Speech by Kuala Kubu Bharu State Assemblyperson, Lee Kee Hiong at the Welcoming Night of KKB International Art Festival 2016, Kg Assam Kumbang KKB on 30 Nov 2016:

Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. First of all, me, as Kuala Kubu Bharu Assembly person would like to thank everyone for coming. That many of you have made a huge effort to join us today. On behalf of us all, we are deeply appreciate and offer you our most grateful welcome to the first international art festival in Kuala Kubu Bharu.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my greatest gratitude to our special guests – they are all talented artists from 14 different countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Laos, Australia and last but not least Malaysia. Thanks for making the effort to come. We have experts in sculpturing, ceramic art, painting, sketching etc. I cannot wait to see the finished art pieces with a blend of the local elements and cultures that these talented artists are going to create in the coming 10 days.

My team and I have been waiting for this special day to come for a long time. We have spent months coordinating with Sasaran Art Association to make this happen. Mr Ng Bee, the Chairman of Sasaran Art Association has been giving a big helping hand. It was not easy I have to say, we worked together bit by bit to get here. Fortunately with the massive helps from the local council (MDHS), Selangor state library (PPAS), Kuala Kubu History Association (PESKUBU), the passionate team of Hulu Selangor Youth Association, volunteers and my supporting team, the festival which will be held from 1st December to 10th December for 10 days will finally start tomorrow. We eagerly hope for a smooth and successful delivery.

This art festival is committed to promote the theme ‘Art Haven in The Hills’. Kuala Kubu Bharu is a small town located at the foothills of Fraser’s Hill and many of you may have noticed it is surrounded by magnificent mountains. There was a saying in Malay language calling it ‘Kiri Kanan Bukit’ which means mountains on the left and right. The unique location does not only offering picturesque views but we also have beautiful waterfalls, rivers, countless lakes, hot springs etc. The town was built on a hill, designed by a British Architect in 1920s as the first ‘garden city’ in Malaysia. Therefore you can see the whole town is surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

Has anyone not noticed our mascot, Ori the Oriole yet? His name is Ori, a black-naped oriole which is one of the hundreds rare species of birds that you can find in our natural forests here. We have International Birds Watching Competition here every year and bird enthusiasts named it ‘the birds sanctuary’.

During this festival, we would like to bring our fellow artists around the town to discover the natural beauty of the place. Hopefully they will be inspired and motivated to create some amazing art pieces out of it. That, we think is the best way to fascinate and treasure our beautiful town and its natural resources.

I would like to call upon everyone to feel free to participate in all the interesting events that we have prepared for you. We will have an official opening ceremony at the centre of the town on 3rd December 2016, everyone is welcomed to join us. Out artists will be making drawings  or paintings at the public library tomorrow onwards, sculpturing works will be carried out near  the takraw courts in town, mural art in central of the town, some beautiful or famous art pieces from our talented artists will be exhibited at the art gallery which is located right behind ‘Galeri Sejarah’ (the history gallery). Everyone is welcomed to visit the gallery, you can buy the art pieces if you found one you like. You can also visit our artists at work but please let them do their work when they need concentration. We would really love to encourage local artists, amateur, young artists and art lovers to exchange your opinions with our fellow artists.

Before I handover to the emcee, I want to say once more on behalf of our organizing committee, welcome. It is a pleasure to see so many of you here and please enjoy the night.

Thank you.