Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Navaratnam celebrates 80th birthday in grand fashion

By Kathleen Michael

Enjoying the moment: Navaratnam doing a jig next to his birthday cake while on stage.

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam celebrated his 80th birthday with a “very Malaysian gathering.”

The Sunway Group corporate adviser marked the occasion with a 60s inspired party at Sunway Resort Hotel together with 500 guests, comprising friends, family and colleagues of all races.

Guests included those from his university and civil service days, some of whom he had not seen for many years.

“It was night filled with a lot of happiness and good fellowship,” said Navaratnam of the ‘Celebrating Good Times’ party which had a sky blue, his favourite colour.

Songbirds: Navaratnam’s sisters (from left) Georgiana, Juliana, Christina and Angelina singing for him at the birthday party.

The night was filled with song and dances including performances from Navaratnam’s four sisters, two of whom had flown in from Australia to celebrate his birthday.

His three sons also sang while Navaratnam’s grandson showed off his skills on the drums.

The guest-of-honour was not left out as he also gave an impromptu performance of Steve Conway’s Good Luck, Good Health and God Bless You.

Navaratnam was a picture of happiness as he went on stage to cut his cake, buoyed by the presence of his loved ones.

A band played all night long with lyrics posted on the screen so that guests could sing along to the golden oldies.

Distinguished guests: (from left) Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, Navaratnam, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, T. Ananda Krishnan, and Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

Among those who gave a speech at the occasion were former Inspector-General police Tun Hanif Omar, former Public Services Department director-general Tan Sri Alwi Jantan, former Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mahadev Shankar and Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah.

In his speech, Alwi said that the gathering was a belated 60th anniversary reunion for him and his university mates.

He recalled meeting Navaratnam while studying at the then University of Malaya in Singapore.

“He was always in the thick of campus pranks.

“From a playful student, he became a dedicated civil servant.”

Terming Navaratnam a ‘towering Malaysian’, Alwi said that while most would slow down after retirement, Navaratnam was the opposite.

“He is like the eagle which has grown new feathers and flown even higher.

“From a civil servant, he has evolved to become a corporate advisor, economist educationist and social activist.”

Despite reaching 80, Navaratnam has no plans to slow down and plans to keep active.

“The fish gets rotten from the head so I will keep my mind occupied,” he quipped.

VI The V.I. Web Page

Created on February 9, 2017
Last update on February 9, 2017