Subdued 2015 celebrations

Party goers lights up their mobile devices to welcome the New Year 2015. GLENN GUAN/The Star

USHERING in the New Year with a moment of silence for past tragedies, Tropicana City Mall’s New Year’s Eve celebration reminded Malaysians to have hope and stay positive for an auspicious 2015.

Gathering close to 15,000 people for a fun evening of sand art painting, clown stilt walkers and Malaysia’s first balloon safari, the family-friendly countdown frenzy was brought to calm for one solemn minute to remember the victims of AirAsia flight QZ8501 and floods in the east coast.

Tropicana Corporation Berhad group assets management executive director Andrew Ashvin said the management had decided to proceed with the New Year’s Eve celebration for the seventh year in a row to give Klang Valley folk a modest celebration of joy and a glimmer of hope.

“People are yearning for a reason to be happy.

“There has been much sadness in Malaysia and although we have never failed to come together in support during hard times, seeing the crowd today I think people are looking for a space to put the tragedies aside just for a little while to rejoice in hope.”

Collaborating with Star Radio Group and Malaysian Red Crescent Society, to gather donations for flood victims in the east coast, an aid collection centre was also set up during the celebration and received overwhelming response from shoppers.

Ending with four spectacular minutes of fireworks, the growing crowd cheered and embraced one another in sheer delight welcoming the new year.

Present with her siblings, Karen Joseph, 28, said she was looking forward to the coming year with high hopes and ambitions.

“The past year has been very challenging for all of us as a nation. I do hope 2015 will be a kind year for our country to get back on her feet,” she said.

For Chew Seng Lee, 37, gathering at Tropicana City Mall with former college mates was an absolute relief as they had struggled to find a good place to bring countdown to the new year.

“Many usual places to celebrate New Year’s Eve were toning down this year due to the series of tragedies, but it was important to us to celebrate the new year with good vibes and a stronger bond,” he said, adding that it was tradition for him and his University Malaya mates to meet on Dec 31 every year.

At KLCC Park Esplanade, about 60,000 people ushered in the new year watching a 10-minute fireworks display.

The celebration kicked off at 9pm with a music lights and sounds show, as the crowd rapidly grew.

Many booked their space to sit at the Esplanade area early where Akademi Fantasia winners, Stacy and Ewal, performed at about 11pm. Malaysian violinist Dennis Lau also gave an electrifying performance.

Many revellers were seen wearing party hats, lighted headband, masks and holding glows which were sold at the venue.

In the midst of the celebration, those affected by the floods were not forgotten. A donation drive collecting cash kicked off from 6pm up to midnight.

Instead of fireworks, revellers at the Mutiara Damansara Commercial Centre (MDCC) ushered in 2015 with a moment of silence after the countdown.

The annual New Year’s Eve celebration was held at MDCC comprising the Curve, eCurve, and IPC Shopping Centre, but this year’s gathering was toned down as it was dedicated to the country’s flood victims.

In less than 36 hours, MDCC made the last-minute change to the programme and turned it into a Flood Relief Project themed Together We Care to raise funds and collect food and basic necessities for those affected by the disaster by working hand-in-hand with Mercy Malaysia and CIMB Foundation.

Instead of the earlier planned street carnival, in its place was a donation zone with stations set up to receive contributions from the public.

Cats in Love kick-started the performances, followed by The Big Band, Jon Liddell, Narmi, singer-songwriter OJ Law, An Honest Mistake, and electro-pop band Paperplane Pursuit.

Almost 2,000 runners started the year on a healthy note by taking part in the NYE Fund Run at 9pm.

Finishers took home a medal each to commemorate their achievement and the top five winners of the non-competitive categories were rewarded with a trophy, entry tickets to Kidzania and cash vouchers from Broooks Sports Wear.

When the clock struck midnight, there was a moment of silence.

The last performance of the night was by Anugerah Industri Muzik best new artist nominee Kyoto Protocol.

IPC Shopping Centre centre manager Evelyn Tan said, “This is definitely one of the most meaningful New Year’s Eve gatherings we have held at MDCC. The event was a true reflection of unity and the spirit of caring and love for fellow Malaysians who are going through some tough times.”

The Curve centre manager Jazmi Kamarudin said, “We are glad to be able to turn this event around and do our part for the flood victims.”

eCurve centre manager Azizul Hisham Ahmad said, “Tonight was a memorable event, we hope with the support of Malaysians, the victims can rebuild their lives and enter the new year with hope.”

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