Sunday, January 20, 2008

A wedding night of pomp and pageantry

Last night, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Dr. Zakry Onn Yahya's wedding dinner to Dr. Natasha Ayla Ahmad Zulkiflee. It was held at The Shangrilla Ballroom. The parents of the groom, eminent cardiothoracic surgeon Tan Sri Mr. Yahya Awang and eminent dermatologist Puan Sri Datuk Dr. Suraya Hani Hussein, held the wedding in grandeur, utmost elegance and majestic celebrations.

The guest of honour was Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and wife. Other guests of honour were former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Education Minister Dato' Seri Hishamuddin Hussein, former First Ladies Tun Suhailah Mohamed Noah and Tun Rahah Mohamed Noah and former Chief of Defense Forces Tan Sri Ghazali Mohd. Seth. (Dato' Seri Najib is Puan Sri's cousin, Dato' Seri Hishamuddin is Puan Sri's younger brother, Tun Suhailah is Puan Sri's mother, Tun Rahah and wife of Tan Sri Ghazali's wife are Puan Sri's aunties). Of course, the bride's parents, Dr. Ahmad Zulkiflee Laidin and missus.

Other dignitaries include Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Penang Chief Minister Tun Lim Chong Eu, former Cabinet Minister Tun Omar Yoke Lin Ong and several Cabinet Ministers, which include Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Syed Hamid Al Bar.

There were an array of medical "who's-who" practitioners in town and Puan Sri's eminent professor of dermatology, Professor Dr. Matthew Greeves, who flew in from London. The usual consultants of Damansara Specialists Hospital were there; Dato' Dr. Azizi Omar, Dato' Dr. V. Kathiresan, Dato' Dr. Haron Ahmad, Dr. Syed Mohamed Adib, Dr. Zainuddin Md. Zin, Dr. Mohd. Daud Sulaiman, Dr. M. Tamil Selvan, Dr. Song and Dr. Mohamed Nazim Dato' Mohamed Salleh.

I was there with the missus. So were the other guests.

It was a beautiful traditional Johorean wedding. Puan Sri outdone herself. It shows that she immense effort and attention for the wedding. The theme was "Malay traditional". There were frsh flowers but the first time that I saw in a wedding of this magnitude, local flowers indigenous to these waters were used like heliconias, instead of the expected roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and tulips.

The organisation and timing was excellent. So many people were involved in systematically seating the guests. It shows that they have planned and well rehearsed for the event.

I particularly like the speeches. During dinner, the groom's younger brother and cousin, who is also the groom's best friend, entertained us with their witty speeches. Then, after dinner was the host's turn. Tan Sri Mr. Yahya was rather light, but comprehensive in his speech. The biggest surprise was at end of the evening, where the bride rendered a beautiful song, almost professionally presented.

When its time to leave, we were lucky to go off early, right after the VIPs left. It was because our table is right next to the door!

In short, it was the most beautiful wedding I ever attended.

Congratulations, Dr. Zakry and Dr. Natasha

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