KUCHING: The old adage ‘age is just a number’ is best exemplified by Hwong Yew Tuong who at 81 is still adept at mathematics.
The octogenarian from Sibu was among the more than 200 participants who turned up for the Kuching’s Got Talent 2022 audition.
His performance entitled ‘Magic of Mathematics’ may not not have got him into the finals but was enough to win him a Special Appreciation Award from Kuching City South Council (MBKS).
Speaking to reporters after receiving his award during the finale of Kuching’s Got Talent 2022 on Sunday (Aug 14) night, he said this was his third attempt at Kuching’s Got Talent.
“I did not expect to receive any award, but overall I feel very happy to receive it,” he said.
The former mathematics teacher said he had joined the talent competition because of his love for mathematics.
“Secondly, my intention is to motivate both the young and the old to do what they love and not to set an age limit,” he said.
He also said it is important for those especially around his age to continue keeping their body and mind fit.
“One of my tricks is to stay happy and sleep early. I make sure that I go to bed at 9.30pm daily. But tonight (Sunday), I passed my bedtime, but that’s alright as I don’t go to bed late all the time,” he said, laughing.
Hwong who started learning mathematics using the ‘sempoa’ (abacus) urged the younger generation to do likewise.
“The benefits of abacus is that it is good for brain-training, memory training, and increasing counting speed compared to calculators,” he said.
Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah officiated at the finale of Kuching’s Got Talent 2022 and presented the award to Hwong.
Earlier, organising chairman Bong Lian Huan said this year Kuching’s Got Talent 2022 attracted more than 200 participants to the audition, aged from as young as seven to 81 years old.
“There were four categories, namely two categories for singing (Age 12 and Under, and Age 13 and Above), while the other two categories are Dancing and Other Talent.
“We managed to attract more creative arts enthusiasts to join us, especially in our other talent category,” he said.
He said as the council strives to make Kuching City a vibrant, healthy and safe city, with such competition, these will be greatly amplified.
“After all, not only do we have a ‘city of diversity’, but also a city brimming with talents,” he said.
The 8th edition of the Kuching Got Talent was sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts, Music Authors Copyright Protection (MACP) Berhad, Public Performance Malaysia (PPM), Sports Toto Malaysia, The Waterfront Hotel Kuching, while the official media was TEA FM.