KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali played four songs on the violin and dedicated them to the fallen, past and present servicemen in the country.
With accompanying singing by Malaysian songbird Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin, Dr Siti Hasmah, who is the patron of the fund, played Pahlawanku before moving on to other classics, Selendang Sutera, In Our Tears and Coming Home.
Accompanied by her Prime Minister husband Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Dr Siti Hasmah's surprise performance mesmerised the 1,000-strong crowd during the Warriors' Fund campaign charity dinner here Monday (Oct 21) night.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu also delighted the crowd by reciting a poem dedicated to servicemen.
Earlier, various guests performers also serenaded the audience throughout their dinner, including Siti Nurhaliza and "Papa Rock" Datuk Ramli Sarip.
In his speech, Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, announced that the year's fund collections surpassed its RM6mil target with some RM9.2mil collected, thanks to various corporate entities and individuals.
He said the contributions showed appreciation for the sacrifices of the Armed Forced in defending Malaysia's sovereignty.
"It is the responsibility of all Malaysians to continue remembering all the contributions and suffering endured by our servicemen and previous generations in freeing the nation from colonisation and any form of threats.
"The celebration of Warriors' Day must be upheld as a reminder and lesson for all about the importance of peace in this country," he said.
Mat Sabu also thanked the donors and called on them and more of others to continue on with their generosity in the coming years.
"Let us be mindful that money is no substitute for peace, but rather what has been given is a gesture to others who have shed their blood for Malaysia," he added.
The fund, he said, would be used for the welfare of disabled military veterans, as well as widows of servicemen and their disabled children.
Among the largest donors to the fund was ADAP 4orty Global Sdn Bhd with RM1.2mil donation in cash and RM400,000 in sponsors as well as Yayasan Al-Bukhary and Weststar Group, which contributed RM1mil in cash each.
Collections for the fund is ongoing through its online portal at tabungpahlawan.jhev.gov.my apart from the ongoing fundraising campaigns through the various veterans' associations and public donation drives.
For more information, contact Malaysian Armed Forces Veteran Affairs Department (JHEV) corporate communication head Mej Ardi Mat Zain at 013-406 8021 or public relations officer Maria Che Mat Nawi at 012-317 4923.
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