This year marked the first time Highland Games have been celebrated in Malaysia, held at the Bukit Kiara Polo field between Damansara and Mont Kiara in May. Ken Crawford, General Manager at Aquaterra Energy in Kuala Lumpur, alongside Selangor St Andrew’s Society and representatives from a range of industries, joined the steering committee to help organise the inaugural event.
The Highland Games are an infamously Scottish tradition, but are held in a number of other countries as well, celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, and in particular the traditions of the Scottish Highlands. The Games pre-date recorded history, and consist of a variety of Scottish cultural traditions; bagpipes, kilts, and of course the games themselves. The most famous of all the games is the Caber Toss, which sees competitors balance a large and extremely heavy tapered pine pole vertically before running forward and launching the caber so it turns end over end with the upper end striking the ground first. Other traditional Highland Games performed at the inaugural Kuala Lumpur event this year included the Weight Throw, The Scottish Hammer Throw, The Stone Putt, and many others.
The Highland Games in Malaysia featured all the traditions of the ancient Scottish games, including drumming, dancing and athletics, but the Games also included entertainment, exhibits and children’s games, celebrating Scottish and Gaelic culture in Kuala Lumpur.
The event raised money for a number of children’s charities in the region, including Stepping Stones Living Centre, a residential centre for underprivileged children, senior citizens, and distressed widows and mothers; Special Kids of Ampang, dedicated to enabling children and adults with learning disabilities to live as an integral part of society; and the Mobiliti Association of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, which operates a door-to-door transport service for wheelchair users in the Klang Valley.
Crawford said: “I’m overwhelmed by the response and support the event has received in Kuala Lumpur, the Games are an astounding display of strength and determination and I’m very proud that Aquaterra Energy has been able to help organise such a spectacular showcase of Scottish heritage.
“The games, dancing and festivities were great fun and it was good to see such a large crowd, including dignitaries, coming to support and join in the event. We’ve managed to raise a fantastic sum of money for charities in the region - we’re already looking forward to an even bigger and better Highland Games next year.”