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A lively fundraising dinner for Alzheimer's patients

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JOYFUL: The 10th anniversary dinner of the Johor Baru Alzheimer’s Disease Support Association was a happy and memorable one

JOHOR BARU: A HEARTFELT poem, song and thought-provoking speech made the 10th anniversary celebration-cum-fundraising dinner of the Johor Baru Alzheimer's Disease Support Association (Jobada) a memorable one.

The Sept 15 event at the Grand Straits Garden Seafood restaurant, Johor Baru, was also a lively affair, thanks to the antics of a Singaporean comedian,  Moe Al Kaff, who doubled up as a co-emcee.

  The consort of the Sultan of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, who was the  guest-of-honour, told the 1,000-strong audience about the need for awareness and daycare facilities for dementia patients.

  She said some segments of society regard dementia as part and parcel of growing old, whereas it is   a medical disease that needs proper attention.

  There are 20,000 sufferers of dementia in Malaysia, and this figure is expected to double by 2020.

  "We have to try to minimise health issues that arise from ageing, such as dementia and other associated chronic diseases, while living up to our greatest potential and being as independent as possible," she said in a speech.

  She said the need to address dementia was important as Malaysia would be an ageing nation by 2035.  By then, 15 per cent of the population would comprise citizens aged 60 years and older.

  Lower birth rates and better healthcare services for the elderly, were also ontributing factors.

   "Longevity is a blessing from God, and and it is something we should look forward to. Nevertheless we must prepare ourselves to face old age, either through individual effort, community facilities or national policies for senior citizens."

  Following her speech, Ah Han Noah, who is being cared by Jobada at its day-care centre every week, presented a bouquet of flowers to Raja Zarith.

  Once the eight-course dinner was served, Moe Al Kaff, took centre stage.

His lively banter and antic had the crowd in stitches, particularly when he invited a group of men from the audience on stage to dance. Later, there was a video presentation on Jobada's work for the past 10 years.

  A touching moment came when a Jobada volunteer, Theresa Ho, recited a poem on the trials and tribulations faced by Alzheimer sufferers and their caretakers.

  Jobada members and volunteers also took to the stage to perform a rousing rendition of Diana Ross's  If We Hold On Together.

  Moe auctioned off three paintings which raised almost RM5,000.

  Moe, who was famous for his TV role in Gotcha and film One Leg Kicking, was the main reason the night was such a treat as he wowed the audience with his brand of humour.

Moe Al Kaff (right) auction off a painting.

Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah with Jobada members. Pix by Hairul Anuar Rahim

Jobada members and volunteers singing ‘If We Hold On Together’.

Theresa Ho (left) recites a poem with Ah Han Noah on stage.


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