.
“I want to make very sure they are not tired or feeling uncomfortable,” she said, pointing out that some of them tend to have shorter attention spans and some tired easily due to their health conditions.
The event also saw the four-month-old Bakti Choir making its debut.
They delivered two songs - Besame Mucho and Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (The Moon Reflects My Love) - much to the delight of guests.
“I am very happy and proud of the Bakti choir, “ said Rosmah.
And the aura of success of the Semai Bakti Charity Night was still there more than a week later.
Bakti ladies who gathered at the BBSH to pack Hari Raya goodies for the army and police personnel were upbeat talking about the event.
Bakti secretary Datin Kamarzan Mohd Meah said she received many SMSs praising the event.
“This is also something very special and very good, “ she observed.
Datin Seri Wendy Ong said the event was very successful and had won praises from all over, and her view was shared by Datin Chew Siew Chea who described it as very inspiring.
Toh Puan Ena Ling said she too received very good and encouraging feedback on the event.