Birthday celebrants create M'sian record


Monday, May 21st, 2007

Birthday celebrants create Msian record

Centenarian among 210 to make it to record-breaking birthday bash

MIRI: Centenarian Lee Hup was in high spirits last night as she joined 210 other people who share a common birthday May 20 to mark the second anniversary of this resort city, and get the event into the Malaysia Book of Records for the largest gathering of birthday celebrants.

Lee, 101, who was in a wheelchair and has hearing difficulty, was brought onto a special stage at the Fan Square here and was the first to be greeted by the evenings guest-of-honour Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan.

Dr Chan also witnessed the handing over of the Malaysia Book of Records record certificate by representative Zanariah Abdul Mutalib to Miri Mayor Datuk Wee Han Wen.

Lee, born in 1906, is even older than the so-called Grand Old Lady, Malaysias first oil derrick built in 1910 atop Canada Hill here, and was the star attraction at the event.

Dr Chan joined some 15,000 people who had gathered at the square to sing the birthday song at the stroke of midnight.

Miri City Council (MCC) secretary Antonio Kahti Galis told reporters that the number of birthday celebrants could have been 219 but eight of them did not attend.

Dr Chan, who is also Miri City Incorporated chairman, said the city would focus on developing the right facilities and environment to promote the tourism and education sectors.

He said the two sectors would be among the activities that could provide ample opportunity for the city folk to lead a meaningful and happy life.

I dont want to make Miri (people) the richest people in Sarawak. That is not my aim. I want to make Miri (people) the happiest people, said Dr Chan, who is also the assemblyman for Piasau, a state constituency that takes up a major portion of the city.