KUALA LUMPUR: Impressive, memorable and historic – that was the brief laid out by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for the event to launch the Asean Community.
Judging from the five-minute presentation by a local production company and the thunderous applause from the leaders and guests in attendance, the Prime Minister got what he wanted.
After the leaders signed the declaration and handed over the instrument to Asean secretary-general Le Luong Minh, the stage was set for a show-stopping spectacle by local company Oneapart Productions.
What followed was a breathtaking sight of colourful spiral lights and visuals with dancers and percussionists performing on stage.
Oneapart Productions creative director Ashwin Thomas said the company was instructed to feature the interplay of social politics, economics, peace and prosperity, and integration among the 10 Asean members.
The endeavour took three months to plan and three weeks to pull off using projection-mapping technology – the first time ever it was used for a big event in Malaysia.
“The idea is a future-focused Asean, hence we didn’t go through the cliches of dancing,” Ashwin said.
The producers and the 30 performers were mostly below 35 years of age while the percussion director was Bernard Goh, founder of Malaysia’s famed Hands Percussion troupe.
Asean-Malaysia national secretariat deputy director-general Datuk Shariffah Norhana Syed Mustaffa said the hard work put into making the ceremony a success had paid off.
She revealed that the Prime Minister had personally overseen the planning of the show.
“He didn’t want the usual signing ceremony, so we built up the show. You could say the performance was like a message from the Prime Minister himself,” she said.