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Fiesta Malaysia 2012 draws to a close

Tiffany Leong

Thu Mar 29 2012


FOR three days last week, Argyle Square was transformed into “little Malaysia” for the annual Fiesta Malaysia. The mood was helped by some spirited festival-goers who dressed up for the occasion in traditional garb. Meld’s Tiffany Leong reports.

AS Fiesta Malaysia 2012 drew to a close last Sunday, many Melbourne-based Malaysians walked away with a full tummy and the satisfying taste of home still lingering in their mouths.

Organisers saw more than than 5000 people attend the three-day fiesta, which drew the largest crowd on Sunday’s “grand finale” jam-packed with games, performances, exhibitions and more.

Hordes of festival goers also made a bee-line for the food stalls run by hawkers flown in all the way from Penang, and popular dishes like char kway teow, nasi lemak and satay sold out before the end of the day.

Penang hawker Lee Kian Ghee, 30, who manned the char kway teow and “or jien” stall together with his wife, said it was the first time the couple had been to Melbourne.

“Despite the slightly erratic weather, the crowd response has been really good. It’s also nice to see so many Malaysians here,” Mr Lee said.

The smell of satay wafting from the stall run by Azizan Bin Haji Abdul Aziz (otherwise known as the “satay master”) was also hard to ignore.

The award-winning owner of “Chik Satay” told Meld he had been grilling “satays” since he was nine, and felt honoured to be chosen specially for this overseas event.

But the real show-stealer of the day, was the roti canai food stall, as customers were won over by the flamboyant tossing and flipping of dough by the Indian chef.

Some, like Rou Min Tan, even whipped out her camera to capture the chef’s smooth moves on video.

“Love the roti canai! Even got a video of the chef tossing and flipping the dough. Very entertaining!” she said.

Speaking to Meld later, Executive Councillor for Tourism Development and Culture Danny Law Heng Kiang, who led an entourage to Melbourne, said Penang was renown for being the “paradise of Asia” and Fiesta Malaysia was an “opportunity to further promote our Penang food, and the Malaysian culture”.

Mr Law also expressed interest to “cooperate with the Lord Mayor of Melbourne and promote Penang more in future”.

Organiser Ashley Toh, Victoria’s chairperson of the Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia, thanked MASCA’s partners for their support.

“Fiesta Malaysia was successful due to collaboration with our dedicated partners such as Penang Tourism and Australia Malaysia Business Council,” Ms Toh said.

Were you there at Fiesta Malaysia 2012? Check out our photo gallery for more coverage of the event.