Festival Melayu Ada: Babak Terakhir Recap…



I apologise to those who have been waiting for this entry to go up since the festival ended more than a week ago. I was feeling under the weather the past week and simply had no mood to post this up. You won’t feel the need to type an entry if you’re down with a bad case of influenza, plus coughing and a sore throat to add to the “gloss”. Anyway, since I had posted three entries in three days over the May Day long weekend, I thought the blog and especially its owner, needed a break for awhile.


The host for the event – Shahrin Azhar

The Sunday before last, 3rd May 2009, saw the closing of the Festival Melayu Ada (FMA) quadrilogy series. Compared to FMA1 & FMA3 that I attended but did not manage to stay all the way till the end, this time I came just before the main acts began their sets and stayed all the way till the end, even though the next day was a working day and it kinda dragged on till close to 11:00pm.


Tengku Adil relaxed before going on stage…

The reason why I did not attend the day event at the Malay Heritage Centre was because I was already feeling the after-effects of the previous Saturday‘s heat-sapping and energy-draining time spent at East Point Mall shopping centre during the Anugerah auditions. Yes, the unbearable heatwave does have its negative impact in that it completely drains you. So the day was spent resting at home with my family and typing out my thoughts on the auditions.


When I reached the event venue, I was greeted by the security guards on duty asking if I had taken my temperature. Since I was not running a fever, I just said yes out of convenience. It was then that I noticed that they had a big cooler fan placed right smack in front of their faces whilst the audience sitting under the tentages nearby were busy fanning themselves even though there were fans around, but do not seem to be working as well as they would have liked to. Some kind of royal treatment these guards were getting, I thought.


I spotted a few friends and joined them and started to make small talk whilst waiting for the show to start. It was here and during one of the conversations that this techie idiot found out that he could make use of the wifi services on his handphone and surf the web without having to worry about paying the extra charges one would associate with surfing via the handphone. The Heritage Centre is wired up for wifi usage in case you don’t already know. Thanks to bro Sulaiman for pointing that out to me. It was heartening to see the crowd that came, was the most they had throughout the whole series. All four sections of the tentages were filled to the brim and from where I was, I could spot Zoul (M. Nasir‘s younger brother) and renowned lyricist Zaidy Nandir sitting somewhere at the back, taking in the proceedings that unfolded.


East Mode Sanskrit doing their thing…

The last slot of the FMA series (Suara III) was scheduled to be held at the Outdoor Stage of the Heritage Centre at 8:00pm before taking a short break out of respect for the Isyak prayers. Somehow the event only started proper right after the prayers. Looking at my watch and the line-up in store, I was sure the show would not end at 10:00pm as planned. For the record, the programme line-up that were listed to perform were East Mode Sanskrit, No Strings Attached, Konspirazy, Klutz, Tengku Adil, Rafaat Haji Hamzah, Ard (feat. Zakiah), Raven and Zaibaktian. The event was ably hosted by Shahrin Azhar, no stranger to our local entertainment industry.


No Strings Attached giving us a punchier performance than the previous week…

I don’t think I need to go into detail as to each and every performance that went on that night, as I had already done so in my previous entries on the FMA series I attended in the past. Most of the sets were repeats of previous songs being performed before. The only difference was, with a bigger stage and supposedly better sound system, they could perform without an acoustic setting, which was the standard norm of the past three editions of the series. However the sound system was very much left to be desired as the singers’ vocals were constantly drowned by the music that accompanied them. This was very much evident if the performers had their fellow band members or sessionists accompanying them.


In the case of Tengku Adil, he was an exception. He sang two songs which he did not perform before and they were “Aku Cinta Kamu” and “Mariam“, of which the latter would soon be heard on our local radio as his new single. The young man took the trouble to relate how the song came about and it all began with the annual The New Paper New Face contest back in 2000, where the winner, Mariam Daskalopoulou, set many hearts aflutter with her astounding beauty, yours truly included. I think it is quite a great tribute to someone you’ve had a crush on and to the guy’s credit, she is currently a part of his friendship circle. I was hoping for his sake, it would be a fairytale come true. But that’s another story to tell altogether.


Rafaat Hamzah being interviewed by Shahrin before he began his poetry recital…

I quite enjoyed Rafaat Hamzah‘s poetry recital segment. This guy is simply amazing and an absolute genius. I just wondered why it took me so long to actually sit in one of his recital sessions, to listen to the ideas that poured forth his deep, intellectual mind. By the way, he recited his two compositions, that were taken off his book “Yang Bilang“. Correct me please if I err with this piece of information. Behind those cleverly crafted words, one could easily detect the dry wit and sly criticisms towards the respective subjects mentioned, and I’m sure those who listened intently would say, “Yes, he’s right!!!” to every line that was recited. It was made more enjoyable to watch when he was joined on stage by members of Konspirazy, Raven and Ijam from Malaysian group Flop Poppy accompanying him with the backing music.


Zakiah & Ard performing “Taman Ungu”, a song composed by the talented former…

I was unsure whether it was due to technical glitches or miscommunication or even due to the fact that the show had over-run, but there were no performances by Klutz or Konspirazy as was stated in the programme line-up, which was a pity as I personally did not get enough of their respective performances the week before, in the third edition of the series. As for the finale segment, well, all I could say that it was better, no, best forgotten. I felt quite disappointed after all the waxing lyrical I made throughout the festival, only to be undone by the finale.


Raven had the audience bobbing their heads to the beats of their sound…

For those of you who were not there, well, the finale segment was made up of the main acts singing one another’s hit single. However it was very much apparent that there were no prior practise before going on stage and they were either off-key, out-of-tune or have no idea how the song goes. I thought it was something well-worth recording but halfway through, I had half the mind to stop the recording as it was very frustrating to see and a very bad end to such a positive event. I just hope in future if they were to have this event again or have a similar segment, the vocalists would have all come prepared. After all the positive talk, unfortunately it had to end on a whimper.


Zaibaktian performing none other than “Lelaki Baru“…

The finale, however, should not be used as the barometer to gauge the event as a whole. One has to expect mistakes to be made, since this is afterall a new project that was brave enough to have been executed, where few dared to venture. Overall, I should say that the festival has been a commendable success. For one, the idea to have such an event without first thinking of commercial returns, even in this bad economic climate, is in itself something that is worth applauding. Another thing that is worth mentioning is that the festival allows independent / new talents that are have not / have been heard on radio but not / seldom featured on television or print media, the platform to showcase their talents to the watching audience.


Wan from the duo of Wan & Eddy performing during the finale… Quite a good practice for him as he qualified to be in the Top 50 of the current Anugerah competition…

Through such an interactive event, media and entertainment people would be able to converge and get to know one another, increase their social and working network as well as plan paths to collaborate in future projects / productions. Some might complain and say why make it a non-paying festival??? Most of these artistes are new in the industry, some barely have a proper direction and it is through this event that people would hopefully come to learn of their existence. Perhaps through time, wide media coverage, promotion through word-of-mouth would we then see charges being made and I would not mind paying to watch these new talents cos from what I have see thus far, they deserved to be paid to watch, every single one of them. Singapore is definitely not in dearth of good talent waiting to be unleashed on a mainstream level. The fact is, are we, the consumers, ready for them???

Author: Pujangga Malam™

Well-known on RIA 89.7FM as a controversial and sensational critic able to invoke thought-provoking and sometimes, fiery responses from fellow listeners. Have since evolved into a distinguished blogger of reputable claim with takes on the Malay entertainment industry and football-related matters. Brutally honest and believes in only reporting the truth as I see, hear or experience it. Self-styled critic who does not mince his words and is definitely a non-conformist.

2 thoughts on “Festival Melayu Ada: Babak Terakhir Recap…”

  1. sorry…im not here to comment abt your entry..but just wana ask your opinion on HALF MALAY.
    i’ve received an email about a boy who was catholic and half malay. he ate pork. but is there actually such a race? from what i know, we malay muslim are not supposed to even convert out.n i think it is because someone in the past convert out and therefore the existence of HALF MALAY.

    when i passed the email around, so as to pass the kesedaran of what is happening here, someone replied that we should not talk bad about these people…have i done any wrong?

    do tell me your opinion yaa..i can also pass you the email…

    1. Whoever said that being a Malay means you have to be a Muslim??? There’s no such things as a religion being exclusive to a race and vice-versa. Anyone is free to practice a religion of his / her own choice. The fact that the boy is a Catholic is already good enough reason that he should be free to practise what he deem is right. Race should never be put as an issue, whether he has 1/4 blood, or 1/2 blood. Islam is also a beautiful religion in that it does not impose on other people. And we should not impose our thoughts on others as well. In that respect, I agree with that person who replied to you. Live and let live and respect other people’s religious choices. Islam is not exclusive to Malays only.

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