Sunday, April 24, 2011

TUN DR MAHATHIR AND HIS TAILOR ROBERT LOH

kee@fswmag.com
THIS EVENT OCCURRED ON SUNDAY, 16 JANUARY 2011

Lord's Tailor Celebrated its 37th Anniversary at Kuala Lumpur Hilton's Grand Ballroom Attended by Malaysia's longest serving Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad and his wife Tun Siti Hasmah. Tun Mahathir has ordered his suits from Lord's Tailor for the last 25 years and continues to do so! It is only recently many are aware of this close-knit relationship.

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Tun Mahathir Mohammad and Tun Siti Hasmah with Mr and Mrs Robert Loh, owner and founder of Lord's Tailor and their son Kenny Loh at extreme right. The rest are Malaysia's leading stars of the screen all wearing Lord's Tailor suits.


LORD’S TAILOR AND TUN MAHATHIR CELEBRATED A QUARTER CENTURY OF FRIENDSHIP!

After 25 years of friendship and patronage, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad paid a glowing tribute to Robert and Lee Lee Loh of Lord’s Tailor at its 37th anniversary party.


As this event occurred during the Chinese New Year season, Tun M and Tun Siti Hasmah joined the yeesang tossing of good fortune.

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All togetjher now...

Higher, higher as the higher the ingredients are tossed, the greater the luck!

The VVIPs got down to ensuring another prosperous year!

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Tun Dr Mahathir with Princess Dr Becky Leogardo.

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Kenny Loh, successor to Lord's Tailor with Amber Chia. Both are married but not to each other.


Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s longest serving Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003 is perennially immaculately garbed. Many admired his sartorial sense during his tenure as Prime Minister as he always looked smart and well groomed as befitted the nation’s top post. It was an open secret his suits and shirts were exclusively hand crafted for him by Lord’s Tailor. This bond between tailor and patron spans a quarter century and Robert Loh is one of the few non-politicians with direct access to Tun.L1140844.JPG

Mr and Mrs Robert Loh with Dr KK Johan of Brand Laureate which awarded Lord's Tailor the Best Menswear Award for 2011

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Princess Dr Becky Leogardo, Kee Hua Chee and beautiful actress Diana Danielle
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Lee Lee Loh, Robert Loh of Lord's Tailor and Princess Dr Becky Leogardo
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Princess Dr Becky Leogardo with the sexy Ning Baizura
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Top songbird Ning Baizura in top form! Just look at her curves!
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If these two marry, they will be Malaysia's Golden Couple! Diana Danielle is so pretty and Shaanaz Basir so handsome!
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Amber Chia and Diana Danielle took centrestage surrounded by Malaysia's top actors in Lord's Tailor suits.
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Jenny Chua in gold dress aka Mrs Kenny Loh with her friends
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I bet he weighs less than Diana Danielle!
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Mrs Kenny Loh with her two kids, the other one I dunno whose!
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Jenny Chua-Loh with her kiddoes


Last January 16, Tun Mahathir paid tribute to his personal tailor and old friends Robert Loh and wife Lee Lee at the 37th anniversary of Lord’s Tailor at KL Hilton. In the presence of 200 guests who turned up in their lord’s Tailor suits, Tun Mahathir made a glowing testimony on stage that showed the elder statesman’s sharp wit, power of observation and wry humour. Most were stunned at Tun Mahathir’s impromptu and candid assessment of his friendship with Robert Loh and endorsement of his tailoring skills. The guests roared with laughter with his opening salvo when he admitted he was not wearing Lord’s Tailor suit!

“It seems Lord’s Tailor has many distinguished guests tonight all wearing Lord’s Tailor suits. However I must confess I am not wearing one of Robert’s suits! But it was not deliberate. I picked one from my wardrobe and only later did I realise it was by Canali! Normally I wear Lord’s Tailor suit.

“When I first came to KL from Alor Star, I was told I had to wear coat and tie for cabinet meeting instead of my bush jacket. So I made a suit. It was most unsatisfactory. I switched to a second tailor. Again it was unsatisfactory. I went to a third tailor. Still, it was not good.”

It was Asri, son of late Tun Ghafar Baba who reportedly introduced Tun Mahathir to Lord’s Tailor, then operating in Jalan Alor. Continued Tun Mahathir, “When Lord’s Tailor was recommended, I was not sure if they were English lords or made suits for English lords but I imagined if anyone could make lords look impressive with their big stomachs, he should be very good. I assumed if Lord’s Tailor could do that for lords, he could do that for me also since I didn’t have a big belly.”

So he duly ordered a suit and hey presto, it fitted him like a dream. “Since then, I never went to a fifth or sixth tailor as I stopped at my fourth tailor which is Lord’s Tailor. That solved all my problems of what to wear at which occasion.

“I am grateful my tailor in Kuala Lumpur is slightly better than my tailor in Alor Star. I say ‘slightly better’ because I don’t want to hurt the feelings of my Alor Star tailor. Lord’s Tailor has made the grade and should market their products like the Italians. I sometimes wear Italian suits but I never purchased them. People gave them to me and to please them, I wear Italian suits when meeting them but normally I only wear Lord’s Tailor suits.”

Tun Mahathir is globally renowned for his tenacity, strength of character and countless political achievements but now he also claimed to be a fashion trendsetter! “One day Robert Loh sent me a suit different from my usual orders. It looked as if it was made for Jawaharlal Nehru of India though I couldn’t imagine Robert fitting out Mr Nehru. For some time, that suit was left hanging in my cupboard. I dared not wear it as it was so different from the norm. Malaysians were so conservative in those days and we liked to wear what everyone else was wearing. I normally wore bush jackets and on special occasions I wore suits but to wear this new collarless suit was a big trial. I could not gather enough courage but after several months I decided to wear this suit with the closed collar. It didn’t need a necktie which was the attractive part as I hate wearing neckties.

“So I wore the suit and soon everyone else started to wear one too. Actually maybe they didn’t copy me as a lot of waiters also wore this type of suits! Anyway many began to wear this Nehru suit because the Malays have this saying or ‘teladan’ about leaders ‘showing the way by example’ so I suppose people thought I was trying to show an example. Thus they duly wore such Nehru suits and hence I promoted this style of suit for Lord’s Tailor. A lot of my friends on certain occasions would like to give me suits and they all went to Lord’s Tailor to order as they knew Lord’s had my latest measurements and the suits would always fit me perfectly. I wish to congratulate Lord’s Tailor on their 37th anniversary and hope they will go global.”

Gosh, such a glowing report is only possible if you have known Tun M for a quarter century. No statesman of his stature would promote his tailor if he does not like and respect both man and his work! I reckon this endorsement by Tun Mahathir is worth at least RM 10 million for a commercial product by someone or some company that does not know him personally for 25 years! Of course if such a transaction occurs the money would go to Tun M's charity.

Despite their success, Lord’s Tailor has only two shops. One is in AmpWalk while their flagship boutique is at Bangsar Shopping Centre. Explains Robert Loh, “This ensures a high degree of personal attention as I cannot be in several places simultaneously. Regarding Tun’s suggestion Lord’s Tailor should go international, I leave that to my son and successor Kenny who is also a trained tailor and now MD of Lord’s Tailor.”

For the curious, Tun M’s waist is 34 inches and has held steady for decades though he went up to 36 inches briefly in 2004 after retiring as PM.

THE END