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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jeff & Shun - Music For A Good Cause!

There are many charity events we have heard of and perhaps attended. It may be safe to assume that most people attend these events to demonstrate their support. While the generous ones give donation in monetary or in kinds, some give efforts and time. This time, I was roped in to help Jeffrey Yong to ensure a smooth presentation of this meaningful fund-raising event, i.e. Shun Ng in concert @ Methodist College Kuala Lumpur.

Jeffrey Yong is without a shadow of doubts a God loving and fearing man. He is the man behind this event. He attends the church services provided by MCKL. At MCKL he got to associate with refugees from Myanmar. These refugees are youthful individuals who have fled their country. The escape journey is literally deadly and the mortality rates are high. However the internal situations faced by these youthful Myanmar people were compelling enough for them to jump into the fire. If you’re thinking about some combat or thriller movies, add a few notches and that is what they are prepared to faced. Jeff feels for this group thus the idea of fund raising sets in and Shun was identified… the rest is history.

Personally I heard of these horrific stories from him for a while but it was totally different when I met the Myanmar people in person. Since the guitar-building course with Jeffrey Yong, we became friends and brothers in Christ. I have indeed learned a great deal from Jeff. I made regular visits to his workshop in Kuala Lumpur and many occasions I joined him in attending the church services at MCKL. The escaping stories shared by the Myanmar people were fearsome, horrific and unthinkable. Just when we think that in this modern civilized society, how could it happen? The predicament they faced to most people are unbearable but I was deeply moved by their faith for our Abba Father. Even in their darkest hours, they will still worship the Lord unfailingly.

Currently headed by Moey Yoke Lai, Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL) is a private educational institution. Methodist Council of Education founded MCKL in January 1983 by the. The Founder Principal was Mrs. F R Bhupalan. It provides quality education to the community. It reaches out to both locals and the needy foreigners. Below are a few pictures and the weblink:

The Campus view

Campus Building

Campus Life

Myanmar is a country in constant political turmoil as well as in a constant exodus. Many youths have made death-defying attempts in departing their home country to seek for greener pastures. Due to geographical reasons, Malaysia is one of such greener pastures.

MCKL started a voluntary community service project called the Ruth Education Centre. The centre aims to provide a temporal refuge to these Myanmar people who have successfully obtained protection from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The demographics are generally young personnel of varying ages. In Ruth Education Centre, they enjoy mutual support from each other, structured learning programs, decent meals and a shelter over their heads.

As for the journey from Myanmar to Malaysia is nothing short of harrowing. In brief, each one has to cross two borders, travel thousand of miles, and in conditions that are unthinkable to many fortunate youths who lead a regular life. Without divulging too much … the mode of transport is either taxi or van … each taxi will take 20 people … the rest of the story is up to your imagination.

It is time to share about the concert…

Shun Ng ( is known for his talent in funk/blues finger-style guitar playing, at least many people know him in this manner. However he is also a generous person who gladly devotes his time and utilizes his God given talent to benefit the needy ones. This time was no exception plus he was performing with a fractured right hand that was injured as a result of many hours of practices.

Jeffrey Yong ( needs little introduction. Likewise he is usually known as a Luthier who builds good guitars but his compassion persona is seldom displayed publicly. I am fortunate to have witnessed it through this event. Led by God, he decided to organize this concert to raise fund for the Myanmar people by involving Shun Ng. This match could not be better.

Jeff giving a short opening

The Myanmar people from Ruth Education Centre have put together a choir to present an cappella version of “How Great Thou Art”. It wasn’t about how professional and well rehearsed they were but the total devotion towards worshipping the Lord. Admittedly I have heard better-arranged versions but I have not heard one that was so passionately dedicated to the Lord. After I learned about their past experiences, it was not hard to understand their convictions and love for God. Urban dwellers like us often convince ourselves of the multiple options we could take to “be better” but very few actually remember the basics in life. In this concert, Shun has sung a song about the important things in our lives which points to the basic and necessities. Yet most urban dwellers suit themselves up with many accessories in their lives and passed them off as necessities. Isn’t it convenient?

The Myanmar People Choir during rehearsal

How Great Thou Art by the Myanmar people

Shun Ng has delivered an electrifying performance that left the audience yearning for more. The Myanmar people where absolutely in awe as they have never seen such style of playing even among them there are guitar players. At the end of the concert, the Myanmar people mobbed Shun; taking photos, signing autographs, etc. The Myanmar people expressions were totally authentic, no guards, no hidden agendas, they plainly wanted Shun to know that their joy was because of his performance. As a believer, I guess this is all about the simple yet important gesture of giving thanks to our Lord for all the things He has done and granted us freely.

Shun's new fans

Since I am on giving thanks, it is time to recognize those people whom have helped in one way or the other. Robert Schnöller who was in Kuala Lumpur attending the guitar-building course offered by Jeff Yong went along to help. Yujie James Loo who was also attending the same program as Robert was there to watch his guitar teacher’s performance who is incidentally Shun Ng. Ooi Boon Kim who has built several guitars with Jeff Yong came along to offer his assistance as well. Nicolai Gerebtzoff was there to facilitate the lightings and sound. Foo Kai Seong filled the role as the official camera crew of this event. Michael is a staff in Methodist College who was directly involved in facilitating this concert in terms of the usage of premises and also leading the Myanmar people’s choir. As well as the Myanmar people who have rendered their assistance for the event. They all made this concert a great one.

Shun's Family, a lovely one indeed

Shun’s family members, from right Ng Meixi, Alison Ling, Shun Ng, Ng Meizhi and John Ng, they have been very supporting throughout. Not forgetting two important individuals. Jeffrey and Shun for playing the critical roles in the success of this event. The Lord has indeed brought both of them together to bless those around them. How Great Thou Art …

In closing, associating with these Myanmar people has been the most rewarding part of my involvement in this concert. The experience has etched this statement in my mind, “Simple pleasures but never insignificant pleasures.”

Here're some concert pictures

Shun's guitars

Quiet moments ...

Foo, Boon Khim, Nic and Robert. They volunteered their time

Robert, Boon Khim and Shun .. all set to go

Foo Kai Seong, capturing video and audio

Moey Yoke Lai, the CEO of MCKL

Shun mingles with the crowd

Serenading to a couple 

In his own world
Thanks for reading!

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