President & Founder
  Yap Siong Cheng
  Low Kwek Lee
  Honorary Secretary
  YM Tunku Rogayah Yaacob
  Honorary Treasurer
  Mary Pereira
  Committee Members
  Jeffery Toh
Suzie Yap
Aylyn Chiew
Nelson Loong
Fancy Tan
Petrina Er
Anne Watson




The Johor Society for the Performing Arts (J.S.P.A.) is a non-commercial voluntary society registered in February 2000 under the Societies Act 1968.

The objectives of the J.S.P.A. are to advance, promote and develop the performing arts in Johor. Any income or profits generated from programmes and activities organised by the J.S.P.A. are ploughed back to further the aims and objectives of the J.S.P.A..

In line with its objectives, the J.S.P.A. has since its inception in 2000 organised no less than thirty-five concerts, performances, workshops, seminars and masterclasses in Johor. J.S.P.A


When did it all begin? Well, a convenient point to begin would be 8th February 2000 , a date which marked the official birth of The Johor Society for the Performing Arts when it was formally registered with the Registrar of Societies.

However, the ground work which laid the basis for the J.S.P.A. began much, much earlier. A passion for the arts; a passion to transform Johor Bahru and a drive to succeed were all necessary ingredients for success. That passion for the arts and that vision was supplied by the Founder President, Yap Siong Cheng, whose love of music started from an early age and that passion was further fuelled during his six and a half years spent in London
reading his Law degree. London's West End was a mecca of the performing arts and he took full opportunity during his time in London to attend as many performances as possible.

It was not easy to come from London to the barren performing arts landscape that was JB - to Year Zero. There was the usual moaning and groaning of a dearth of performing arts programmes in Johor Bahru. The usual envy felt of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore . The unending complaints
of boredom - of nothing to do in JB.

From the boredom, the complaints however soon began to transform into a desire to do something about the situation; into a feeling that JB should not be left behind and the excitement of the possibility of turning a vision into reality.

If the vision and passion came from Yap , the drive to turn things into a reality is certainly owed to his wife, Suzie. Yap readily concedes that Suzie was the push factor without which possibly the J.S.P.A. would not have come about.

Yap and Suzie quickly realized that what was needed was an organisation dedicated to the advancement and promotion of the performing arts. They spent the next year or two discussing their ideas with friends and the general response was a negative one. Most people felt that JB was not ready for what they had in mind. Many also felt that JB was not like KL or Singapore and the idea would not work in JB.

Determined to make a go of it and notwithstanding the negative responses, they rounded up about 10 friends whom they thought would share their dreams. And one evening after work in August 1998, the friends met at the Eden Garden Hotel. Not everyone was enthusiastic about the idea but at the end of that meeting, a decision was made to meet every last Friday of the month and to invite friends and everyone else who were interested in the performing arts to turn up and have fun. Through the auspices of Desmond and Liz Ng, the monthly meetings were held at the Grand
Bluewave Hotel. By word of mouth, friends came along with their other friends, relatives and children and showed off their talents on the piano or the violin or guitar. There were singing and performances of little drama skits. There were lectures on the music of Bob Dylan (by Yeo Yang Poh) to the Bharatanatyam (by Ajit Baskaran Dass).

The monthly meetings proved to be very enjoyable and much looked forward to. At that time, the loose grouping of friends called themselves 'Friends of the Performing Arts' or in short, the rather gaseous and self-deprecatory - F-ARTS! The number of people attending the monthly get together began to grow reaching 50, 60 and on one occasion, more than seventy.

Buoyed by the success and enthusiasm shown at the monthly meetings, Yap and Suzie then decided to form a pro-tem committee with a view to eventually getting a society formally registered.

In June 1999, formal application was submitted to the Registrar of Societies for the registration of a society, and eight months later on 8th February 2000 , the Johor Societyfor the Performing Arts (J.S.P.A.) was born.

Now the J.S.P.A. is in its seventh year. However Yap and Suzie are under no delusions as to where the J.S.P.A. is headed for in the future. A lot more has to be done. A lot more can be done. A lot more must be done. At least Year Zero has passed for Johor Bahru!