MCOBA Annual Dinner 2018

Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur

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WTF! What’s the Fuss.. we are budak koleq lah. Such was the theme of this year’s MCOBA Annual Dinner. We were graced with the attendance of Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, a monumental figure in today’s political landscape. And yet, there was a sense of calmness when he arrived. First of all, unlike a normal Guest of Honour or a budak koleq, he was 20 minutes early. There weren’t bodyguards clearing the path for him. No crowd at the lobby swarming him. No special announcement or officers scrambling for protocol. There was no protocol. It was just him. A budak koleq, excited for a MCOBA Dinner.

Of course, as soon as he walked in, he was swarmed. After all this was Anwar Ibrahim, the President of PKR, Leader of the Pakatan Harapan Coalition, and as far as Malaysia is concerned, the PM in waiting. Budak koleq or not, senior or junior, Tan Sri or Dato, everyone wanted to see him, talk to him, greet him or at the very least take a selfie with him. As he entered the holding room, he was greeted by YTM Undak Luak Johol and YAM Tengku Ibrahim, who were just as excited to see him.

It was a full house. The ballroom was packed. As we sat for our dinner, it was a familiar feeling of togetherness and camaraderie. MCOBA got the formalities out of the way; caught us up with the activities of the year. Cikgu Azmi Ali, the longest serving teacher at MCKK was deservedly given the Honourary MCOBA Membership.

But before long, it wasn’t the play or the guest artists that was the highlight of night. It was the same old stories, the “during my times” (DTMs) and the clever jokes (or so we’d like to think) that stole the show. The sound of uncontrolled laughter muffled the PA system. It didn’t matter where we sat in the ballroom. Table numbers, served food or buffet were never going to keep us from greeting our brothers, as one hand after another were raised, calling us to come over. We didn’t come to sit and watch a show or fill up on the food. We were there to celebrate an evolving tradition and brotherhood.

After a while, even the honoured guests didn’t observe protocols. DSAI was walking around the room getting himself reacquainted with… well everyone.

There were hiccups, sure. Feedback were gathered and a post-mortem would reveal areas to work on. Of course, a budak koleq would never shy away from expressing our opinions. Even if it was on how sweet the teh tarik was. Yet we turned around and continued with our night.

What’s the Fuss.. we’re budak koleq lah. It was a night where we put our aside our differences; political beliefs, disagreements and emotional outbursts. It was a night where we showcase the strength of our ties. It was a night where every one of us did what we loved.. being budak koleq.

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