Singapore's Premier Malay Entertainment Blog

Respect Lost…


I used to have a very high opinion of Ken Lim for being an honest, blunt and straight as an arrow judge in the Singapore Idol series. He tells you where your flaws lie and shoots you down if he thinks you suck just to give you that reality check. He knows what he’s talking about having nurtured successful talents before. However, what happened the night before right after Hady‘s coronation made me lose my respect for him, period.

It was clear right from the theatre auditions who he had his eyes on to make it as the Idol winner for Season 2. Likewise the other judges. It was like they had inadvertantly gone through the motions week in, week out just waiting for the right moment to crown Jonathan the title. But thanks to the 700,000 odd (or less since some of us voted in tens or hundreds) Singaporeans who voted for Hady, we shot down their premature speculations spectacularly till everyone could see the forced smiles on their faces, especially on Dick‘s face, when the results were announced.

Like what the Flying Dutchman said yesterday morning, I too was equally peeved when I heard Ken said that Jon would be a regional star. To me, it smacks of disrespect to the winner who was just about to busk in his moment of glory. Market-wise I don’t deny that Jon can make inroads to Taiwan, Hong Kong and China, even Korea or Japan, as compared to Hady going to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. But he could have kept those comments for a private interview later instead of choosing that moment to say it. I think it spoilt everyone’s moods as the atmosphere from the Indoor Stadium became quite silent after that. Hady doesn’t need to be inspirational. His performances were already enough to inspire us to vote relentlessly for him, knowing he would be a credible representative for us just like Taufik.

I don’t deny that Jonathan did make a good impression right from the start but he faded in and out throughout the competition, was not consistent and sounded monotonous at times. Hady for the record was in his element and the most consistent performer throughout. No disrespect to Taufik, but I think Hady proved his mettle in earlier rounds as compared to Taufik who only stamped his credentials when he was in the Top 6 onwards.

It worried me listening to Class 95 the previous day when almost everyone who called in said they were going for Jonathan. At times, the race factor did cross my mind cos seriously when I listened to RIA, people were voicing their support for Hady and when I listened to other stations, Jon‘s name came up more often than not. In my mind, it has become such a racist competition that I felt being the minority in Singapore, it did not matter even if I had voted or not cos my vote will always be outnumbered.

Seriously I would have voted for Jon cos he did give the competition a credible fight to the end. But for me consistency in a performer is what I looked out for. Race is never a factor for me and I am extremely thankful the 700,000 or so votes for Hady transcended all racial, religious and language barriers. For that I thank you my dear Singaporeans for not looking at the colour of the skin as was speculated by a few quarters, even in the Idol forums itself. I would be equally proud even if Jon had won, but he has to improve vocal-wise if he were to represent us.

As a music producer, I can understand that marketability-wise, Ken wants to groom Jon as he is better looking and has more charisma than Hady and he would definitely appeal to the Oriental market. And being someone in the scene for so long and understanding the Asian market, marketing Hady will only be limited to here and Malaysia, knowing how difficult it is to burst through the Indonesian market. But they shouldn’t have shown their disappointment at the end and favouritism right from the start. If that’s the case, then the minorities shouldn’t be entering the competition and just let them groom another Stefanie Sun. Political play like this makes me turned off from entering such a competition. It’s like even if you win, you still lose out in many aspects.

Just like Taufik, I hope everyone, and not just the Malays, would continue to support Hady. Let’s go beyond seeing someone from the skin colour but as a musical talent we can all be proud of in time to come. We are Singaporeans after all and the Pledge that we recite every National Day should always remind us to look beyond our language, race and racial barriers.

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I know some of you meant well when I received a lot of sms-es on Monday updating us on the current state of matters, that Jon was leading the percentage poll etc etc. Some even quoted Channel News Asia insiders or close sources. Not that I do not believe you people, but I was extremely sceptical. In my mind, it was just a ploy to get people to vote for Hady. How do I know??? Well sometimes you gotta trust your gut feelings.

In fact, I got too many people sms-ing me to the point I got peeved. Cos seriously, we’re in the midst of performing our responsibilities to HIM in this holy month. Concentrating too much on the Idol thingy certainly takes the shine off our good deeds for the day. I felt that being obsessed with this voting thingy is an absolute disrespect to Ramadhan which comes once in a year. Aren’t we all supposed to be chasing after rewards from HIM rather than wasting our time telling people to vote???

And look at the number of our people at the Indoor Stadium. God knows how many of them actually performed their prayers prior to the show or still had the energy to perform their Tarawih after that. I had the opportunity to be one of those people at the Indoor Stadium cos a friend offered me tickets but I turned it down as I felt that I was only wasting my time there, when I should be grabbing whatever good things HE is rewarding us this month.

Well, our community still has a long way to go before they know the essence and meaning of what Ramadhan is all about, through speech, actions and clothes they wear. Another disrespecting factor was the relentless request for Hari Raya songs on radio only on the second day of fasting. Even if the listeners meant them as jokes, they should be tactful and sensitive. It’s becoming a yearly affair in that listeners will request for the songs as early as the first three days of fasting. Sometimes I wonder, what is important, equipping ourselves for the Hereafter or still enjoying ourselves with worldly stuff. I’ll be the first to admit that I am no angel, neither am I pious. But when it comes to religion, I have a very big problem with people who take things for granted.

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I was at the Suria Raya Karnival last Friday just to see what the hype was all about with regards to the bazaar this year. I’ve never been a fan of going to the annual bazaar after breaking my fast. Most of the time I’ll leave the area about 6pm, so since the opening of the event wasn’t in Ramadhan yet, I thought it would be nice to see what we can expect this year. I actually spent less than an hour at the event. Cos whatever was on display was certainly not enticing. In fact it reminded me of those numerous exhibitions at Singapore Expo.

I simply do not understand some of the things that are on display as they are certainly not Hari Raya material. Pray tell me, who would want to purchase property in Malaysia when they need the income to spend for Hari Raya??? Or does it make sense to buy a car now knowing that you would have to go through a few biddings before getting it??? For all you know, by the time you get it, Hari Raya is over. Sometimes things like these can be mind-boggling and I just feel that they are totally unnecessary to be displayed or sold at Hari Raya bazaars, especially the properties. “Nonsense!!!” is the only word I can think of…

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I guess I won’t be blogging as much this month. Over the weeks I’ve been busy lately, the thought of not blogging for good did cross my mind a few times. Cos seriously, it’s no fun blogging and having a comments section but you don’t get comments to better yourself or see how you can improve or share ideas. The funny thing is, I seem to get a lot of visitors, but I guess people just love to drop by, read and go. I’ll drop by and blog as and when I feel there is a burning topic to talk about but don’t expect me to be here all the time… Till then, to my Muslim readers, may this month bless us all with sustenance and may HE forgive us all for our past sins…

One response

  1. Anonymous

    Sorry to hear about the passing of your colleague. But congrats on your lil one.

    Selamat berpuasa.
    – Noridah –

    Monday, 2 October 2006 at 16:34

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