Berjaya among corporations fighting to end AIDS through Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award Gala Dinner

Tan Mei Zi
Representatives of corporate sponsors and donors for the Gala pose with MAF patron Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir (4th right) and MAF honorary secretary Bakhtiar Talhah (3rd left). — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — The Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) has paid tribute to generous sponsors and donors who played vital roles in making the upcoming Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award Gala Dinner 2019 a reality.

Berjaya Corporation Berhad was named as the title sponsor and the event is now officially known as the Malaysian AIDS Foundation-Berjaya Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award Gala Dinner to honour their contributions.

MAF honorary secretary and Malaysian AIDS Council president Bakhtiar Talhah expressed his gratitude towards Berjaya for their commitment to addressing the AIDS crisis in the country.

“No other Malaysian corporate citizen has a long history of partnership and support for MAF and the AIDS cause as Berjaya does.

“It is a relationship that spans over two decades and continues to flourish today,” he said.

Other corporations involved in the Gala included Monspace as presenting sponsor and Malton Berhad as signature sponsor.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Karex Berhad, Tropicana Berhad, and Westports Berhad were named as Diamond Table sponsors for the event, which will take place at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur this Saturday.

MAF patron Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and the Prime Minister’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali will grace the dinner this weekend as guests of honour.

Marina, a long-time advocate in the battle against AIDS, spoke on the need for further education amongst Malaysian society to combat persisting stigma against people living with HIV (PLHIV).

“Living with HIV is not easy, and it’s not just because of the disease itself.

“Now, there are treatments that allow PLHIV to live a normal and healthy life, but what remains is the stigma.

“There have been instances of students being deprived of the opportunity to study because of their HIV status, employees being wrongfully terminated because they tested positive, and what’s most heartbreaking are stories of single mothers and children with HIV being discriminated against,” she said.

(From left) Bakhtiar, Marina, and Gala advisor and co-chair Florence Fang speak to the press at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

The current HIV climate in Malaysia means fundraising events such as the Gala are more crucial than ever.

Money raised from the Gala will be channelled towards initiatives for HIV education and prevention, AIDS care, and support for PLHIV.

The Gala will also raise a glass towards individuals and organisations who have provided support to communities that have been hit hard by the AIDS crisis over the past few decades.

Nominees of the Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award will be revealed during the night itself and the winner will receive a cash prize of RM20,000 and an exclusive trophy.

MAF will also be presenting the Patron’s Awards to various individuals for their long-standing efforts to end AIDS.

Guests can expect a night filled with haute cuisine and powerhouse performances from Indonesian singer Kris Dayanti and the RTM orchestra.

Malay Mail is a media partner for the event.

For more information on the Gala, visit this link.

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