1. Recognising the best in hospitality


Tuesday, 27 Nov 2018

By Priya Menon

MALAYSIA’s hospitality industry celebrated the cream of the crop at the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards (HAPA) Malaysia Awards Series 2018-2020 Gala Dinner while doing their bit to put a smile on the faces of cancer-stricken children from University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). 

The industry’s key players turned up at the dinner held at New World Petaling Jaya Hotel to recognise and reward outstanding establishments and individuals. 

HAPA founder and chairman Jennifer Ong said the awards had been around for 16 years. 

“There are about 130 nominees with 1,000 nomination categories and each category is assessed by two mystery judges,” she said. 

Ong said the recognition was given for benchmark achievers who achieved between 80 and 90 points. 

“The three most outstanding achievers will be recognised on stage,” she said.

The nominees have to go through two on-site inspections by the panel of judges comprising 70 people. 

It is done through an audit system and not a voting process or online marking system. 

Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board chairman Datuk Ahmad Shah Hussein Tambakau and …

… Tourism Malaysia International Promotion Division (Asia/Africa) senior director Datuk Musa Yusof as well as the Peru ambassador Guido F. Loayza, representing Peru as one of the partners of the event, were among those who attended the dinner. Ahmad Shah said the board was looking forward to working with the outstanding achievers to help boost the tourism industry. 

“These are the places we can promote as Malaysia’s tourist destination. We can identify the products we have not seen yet in our promotional activities here,” he added. 

He also said this was an opportunity for them to meet the industry players to look at ways they could work together. 

In addition, they are also looking at including the winners as part of the Malaysian Total Quality Assurance listing – an ISO certification for the food and beverage industry. 

“HAPA is a homegrown event, not only are they Malaysian, they are now regional and so we need to applaud them,” he added.

This year, the entrepreneur category was expanded into its very own full-fledged awards series. 

The HAPA Entrepreneur Awards Series 2018-2019 focuses on hospitality entrepreneurs who …

“HAPA is a homegrown event, not only are they Malaysian, they are now regional and so we need to applaud them.”

— Datuk Ahmad Shah Hussein Tambakau, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board chairman

… have made a mark in the industry; inspiring future generations of hospitality professionals and being role models and mentors of future entrepreneurs. By the end of the evening, the invitees raised RM180,000 which was then donated to the Childhood Cancer Unit.

The funds will be matched by Universiti Malaya and channelled into the paediatric oncology research laboratory of UMMC. 

The results are then translated to precision medicine which improves the survival rates of about 150 children with various cancers. 

To celebrate the new lease of life that the children have, HAPA organised a Chemo Graduation Ball, symbolising the achievement by these children in winning their battle with cancer. 

“We have held two Chemo Graduation Balls, overall benefiting 60 chemo-graduates with a total donation of RM330,000,” Ong added. 

She said the initiative by HAPA began in 2017.’