Wednesday, December 23, 2015

No Christmas in Brunei

I heard on the grapevine that flights out of Brunei are full. If it is true, I am not surprised.

In that syariah-ruled kingdom, celebrating Christmas may invite a fine of $20,000, up to five years in prison or both.

Insecurity runs deep in Brunei. It has already been reported that local  Muslim leaders there had this month said sending Christmas greetings, putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs and using religious symbols like crosses are against the Islamic faith.

Yesterday, I was emceeing the NAWEM year-end function which they referred to as their De-Stress Party at Halia @ Sime Darby Convention Centre in Jalan Bukit Kiara, KL. I was in my element and I had the nearly 100-strong crowd in stitches.

Of course, I must not be mistaken as the star of the show. Already, the agenda was appealing with lots of absorbing activities like singing (Kathleen Reshone), caroling, party games, a book talk (Freda Liu & Chris Tan), stand-up comedy (Juliana Heng), a humorous speech (Rita Ho), lucky draws and of course, a good spread of Malaysian delicacies to satisfy hungry NAWEM members and guests.

NAWEM is the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs Malaysia. And Toastmasters stepped forward and got involved.

Yup, we anchored the said event. Even NAWEM deputy president Sunway Group's Susan Cheah acknowledged Toastmasters in her speech. Great to receive recognition.

And not forgetting that BFM producer-cum-presenter Freda Liu and lawyer Chris Tan shared some delightful details from their book “Shake & Spear Your Business”. It is an interesting 113-page book that examines the common ground between business and romance by drawing on the most celebrated love story of all, Romeo and Juliet.

Thank you, Nurizan Hussin for the opportunity, Sandra Ghouse for the prompt. And NAWEM Toastmasters Club for putting their trust in me.

'Twas an enjoyable event!

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