Piala Dollah Kassim 2012 Media Conference…

Piala Dollah Kassim (Dollah Kassim Charity Cup) returns for a fifth edition this year!!! Due to the overwhelming success of the previous two editions (2010 & 2011), the organisers, Persatuan Karyawan Muzik Singapura (PERKAMUS) has continued to build on the momentum by combining with Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) to stage this year’s event. The media session and drawing of fixture match-ups for the qualifying rounds were held this past Friday evening, 28th September 2012, at the rooftop of Singapore Press Holdings, venue of previous media sessions pertaining to the event. The guest-of-honour for the event was none other than Allahyarham Uncle Dollah‘s son and my cousin, Mohamed Ezaad Abdullah.

This year, the competition welcomes a new team from the Singapore Music Society (SGMuSo), in addition to the four existing teams from Persatuan Dramatis Singapura (Singapore Malay Dramatists Association), Berita Harian, the combined team of PERKAMUS-COMPASS as well as the defending champions, Mediacorp Suria. The tournament promises goals galore and entertainment for the fans. What’s more, the players playing in the tournament are personalities in their own rights. The new kids on the block, SGMuSo, will have the likes of Mel and Joe Ferdinands turning out for them, PERKAMUS-COMPASS will have Jeff Catz, Ikhsan Ace, Didicazli and Syarif SleeQ amongst others, whilst Dramatis will have Roslan Kemat, Amy Kecik, Helmindra J.A. Halim and Khairudin Samsudin amongst others, gracing their team.

As for the defending champions, Mediacorp Suria, who I will be turning out for for the third year running as the team’s goalkeeper, the team has gone through a bit of a transition with at least a third of the squad from the winning team last year not able to make it due to various commitments. The loss of captain and top-scorer Syed Azmir Syed Azman is perhaps the most keenly felt, along with Fauzie Laily, Dzar Ismail, Fadhlur Rahman and Taufiq Salleh, but in their place, the team welcomes five of the “First XI” boys in Muhammad Shammir (Alang), Mohamad Helmi, Mohamed Kiyasudeen, Muhammed Faliq and Muhsin Johari. Abdul Mutalib, who has been turning out for Mediacorp Suria in the previous tournaments, completes the sextet from the successful reality show early this year. The captaincy of the team has been handed down to the most senior member of the team, Rafaat Hamzah.

Guest-of-honour Mohamed Ezaad Abdullah…

I am quite happy so far with what was being briefed during the media conference pertaining to the rules of the event. Prior to the media session, representatives from the participating teams had met up with the organisers and discussed the rules and debating over niggling issues which arose from previous tournaments. I had the opportunity to sit in at one of the meeting sessions and everything was discussed in a very cordial and amicable manner. I am just pleased that some of the unhappiness which I brought up last year in my review of the tournament has been resolved and I am just looking forward to a clean and fair tournament for all. Winning is secondary, it is the spirit of charity and element of fun which we will all be looking forward to the most in this year’s tournament.

Cikgu Yusnor Ef…

Cikgu Yusnor Ef, in his opening speech, threw down a suggestion for relevant authorities like the Football Association of Singapore and National Heritage Board to take up, that is to honour past football greats in any manner possible, so that their contributions will always be remembered and appreciated by the younger generation as a form of inspiration for them to aspire to. This year, proceeds from all the public, individual and team funding will be channeled to the Singapore Children’s Society. PERKAMUS and COMPASS it must be highlighted, will bear the logistics cost and miscellaneous fees. In that respect and echoing their call, I invite you to come down and support the event. This is afterall for an extremely good cause. What’s more, entrance to all the matches is free!!!

This year the tournament will be staged at ITE College East, with the Grand Final on 2nd December 2012. A mini-concert on the day of the Grand Finals will have local artistes performing and a seven-a-side tournament organised by Bikers Aid Singapore. An all-star team from the third, fourth and fifth placed teams will also play in an exhibition match with the Parliamentarian team consisting of several Ministers and Members of Parliament. Unlike previous tournaments, ITE College East is well-equipped in every sense. They even have a cafeteria owned by former international Malek Awab, where watching fans can savour good food at affordable prices. The cafeteria even has prayer rooms for those who want to observe their obligatory prayers. I am certainly looking forward to this upcoming tournament, a chance to showcase our amateur skills to the public and at the same time, contribute to the charity cause and representing my family in memory of Allahyarham Uncle Dollah. Let the games begin!!!

Match schedule courtesy of Mediacorp Suria

Snapshots of the Piala Dollah Kassim 2012 Media Conference

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Hamid & Sons General Contractor Renofest 2012…

I’m back with another belated entry, this one happening a fortnight earlier than the event that occurred in the previous entry.  I was honoured to have been invited to cover this event by the event’s host and company ambassador of Hamid & Sons General Contractor, none other than RIA 89.7FM‘s bridegroom-to-be, DJ KC. Held at its Marsiling Industrial Estate premises on 23rd July 2012, this mini-carnival event was the company’s way of thanking their loyal customers and welcoming new ones as well.

In the spirit of giving back to the community, the company has to be applauded for chartering a bus and ferrying children from the Pertapis Children’s Home to enjoy the day’s event and giving away alms to them. There were free popcorn giveaways amongst other freebies. The highlight of the event were the performances of Irwan Azly from Tujuh fame and Cassidy Anderson, who created quite a sensation recently on Youtube with their rendition of Hafiz Suip and Adira‘s “Ombak Rindu“.

Cassidy (www.cassidyandersonofficial.com) who hails from Australia, certainly created quite a stir with the way she sang the song in the Youtube video, with the correct feel and emotions exuded. And she certainly did not disappoint that day when she performed both “Ombak Rindu” and Zee Avi‘s “Kantoi“. My only complaint with regards to the performances was that Irwan should have sang some of his hits from Tujuh like “Gila” or “Aishiteru“. Enjoy the video clip I’ve put up for your viewing pleasure…

Siti Zahidah’s “Ethereal” EP Launch…

I did say in my last entry that I would be blogging past events that I attended but have not had the time to post till now. Well, this momentous event is just one of them, a memorable one I attended with my wife and savouring for the very first time, Zahidah‘s live performance. For those of you who might not know who she is, well for starters, she won 987FM‘s “The Next Big Thing” competition last year. She has had hits on both English and Malay radio stations the past two years like “The Make-Up Song“, “First Love“, “Malam Ini” and won an award at last year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik (Lagu Terbaik SingapuraBest Singapore Song) for her duet with The Lion Story, “Lagu Teman“.

With gradual and progressive successes like that, it was only natural that an album was recorded to further enhance and showcase her repertoire of talent in songwriting, composing and performing. And so, “Ethereal” was born and launched successfully on 7 July 2012 with a showcase by Zahidah and her merry bandmates. The launch, attended by about 150 fans, supporters, friends and family members, was held at The Gallery @ *SCAPE. Singing a total of eleven songs, it felt more like a mini concert, an apt celebration to commemorate how far this talented musician has come since she first introduced herself to the local independent music scene in 2009. And there’s always something intriguing and mystical when a lady is able to sing and play a musical instrument at the same time.

Backed by Aidil Muhaimin, Muhammad Nuridham and Imran Bustamam, her bandmates, they spent about an hour entertaining the audience with a feel-good factor that reminded me of those old-school gigs back in polytechnic. The audience it has to be said, were definitely a sporting bunch. There was even a surprise birthday celebration after the third song was performed, for Zahidah and guitarist Aidil, who celebrated and shares the same birthday (5 July). Even though it was a happy atmosphere for most parts of the showcase, a sense of sadness was felt when Zahidah performed her Malay single “Rindu“. She broke down a few times whilst performing, as I found out later on that the song is actually dedicated to her late grandfather. Her family members, notably her mother, were seen dabbing their eyes as well.

It was nice to see a good turnout for such a humble showcase, with the audience exchanging banter with not only Zahidah but her bandmates as well. Local celebrities currently based in MalaysiaTengku Adil and Elfaeza Ul-Haq were the standout attendees, and not to be forgotten, the joint producers of the “EtherealEP album as well, Haramain Osman and Judah Lyne from The Lion Story. The five singles in the EP album are definitely worth listening to, with my personal favourite being “First Love“. A job well done to Zahidah and the team behind the making of not only her album, but also the ones behind her music video “Malam Ini” (Flashforward Films), as well as the ones who were responsible for the success of the launch (*SCAPE, Heyday Streetwear, Built From Skratch, Fact3 Productions & Hamyza Halek). Here’s wishing Zahidah more success in her music journey!!!

Snapshots of “Ethereal” EP launch

Fiza O’s 30th Birthday Bash & Surprise Wedding Announcement…

It has been more than six weeks of inactivity in this blog and it’s not for the lack of materials. In fact I have quite a number of entries in store which I have yet to upload / post simply because I have been very busy with life in general. Coupled with the fact that I’m normally quiet during Ramadhan and the festive period afterwards, I thought I would let all the Hari Raya visits out of the way before plotting a return. And this return coincides with yesterday’s birthday bash held for RIA 89.7FM‘s “The O Show” anchor, Fiza O, at the Serangoon Gardens Country Club. It was no ordinary birthday bash as the birthday girl chose the event to announce her upcoming nuptials to none other than fellow colleague, Abdul Karim Sadali also known as DJ KC, whom we all know is the anchor behind the most popular weekly radio programme, “Misteri Jam 12“.

Here comes the groom-to-be…

In truth, the announcement was not a surprise to me, cos as recently as the August 2012 issue of Manja Magazine where he was on the cover along with Anugerah 2005 winner Hyrul Anuar, DJ KC had dropped hints that he would be holding a media presentation when announcing his wedding plans. As the days go by, it made sense to finally come out and announce to the world that both of them – sincere, honest and kind people that they are from knowing them – are finally getting betrothed. I think for some of us, it has been an open secret all along. I first got wind that they were together when I bumped into them twice in town circa 2005-2006, but I actually dismissed that as normal colleagues going out during their spare time. But messenger pigeons, metaphorically speaking, told me sometime last year that their wedding was imminent, and I cannot help but noted the care and attention KC displayed towards Fiza on a number of occasions.

Finally, the announcement that ended all speculations…

Kudos to the two of them for keeping things under wraps for so long. I have hung out with the groom-to-be countless times and God knows how many times I have probed him, subtly and directly, but he gave nothing away, out of respect and honouring a promise he made to his bride-to-be that when the time is right, they will announce it to the world. Even though it was not a surprise to me, I was still floored and had flutters in my belly when the announcement was made, such was the joy I felt that was being shared by them to the media brigade at the event which was attended by the couple’s colleagues from RIA 89.7FM and local celebrities Taufik Batisah, Fauzie Laily and Didicazli. The surprise on Taufik‘s face was priceless to say the least, as he walked into the event ballroom just as they were announcing who Fiza‘s groom would be. The only thing I am surprised about is how soon the wedding would be as I had initially speculated that it would be held somewhere in November, nearing KC‘s birthday.

Taufik Batisah and Fauzie Laily with the soon-to-be married couple…

For the record, the couple will be solemnised officially on 19 October 2012 at Sultan Mosque and receptions will be held over at the groom’s side the following day and the bride’s the day after. More than 24 hours on since their announcement, and I have seen hundreds of well-wishes on Facebook and Twitter for two of the most popular radio deejays on RIA 89.7FM. Their impending union is not the first amongst radio deejays in Mediacorp but it is indeed the first in the Malay radio fraternity since Warna 94.2FM‘s Ibrahim Jamil and Suharti Ali got together two decades ago. What is indeed a definite first is that this was the first media announcement of an upcoming wedding by a local Malay personality from the entertainment scene. I cannot think of other personalities doing this other than what Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza did back in 2006. But I think due to their popularity, the two lovebirds deserved to share it with their fans, listeners and supporters, and who are we to begrudge them of their happiness???

Congratulations KC and Fiza on your upcoming nuptials!!!

Thank you for inviting me to the event yesterday and for allowing me to be a part of the wedding as well. I pray that both of you will be in good health leading up to the event and it will be an event that will be most memorable in our hearts…