81 yo mathematician steals spotlight at Kuching’s Got Talent, receives Special Appreciation Award

Abdul Karim (third right) presents the Special Appreciation Award to Hwong while (from left) Hii, Hilmy, Wee, Bong and Goh look on.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Aug 15: Eighty-one-year-old Hwong Yew Tuong proved ‘age is just a number’ when he stole the spotlight at Kuching’s Got Talent 2022, so much so, he was presented with a Special Appreciation Award for his participation.

Hwong was the eldest among the 200 some participants at the audition which comprised mostly of youths with the youngest being 7-years-old.

During his audition, he performed what could be termed as the ‘magic of mathematics’ where he showcased his memorisation skills with numbers.

It was his third time participating in Kuching’s Got Talent but unfortunately, he didn’t get past the audition phase.

Nonetheless, Kuching South City Council (MBKS) was left in awe by and acknowledged Hwong’s indomitable spirit, which led to a decision to present him with a special award.

“I am happy (to receive the award). I didn’t expect to win (the award).

“Because my intention in participating was to encourage the other older people like me to join such event and not let our age becomes a reason for us not to,” he told reporters when met after the closing ceremony of Kuching’s Got Talent Finale 2022 held at MBKS Open Air Stage in Jalan Padungan here last night (Aug 14).

Hwong revealed he was a mathematics teacher in his younger days and his second reason for participating in the talent show was to promote the joy of doing mathematics.

He added that he believed that the ‘sempoa’ (abacus) would encourage better teaching and learning of mathematics than the current numeral system taught in schools.

The finale for Kuching’s Got Talent 2022 was officiated at by Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (MTCP) Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

During his speech, he stressed that the overwhelming response from the participants especially the youths in the event was a good indication of their appreciation and interest in creative and performing arts.

“That is also one of the reasons why the State government is developing our own centre of performing arts in the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building in Petra Jaya.

“Once completed, talented Sarawakians and talented Kuchingites can perform and showcase their skills,” he said.

There were four categories in this year’s Kuching’s Got Talent, namely two categories for Singing (Age 12 and Under, and Age 13 and Above), while the remaining two categories are Dancing and Other Talent.

The event was sponsored by MTCP, Music Authors Copyright Protection (MACP) Berhad, Public Performance Malaysia (PPM), Sports Toto Malaysia and Waterfront Hotel Kuching while the official media was TEA FM.

Amongst those present were Abdul Karim’s wife Datin Sri Zuraini Abdul Jabbar, MTCP permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, MBKS Mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng, Deputy Mayor Hilmy Othman, Acting City Secretary Zainab Marzali, Kuching Festival Fair 2022 organising chairman Cr Goh Tze Hui and Kuching’s Got Talent Finale 2022 organising chairman Cr Bong Lian Huan. — DayakDaily