folks party on the streets
By Chin Mui Yoon
of city folks welcomed the New Year with private celebrations
and all-night parties in homes and clubs while many joined
the masses at popular spots in the city
the Prime Minister's dream of "having concerts on the streets'',
revellers welcomed 2001 with an opera concert at Bintang
crowd joined the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad
and his Deputy Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during the
YTL Concert of Celebration 2000
Prime Minister left during intermission for the celebrations
at the Petronas Twin Towers. He left Badawi, Transport Minister
Datuk Dr Ling Liong Sik and Information Minister Datuk Khalil
Yaakob to lead the crowd in the countdown.
old Bukit Bintang Girls School made a stunning backdrop
against the Twin Towers, an icon of the 21st century.
stage in front of the school was alive with colours and
sounds of the three young tenors, Gegam Grigorian, Warren
Mok and Albert Cupido. They were accompanied by the Italian
Symphony Orchestra and conducted by renowned flutist Andrea
concert was a tribute to the original Three Tenors, Luciano
Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Placido Dominago's concert
at the eve of the 1990 World Cup Finals held in Rome
tenors' powerful voice resounded through the crowd, overwhelming
the more boisterous merry-makers crowded at the sidewalk
cafes and along the entire stretch of road from the J.W.
Marriott Hotel to Lot 10
spectators crammed against the gate separating the seating
area, watching the giant screens that were set up.
drizzle at around 10.45pm failed to disperse the crowd as
the diehard revellers were determined to party till midnight.
couples from Adelaide, Australia, were busy shooting the
scene with their videocam and enjoying the festive mood.
atmosphere here is fabulous!'' said Trevor Stott. "It's
much noisier, hotter and there are more people than what
we would've experienced in our hometown.''
Walk had the atmosphere of a football game and rock concert
rolled into one.
Malaysians sold overpriced bottled water and beers, hot
dogs, kebab, hamburgers, party hats, party strings and fluorescent
St John Ambulance of Malaysia kept a vigilant watch throughout
the evening with two ambulances stationed beside the J.W.
Marriott Hotel and 25 first-aiders spread throughout the
street in four-man teams.
superintendant Lee Wing Kwong said there were only about
six cases of fainting, the most serious being a pregnant
woman who was sent to the hospital after being pushed to
the ground in front of the Coffee Bean outlet at KL Plaza.
noise level went up nearing midnight as the crowd jammed
onto the road. A shower of fireworks then lit up the sky
to the cheers and whistles of the people.
of the nearby Regent Hotel and surrounding buildings joined
in the thunderous countdown from their balconies and behind
the event, many were stuck for hours in a traffic jam as
the roads became choked with vehicles heading to other party
spots and out of the city.
not until past 2am that the roads became clearer but motorists
were still caught by police conducting alcohol checks along
Jalan Tun Razak.