Last week the Malaysian Students Council of Australia (MASCA) did themselves proud once again, attracting over 65,000 people to Federation Square for their fourth annual Fiesta Malaysia.
Each year Fiesta Malaysia offers up the perfect opportunity to share some of Malaysia’s amazingly rich culture with local Melbournians, and give them a little taste of the South East Asian nation’s amazingly diverse cuisine – literally.
This year’s event featured colourful Joget Melayu, Chinese Lion and Bollywood dancing, as well as a breathtaking Peranakan Baba Nyonya song and dance performance by a group of senior Malaysians living here. There was even a traditional Malaysian costume fashion show, featuring a selection of Malaysia’s traditional and tribal costumes that proved to be an out and out crowd favourite.
YouTube celebrity and entertainer, Cassidy Anderson, dropped by to sing five Malay songs for the crowd, amongst them, the popular Malaysia hit, Ombak Rindu OST, the Malay rendition of Frozen’s Let It Go (Bebaskan), and Amy Search’s “Tiada Lagi”. Joining her was Dr Jason Leong, one of Malaysia’s best known comedians who also injected a little Malay style humour into the proceedings.
Project Director, Siti Maryam Syahirah Salehhudin, was delighted with this year’s 65,000-strong crowd. “We attracted almost triple the number of people from 2015, making this the biggest Fiesta yet”, she said. “The success of the event speaks to Melbournians’ enthusiasm for all things multi-cultural, and also to Malaysia’s increasing popularity with Australians”.
Launching the event, MASCA Victoria State Chapter Chairperson, Mohammad Hasif-Irfan Shamsir Adlan spoke of his pride in the team of 50 committee members and 40 volunteers who organized the event, all whom are Malaysian university students currently studying in Melbourne. “Being a student in a foreign land is an enormous challenge of itself, but to top that by putting on an event at this scale, no words can express how proud I am of my peers for taking on such a massive project, and so successfully,” he said.
Special guest, Malaysian Consul-General Mr Westmoreland Palon commended and congratulated the MASCA and all the students involved for their hard work and dedication in making the event possible. He also recognized the importance of events like the Fiesta in promoting the attractiveness and uniqueness of Malaysia to Melbournians, and expressed hope for even greater Council support towards future events.
Other guests included City of Melbourne representatives, Councillor Beverley Pinder-Mortimer and Councillor Ken Ong; Minister of Agriculture Malaysia representative, Puan Nor Azian Abdul Latif; MASCA Victoria Chairperson, Hasif-Irfan Shamsir; and Fiesta Malaysia Project Directors, Siti Maryam Syahirah Salehhudin and Clement Shu Huan Tew.