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Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016 Media Conference…

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(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Due to my heavy work commitments last year, Anugerah Planet Muzik 2015 (APM2015) did not get a proper coverage be it in terms of my customary annual review as well as the usual promo leading up to the event in this domain of mine, even though I did share photographs of the Walk of the Stars and Red Carpet segments during the actual event night. I also did not attend the media conference held at Orchard Hotel when the organisers released the list of nominees back then. Hence I would like to apologise if any of you had waited for me to post them up but ended up not seeing any on this blogsite. I’ll try to make it up this year, which is why this particular post takes precedence, less than a fortnight before the event makes its long-awaited return. This year, Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016 (APM2016), debuts at the newly-opened Theatre @ Mediacorp at Stars Avenue on 30 September 2016.

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Fiza O and A B Shaik were the hosts of the media conference..

As with previous years, before the event proper, there will always be the traditional media conference to announce the nominees of the upcoming awards show. This year, the media conference was again held at the premises of Orchard Hotel on 20 July 2016 and was hosted by RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O and Warna 94.2FM‘s A B Shaik. Guests who mostly made up of local artistes, came to the event with high hopes of being nominated or at the very least, to soak in the atmosphere. For those still new to the scene, it was an eye-opening experience for them to just be in the same room as other household names, an opportunity for them to get to know one another and have mini networking sessions amongst themselves. Guests that day were also treated to performances by newbies Haikal Ali, Din Ilango and The Chapters, as well as Kalysa Aziz. All four displayed their worth on stage and personally, yours truly thoroughly enjoyed their respective performances.

apm2016-media-conference-055The panel consisting of Mr. Hassan Salleh, Assistant Vice-President (Malay Broadcast Division) & Manja Editor, Ms. Zakiah Halim, Chief of Malay Broadcast Division and Dr. Edmund Lam, Chief Executive Officer of COMPASS, addressing the audience on the experience of selecting the nominees as well as giving nuggets on what to expect in this year’s awards show.

Looking at the final list of nominees this year, I personally feel the local pool of talents were unfortunate not to receive more nominations especially in the regional categories. Last year, Iman’s League made the all-important breakthrough for the Singapore acts and won the Best Band (Regional) award over more established names like Noah, Sheila On 7, Akim & The Magistret and Bunkface. Many netizens especially those in Singapore wondered who they were and cried foul over their win. Personally I was disgusted by the reaction as I thought national pride would at least overcome any emotions over their own personal favourites. Iman’s League though they are quite under the radar here, they have since made inroads in other Asian countries like Korea and even Malaysia, albeit in the underground scene. Their win gave so much hope and inspiration for other acts to follow suit that anything is possible if the quality of song is on par with the other established regional acts.

apm2016-media-conference-012Strong support and attendance by our local pool of talents and representatives at the media conference…

This year, the organisers of APM2016 (Mediacorp Suria, Warna 94.2FM, RIA 89.7FM and Manja Magazine) received 420 nominations from the various music distributors and record labels from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Nominees are not just solely from the three countries mentioned. Last year, the awards show received their very first nominees from Brunei (Aziz Harun) and Philippines (Mark Adam). This year, Shunpei Nakagawa became the very first Japanese to be nominated through his collaboration with Malaysia‘s Indah Ruhaila with their song “Aishiteru Selamanya” amongst the five nominees in the Best Collaboration (Artiste) category. Hark back to 2012 and you will note Cassidy Anderson from Australia as another nominee from outside the Nusantara region. As the name “Planet Muzik” implies, nominees from other countries are much welcomed. Speaking of Aziz Harun, he will be the third Bruneian after Faiz Nawi (2005) and Jazz Hayat (2013) to make a performance on the APM stage this coming 30th September 2016 (APM Wikipedia page admin please take note!!!).

apm2016-media-conference-074Haikal Ali‘s “Bertemu Kembali” is such a haunting hit, I will not be surprised if he bags either Best New Artiste (Male) or Best Singapore Song awards or even both. His appearances at all three media conferences for APM2016 (including in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta) showed the organiser’s confidence in his potential…

I had a small chat with Ms. Zakiah Halim during the reception afterwards on what we can expect during the show as well as voicing out some of my doubts over the choice of venue for this year’s event. I had attended three shows already at the new venue earlier this year (“Anda Mahu Rok?“, Sinar Lebaran 2016 and Raya Oh Yeah!) and somehow the place does not give me good vibes in terms of seating arrangement and how much the stage and auditorium as a whole resembles a school hall setting. Without giving much away except for a coy smile and a twinkle in her eyes, Ms. Zakiah Halim only let on that they will do what they can to make the stage more accomodating both to the performers as well as audience. She did elaborate however, on the choice of performers this year. As you will note from the promotional poster, a bulk of the performers are not the same faces you see year in and out. In that respect, it is a refreshing change of line-up. And as always, amongst the performers, there will be deserving winners in their respective categories.

apm2016-media-conference-104Sufie Rashid, together with Taufik Batisah, are the two who got the most nominations amongst the local acts with six each…

Anyway, with less than a week to go before voting your favourites in the popular categories (local and regional) ends, let me just remind you to do the yeoman service for them and log on to Toggle.SG and vote before 23rd September 2016 23:59hrs. Every year you’ll get the sour grapes complaining about undeserving winners, but if you don’t vote, or expect others to do it for you, then you just have to suck it in when the final results are announced on the actual awards night. I did receive several invites via my personal inbox / private messages in my social media accounts from artistes who were nominated in the popular categories to either vote for them or help pitch in for them. I have to apologise that being a media outlet, I must be fair and neutral without showing any personal favours to anyone. What I just did was remind those reading this entry to go out and cast your votes for your respective favourites. I can only afford sufficient enough gesture like this as my way of helping.

apm2016-media-conference-024A group photograph with all the local artistes, representatives of record labels and artiste managements, sponsors and organisers of APM2016

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016 is presented to you once again by One Drop Perfumes. Main sponsors are Pos T.K.I. and Sensuous By Shannz (Red Carpet event), Co-sponsors – House of Dre and Official Transportation by Uncle Sam Auto Trading Pte. Ltd. Official broadcasters as in previous years are Astro Ria and NET Mediatama Indonesia (NET TV). The awards show is supported by Media Development Authority (MDA) and Composers & Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) and is brought to you by Mediacorp Suria, Warna 94.2FM, RIA 89.7FM and Manja Magazine. The awards show will be telecast live via Mediacorp Suria on 30th September 2016 at 9:00pm. You can also catch the livestreaming of the show via Toggle.SG, which includes the Red Carpet event at 8:30pm, and will not be televised on Suria, or the simulcast via the two radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM.

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apm-2016-final-nominees-list-page-005(List of nominees courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)


Sinar Lebaran 2016 Pre & Post-Event Snapshots…

sinar-lebaran-2016-3486The performing artistes of Sinar Lebaran 2016 (from left): Khairudin Samsudin, Huda Ali, Iskandar Ismail (Eiss), Fuad Rahman, Sarah Aqilah, Ziana Zain, Sezairi, Nurul Aini, Sufian Ahmad and Aisyaah Aziz

We’re in the final day of Tasyriq (three subsequent days after Eiduladha) and I thought it would still be fitting enough for me to share these long-held photographs during the night where Sinar Lebaran 2016 was recorded at the new Theatre @ Mediacorp situated at their new premises at Stars Avenue. Furthermore I was not invited to cover the recent recording of the Rayakustika programme, which was televised this past Hari Raya Haji holiday, so there seems to be a void somehow of Eid-related stuff. Anyway, I seldom post photographs of Sinar Lebaran recordings over the years so all the more I saw the need to share them. Since I had promised more stuff to be shared on my blog a few days ago, this post is dedicated to featuring some of the celebrity guests who had attended the Sinar Lebaran 2016 recording on 28 May 2016. Enjoy!!!


#ThePouponsWed Marriage Solemnisation Ceremony…

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Bilal Guillaume Jeanpierre & Nadiah M. Din

This domain has been “dead” for slightly over four months and frankly speaking, there were times I felt like just calling it a day, such is my daily commitments taking up so much of my time that blogging is the last thing on my mind. But in between I still continue getting invites to shows, album launches and even invitations to cover celebrity wedding events. I will not make any promises about posting them all, but I will definitely try to, moreso since my favourite annual event, Anugerah Planet Muzik, is just around the corner. Well, speaking of covering celebrity wedding events, my comeback post is on the marriage solemnisation ceremony of local actress-host Nadiah M. Din and Bilal Guillaume Jeanpierre held at The Colonial @ Scotts on 14 August 2016.

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The bride looking splendour in her outfit by Fatimah Mohsin

I had gotten the invitation to cover their upcoming momentous event (their wedding reception is in December 2016) way back in December 2015, a good one year ahead. But the solemnisation ceremony was only brought to my attention by our celebrity bride some two to three months ago when I met her at an event. I usually do not sacrifice my weekly Sunday evening football sessions unless it is for something dire, but I had given my word in advance, plus the fact that this was a God-willing, once-in-a-lifetime event for our lovely couple, hence I could go without playing for just one weekend. Anyway, Nadiah was the one who sought my contact and personally contacted me to cover her event. It is difficult to say “No” when one has added that kind of personal touch.

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Nadiah‘s elder brother, Ahmad Ghazali, reciting a short supplication for the newly-weds and invoking blessings for the guests and event…

I will not relate much about the marriage solemnisation ceremony as you would have probably read what transpired from the mainstream media days after the event or even watched it via live streaming on the day itself, only the second local Malay celebrity to have done it after Syarif and Malaque Mahdaly back in November 2014. What struck me during the event was how much love the couple had, not only for one another but also the people close to them. Bilal, even though he did not get the opportunity to get to know Nadiah‘s late father, Allahyarham Mohammad Din Mohammad, went out of his way in his thank you speech to ask the guests to recite a short supplication for his departed soul, a gesture that highlighted what a big-hearted person he is.

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Bilal reciting the all-important marriage vows (Akad) with Ahmad Ghazali giving away his sister’s hand in marriage…

I was surprised that Bilal, being a non-celebrity, did a lot of the talking in their joint speech, mostly expressing his gratitude to Nadiah‘s family and relatives for accepting him with open arms right from the start. With his good looks, charm, sincere mannerisms and soft-spoken nature, it is easy to see why Nadiah fell head over heels with him. I would too if I was a lady. I actually had the opportunity to speak with him for the first time during the recent Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivities when we bumped into one another at Norfasarie and Baihakki Khaizan‘s housewarming event. There, I was able to get to know the man first hand and he was curious with this blogging aspect of my hobby. If the first meeting left a good lasting impression of him, the second one during the solemnisation ceremony only entrenched the positive feeling further.

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The newly-wedded couple displaying their wedding rings on their fingers…

The solemnisation ceremony was attended by about 150 guests, mostly family members and close friends, as well as representatives from the media in Singapore and Malaysia. Nadiah‘s hand in marriage was given away by her elder brother, Mr. Ahmad Ghazali and the ceremony was solemnised and officiated by Ustaz Syakir Pasuni. For the record, RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O hosted the event and amongst the local personalities who attended were fashion designer Lulu Alhadad, Munah Bagharib, Lydia Izzati and Cheryl Wee. The latter three mentioned were also amongst the five maids-of-honour of the bride. Akrab Kompang Services provided the recitations of the Selawat just before the close of the ceremony to cap off a befitting end. And of course, the bride and groom donned outfits specially designed by none other than celebrity make-up artiste Fatimah Mohsin.

thepouponswed 486The newly-wedded couple with Nadiah‘s immediate family members…

Before I end off this entry, I would just like to congratulate our newly betrothed couple Nadiah & Bilal once again on embarking on this new chapter of their lives as man and wife. May the blessings of the Almighty be their guiding light in this journey till eternity and beyond. Thank you for kindly inviting me and family to this momentous event!!! Also my heartiest congratulations to bro Aliff Aziz and Bella Astillah who solemnised their marriage this past Friday 9 September 2016!!! To my Muslim readers, I wish you Eid Mubarak. May Allah accept our deeds and shower us with blessings in abundance…🙂

Snapshots of #thepouponswed Solemnisation Ceremony


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ChiChi Lala: Play & Learn Tea Party Promo

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Mifsha Kids Online, founded by Shasha Ya’kob, theatre practitioner / television actress-turned-mompreneur, will be organising a non-profit event on 14 May 2016 titled “ChiChi LaLa: Play & Learn Tea Party“. It is the first kids’ Islamic-educational tea party and the event is managed by Tarkiz.

 

The tea party aims to promote early education and the importance of parents’ roles in their children’s education, educate families on the importance of early Islamic education through fun learning. The tea party will host a range of selected vendors that offer holistic learning and support for home learning. Islam is a way of life and thus it covers every aspect of our life from eating, sleeping, dressing, fitness, practices etc.

 

Parents will get to discover ways to create a fun learning environment and be involved in their children’s development. Apart from booths selling Islamic educational and lifestyle products, there will also be interactive booths with free hands-on activities for children. Every participant will receive a free goodie bag worth over $50 at the tea party.

 

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Event organizer Shasha Ya’kob seen here at the launch of Hyrul Anuar‘s music video “Mata” back in September 2011

 

Event highlights include:

 

• Mini Hijabista Contest with celebrity judges Azni Samdin, Lulu AlHadad and Aidah from Helwatu Qalbi [sponsors for contest]
• Babywearing Mums Dancing by Cool Mumz
• Talk on Early Islamic Education by Ustazah Su’aidah Salim
• Tips on Tackling Fussy Eaters by DTSSG
• Introduction to Phonics Reading by Playworks Reader
• ‘Lagu-Lagu Kita’ by Mini Monsters
• Islamic Art by Little Fikra
• Reading contest by Hayyan

 

The party will be hosted by Rudy Djoharnaen.
Former Parliamentary Secretary of Education, Haji Sidek Saniff, will be gracing the humble event as the Guest-of-Honour.

 

Proceeds from the party will be donated to ‘Potein Educational Institute‘, Cambodia. This project is helmed by Cultural Medallion Winner, Isa Kamari, and administered by the Office of Mufti of Cambodia.

 

Ticket Prices:

• Regular Price: $30 per pax
• Buy 4 and get 1 FREE!
• Children under 7 years old enter for FREE
• Children between 7-12 years old: $10 per pax

 

To purchase tickets for the event, please email mifshakids@gmail.com or call 96732000.

 

More details of the event can be found on FB: MifSha Kids Online

 

Vendors @ ChiChi Lala: Play & Learn Tea Party

LittleFikraLittle Fikra is an exclusive art education integrating the expressions of art and Islamic teachings for the young ones. It is the brainchild of Rudy Djoharnaen and his business partner, Maya. Children will get to learn essential art skills such as painting and drawing techniques through topics related to Allah’s creations such as Nature.

Little Fikra extents the learning process by exploring and re-creating the works of Islamic Art & Design. With Little Fikra, these young achievers could develop and strengthen their creative skills, promote self-expressions and also self- exploration. When children strive to understand themselves, they will learn the meaning of appreciating, praising and glorifying Allah as our Creator.

Partyweqz

Partyweqz Singapore offers a one-stop party planning service customised to meet all your party planning needs!

LittleQuranKids

Little Quran Kids is a programme for 3-6 years old to help them memorise Juz Amma in 3 years! Their mission is to put Allah and Rasulullah (Peace Be Upon Him) in our childrens’ hearts by giving the best Islamic environment and techniques.

Core values: Submission, Solah (Prayer), Sabar (Patience), Syukur (Gratitude) and Sayang (Love).

MiniMonsters

Mini Monsters started off in 2008 as the Education Outreach arm of award-winning TV production house Dua M Pte Ltd. The company aims to revive an interest in the Malay language by offering an interesting and fun approach to the teaching of the language. Its motto “Berhibur dan Belajar” (Entertain and Educate) sums up the company’s philosophy in its approach of developing educational materials, courses and syllabus that are relevant to today’s generation of children.

In just six years, Mini Monsters has grown into Mini Monsters Limited and is currently helmed by its Director of Content Development and co-founder Rilla Melati Bahri. The aim is to always give the best to all children while instilling a lifelong love for the Malay language and inspire change through creativity and innovation.

DTS

At DTS, they strive to re-educate the community on healthful eating in order to regain control of their personal and family’s health. Through personal and group coaching, DTS coaches will help you discover your bio-individuality so you could better understand what works for you in your journey to be healthier than you are today! With better understanding of your own body, DTS coaches hope to help you battle diet-based diseases that you may be at risk of getting, through better management of your daily nutritional diet and lifestyle.

DTS will be sharing tips on how to tackle toddlers’ fussiness in food at ChiChi LaLa: Play & Learn Tea Party.

Diana By Design

Diana by Design is a distributor for Naelofar, Nora Danish and House of Dolls by Fazura. Diana by Design is a distributor for Naelofar, Nora Danish and House of Dolls by Fazura.

sewnanu

A SAHM of twins who started her sewing journey as a form of therapy and has not looked back since. She sells her handmade items such as baby/toddler dresses, buckwheat pillows, pouches and many more! SewNanu will be at the ChiChi LaLa Tea Party with their handmade items.

PlayworksConsultancy

Playworks Consultancy was established in 2005 in USJ, Subang Jaya. As they celebrate their 11th anniversary this year, they look forward to continue their history of providing high quality and professional services and resources to their customers.

Playworks Consultancy started as a consultant and learning resource supplier in the areas of Early Childhood Education. Since their inception, they have grown and expanded in their services. Their very own Playworks Publishing House was established in 2013. Their very first book “Phonics Junction for Little Muslims” was introduced in November 2013. 
The book has since benefited children, parents, teachers and caregivers in Malaysia, Australia, Brunei and Singapore.

Helwatu Qalbi

Helwatu Qalbi which means “sweet heart” in Arabic, is a one-stop solution for mummies specially brought to you by us – modest wear for all Muslimah princesses, specially crafted pieces from Hijab, dresses, Jubah, to casual top and bottom.

They believe in nurturing the value of modesty and covering the Aurah from young. May all Muslim princesses grow to be wonderful Muslimahs, thus pearls of Islam.

It is a known fact that to successfully groom a child, we have to start young, like the famous Malay saying, “Kalau melentur buluh, biarlah dari rebungnya…

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Swing by Suhaim is an Islamic concept store that features unique and popular Muslim brands. Swing is an initiative by Suhaim, whose focus is to develop wonderful, engaging and inspiring educational books, games and toys for young Muslims. They develop products such as Tap Genius and Quran Reading system that apply technology to the presentation, learning and transmission of traditional Islamic knowledge and make the understanding and appreciation of Islam a truly enjoyable and meaningful experience. Together, we can help build a sound and dynamic foundation for young Muslims, Insya Allah.

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“Serving modest wear for all ages”

n6y.sg will be releasing their Hari Raya collections at ChiChi LaLa: Play & Learn Tea Party…

sufyaa

Sufyaa aims to bring out the best in women from all walks of life, fulfilling the needs of those who are socially conscious, yet with a desire to dress fashionably.

They are passionate and creative in their pursuits to unleash the chic in you.  Their designs are ever-changing and they like to keep things fresh in their showroom. With their new Bespoke Collection, you will be at ease to know that you are able to customise your hijab style to your preference from their available prints.

ForestChild

Leather – Crafts – Accessories – Design – Handmade

Forest Child embodies the liberation of attaining stylish nirvana through leather goods crafts with love and good vibes. They are a nature loving team, affectionately calling themselves “Tarzan and the Painters”. Combining their love for craft and the intricate nature of handling leather, they aim to provide signature pieces for the fashion conscious desiring effortless style, accentuated with functionality.

CoolMumzDancin

Join Cool Mumz Dancin sessions for mommies who love to have fun, destress and make new friends yet still able to bond with yr lil ones at the same time!

HayyanSG

Hayyan.SG is in the business of providing Islamic-based educational and entertainment alternatives to the local community.

Hayyan.SG is inspired by the parable found in the Qur’an in Surah Ibrahim: “See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? – a goodly Word like a goodly tree, whose roots is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens – It brings forth its fruit at all times, by leave of its Lord. So Allah sets forth parable for men, in order that they may receive admonition.14:24-25

Hayyan.SG aspires to grow their roots into the fabric of the society and be the “goodly tree” whose fruits and shade it provides brings benefit to others. Insya-Allah!

SarrasDolls

Sarras Dolls is a one-woman show. Just a little store, Sarras Dolls is born out of curiosity when looking for toys for their only daughter. As parents, we prefer quiet toys and we all know why, right? Unknowingly, we also realise that quiet toys encourages independent play plus it allows the child to interpret how the toy is being played. Creativity checked!

As parents, safe toys are of utmost importance. In Sarras Dolls, products that are chosen are handmade. Extra care has been taken to ensure toys are safe to be played among children. Products are also carefully curated to suit most young children. Featured products are absolutely UNIQUE and ADORABLE.

About Tarkiz

Tarkiz

Although newly established in October 2015, Tarkiz is helmed by experienced associates who were key players in their respective previous employments. Grounded by deep sense of purpose, we tread every aspect of our operations with much thought and deliberation, effecting in a well-balanced and fresh, ideas and activities. Beginning with education in the corporate world, Tarkiz plans to expand its horizon to all levels; catering from newborns to the golden age.

Tarkiz deeply believes in lifelong learning and sees education in all forms, albeit in a relaxed, informal and fun manner. We fuse theory and practical to achieve a holistic experience. Our programmes are conceptualised hands-on activities-based philosophy. Hence, nurturing physical, psychological and spiritual health.

Tarkiz is highly driven in community work. Many of our programmes are designed for community development. Our strong sense of social responsibility directs us, provide conducive environment for youth at risks, and former convicts to reform. We engage, train and place them as freelancers in our programmes so they gain skills and experience for their future endeavours.

 

 


Hafeez Glamour – Doktor Kereta Ambassador…

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I was kindly invited by bro Hafeez Glamour, my mentor back from my internship days with our local Malay radio stations, to cover this momentous event in his career – being appointed an ambassador for Doktor Kereta, a renowned local car dealing company, which is no stranger to the Malay community. This event was held on Saturday 12 March 2016 at the company’s new premises at Woodlands Horizon, where they recently shifted from their old place at Yio Chu Kang Road. Besides the appointment of bro Hafeez as ambassador, this event was also held to thank the customers of the company for their loyal patronage. I felt with the grand scale of the celebrations they had that day, it also felt like an event to celebrate the official opening of the new premises.

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The new premises of Doktor Kereta Pte. Ltd

There was a sizeable crowd that turned up, not only to watch the official announcement of bro Hafeez as the company’s ambassador, but also to meet and greet artistes like popular Malaysian actress, Yana Samsudin, our very own Aziz siblings – Aliff and Aisyah, Alias Kadir, as well as entertained by Kelly Azman and Luqman Damanuri, the latter two from Malaysia. Aisyah Aziz was on hand to pass free copies of her new single, “Titik Merah“, to the first one hundred visitors. The single which won the first prize in a local song composition contest held by Berita Harian and PERKAMUS, was composed by Sallys Music Production and written by Madam Amanah Mustafi from Mediacorp Eaglevision. It was released in conjunction with our recently-concluded SG50 celebrations.

Hafeez Glamour Appointed Doktor Kereta Ambassador 026 The artistes on show: Aisyah and Aliff Aziz, Yana Samsudin, Kelly Azman and Luqman Damanuri

Yana Samsudin, whom I’ve taken a liking since I watched her in “Bini-Biniku Gangster” back in 2011, did not come empty-handed. Accompanied by her husband, Fadzil Zahari, she was also there to promote her new line of hijabwear called “Ayana“. It was hilarious seeing her and Kelly Azman playing games with some of the audience, getting them to wear her fashion line and making them do the catwalk with it. Aliff Aziz, who was accompanied by his fiancee, Bella Astillah and mother Madam Hafiza, entertained the crowd with his first ever hit, “Sayang-Sayang“. For a free event, the audience got their entertainment’s worth and got to meet popular names from both sides of the Causeway.

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Hafeez Glamour seen here with Ms. Aisyah Amirah and Mr. Haji Ismail Yusof, Assistant Director and Director of Doktor Kereta Pte. Ltd. right after his official announcement as Doktor Kereta Ambassador…

I understand that over the past month, there was some controversy pertaining to the local car dealing company. I don’t think it is appropriate for me to comment on the matter, as I am not involved directly at hand nor have read in detail what has transpired. However, the company has taken great pains to appoint a consultancy company, HalalHub Consultants Pte. Ltd. to help look into whatever grievances and shortcomings that might have occurred when dealing with their past customers. The consultancy company’s CEO, Ustaz Azmi Abdul Samad, lamented in his opening speech that he saw many complaints being made on Doktor Kereta‘s Facebook page but when they invited to meet those who had complained of poor service and claimed to have been “misled”, only a few have come forward so far. He, along with the car dealing company, hope that more will come forward, so that they can settle whatever misgivings, shortcomings and unhappiness amicably.

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Hafeez Glamour, posing in front of his newly-minted limousine with Mr. Sujimy Mohamad from Screenbox Pte. Ltd., Mr. Haji Ismail YusofMs. Aisyah Amirah, and Ustaz Azmi Abdul Samad, CEO of HalalHub Consultants Pte. Ltd

Bro Hafeez in his brief speech, expressed his gratitude at his appointment and hoped that it will bring back the confidence of the general public towards the company which has recently gone through a testing period in its existence. Passing useful advice to young artistes like Aisyah and Aliff Aziz in attendance, he said that such accolades are achievable through patience, hard work and to look beyond the hate that comes with the territory, to the point of forgiving, moreso in the unforgiving nature of the entertainment industry. As someone who is a veteran of the scene and has seen and experienced his fair share, those words certainly rang true. Congratulations to bro Hafeez Glamour on his recent appointment as ambassador of Doktor Kereta!!! Thank you once again for inviting me to cover the event as well as to the staff of Doktor Kereta for the kind hospitality…🙂


Anugerah Skrin Episode 8 Recap…

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I foresee another short entry just like the last one. This past Tuesday (15 March 2016) saw the competition saying its goodbyes to four contestants, thus leaving the Top 6 to duke it out in the Grand Finals episode in a matter of nine days from the day I published this entry. As the same format applied from the previous week, the male contestants who were up against one another had to act out scenes from popular drama shows on Mediacorp Suria over the past year or so, with another established actor from the opposite gender. This week saw them collaborating with the likes of Farhana M Noor, Izyan Mellyna, Hashimah Hamidon, Era Farida and Mariana Yati. The guest judges from the previous week, Ariati Tyeb Papar and Zaidi Ibrahim, returned once again to the hot seats.

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Farhana M Noor and Fadli Kamsani…

Fadli Kamsani was first up with Farhana M Noor, from a scene taken off Rempuh. Judge Sharon Ismail was not quite impressed when she commented that Fadli‘s acting was one-layered and he needed to find more reasons for his character to be unhappy. I personally found the performance quite average because there were times when his body language and dialogue delivery did not quite sync. For his hosting segment, I actually like hearing his voice tone, calm and measured, though I also agree with judge Khairudin that his intonations could be better expressed when stressing of certain words. I also note that Fadli looked a bit tensed and that he was trying to maintain his presentable outlook more than trying to get himself messy. The least he could have done for his segment was wear an apron, or better still, donned the chef’s hat, even if his involvement with decorating the cake was minimal. I was thinking, what was so scary or fearful about decorating a cake???

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Iskandar Shah and Era Farida…

Iskandar Shah was next as he paired with Era Farida in a scene from Bubur Masjid Air Katira season 3. Guest judge Ariati pointed out that Iskandar‘s performance seemed rushed and his emotions at the start of the skit, were not in tune with his dialogue. I found the comments a bit too harsh as I thought he gave off a confident performance, though not as the same level as the one he had when he sparred with Syaiful Ariffin a fortnight ago. I liked the way he mouthed off his lines, with firmness, clarity and authority, just what the role called for. His hosting segment felt a bit odd though, in that they classified learning to dance the Zapin as something to be “feared”. Judge Sharon noted that he overacted and that singing during the introduction did not quite suit what was required of him. While I agree that singing was perhaps redundant, moreso because he did not get enough “lenggok” to his tune, actually it was something different and unique that he injected into his style. On the part of overacting, it was minimal if you compare Iskandar‘s style to Danish Ashraf‘s.

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Izyan Mellyna and Kamarul Arifin…

Izyan Mellyna reprised her role as Farhana in the recently-concluded drama series of the same title. She was paired with Kamarul Arifin. I tried to get a feel of their scene, both when watching live at the Mediacorp TV Theatre and upon watching it again via Catch-Up TV, but both instances I felt a certain feeling of emptiness at Kamarul‘s character portrayal. It felt one-dimensional and hollow, even if he tried and gave off his best to inject emotions and sadness to his character. The dialogue delivery failed to leave an impact on those watching and this was also pointed out by guest judge Zaidi Ibrahim, who said it lacked character. Kamarul‘s hosting also did not quite impress me that much because I felt he was more concerned about how he looked onscreen and his diction, than being natural and getting himself hot and sweaty for his rigorous activity. My mind was made up after watching his acting performance that he would be one of the two male contestants to be eliminated.

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Syaiful Ariffin and Hashimah Hamidon…

If I was squirming when I watched Yaya Hamid and Fir Rahman last week, that same feeling returned when I watched Syaiful Ariffin in action with Hashimah Hamidon from their scene taken off Mengejar Mentari. What was most eye-catching about this acting performance was Syaiful‘s intense eye-contact with his sparring partner. It felt so natural even if the whole situation felt a bit wrong. Like what judge Ariati had said, there was sincerity in Syaiful‘s acting though I have to caution him that his intonations can sound a bit off, but it was minimal for this performance. Based on his academic background alone, Syaiful seems the strongest when it comes to acting and he needs a very good sparring partner for him to give off his best as we have seen two weeks ago with Iskandar Shah and this week with Hashimah. His hosting though needs lots of improvement. At times it feels as though I am watching an “orang lama” because he has a kind of style of presenting, complete with facial expressions, that remind me of the actors and personalities from the glory days of Jalan Ampas. Actually he wouldn’t look out of place if he were to be cast in shows depicting that era.

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Mariana Yati and Danish Ashraf…

Last but not least, Danish Ashraf. I did say in one of my previous entries, he has been quite fortunate to have been getting roles that fit his personality. In fact his similarities to Anugerah Skrin 2006 alumnus, Junaidi Sali, are uncanny in that they both tend to excel in comedy and antagonist roles. Which is why I felt he has not been properly challenged yet up till this point. Danish teamed up with Mariana Yati from a scene in 2014‘s popular Belah Hati series. For the first time, I saw a weakness in Danish‘s acting performance and this had more to do with him being challenged out of his comfort zone. He looked a bit off trying to balance his emotions which required him to be exasperated, angry and eventually sad by the scene end, which was not easy. Personally I did not quite like his acting performance for this round and thought he looked vulnerable for the axe, but that is me being a bit harsh. However, I felt he was the best amongst the rest when it came to the hosting segment. He has a distinct style of presenting, full of natural wisecracks and funny quips, even if the cynic in me would say he tends to overact. The only complaint I have is the same as the one I made with Fadli Kamsani‘s, in that he should have used an apron and wore a chef’s hat, not only for realism’s sake, but also hygiene purposes cos both of them were dealing with food.

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Seconds before the elimination…

I had envisaged in my last entry the ones who would leave the competition amongst the young ladies who competed last week, even though I did not identify their names. I was half correct when I guessed Wirda Elliesa‘s elimination right, but I was caught between Syafiqah Shahlan and Shida Lestaluhu. I think what tipped Syafiqah‘s favour was her hosting segment which she aced amongst her fellow competitors. As for the guys, I had Kamarul‘s elimination spot-on, but I did not see Iskandar Shah‘s coming. It hit me like a bolt out of the blue and I believe, just like Ain Zainal‘s elimination a fortnight ago, a number of people were left reeling in shock as well cos we did not see it coming. I had actually thought the other elimination would go the way of Fadli Kamsani or Danish Ashraf, but both of them made it to the Grand Finals.

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Presenting to you the Grand Finalists of Anugerah Skrin 2016 – Danish Ashraf, Fadli Kamsani, Syaiful Ariffin, Nurul Nadia, Yaya Hamid and Syafiqah Shahlan…

Next week, there will be no live broadcast from the Mediacorp TV Theatre nor Studio 4 as footage from the Boot Camp, which the finalists have gone through over two days this past Wednesday and Thursday at Changi Civil Service Club, would be aired instead. Which means, I get a much-needed break from my weekly entries on the competition. Please do not expect any entries on the Boot Camp episode as I will not be making any, but I believe there are other self-styled critics out there who will be doing it, complete with scene-by-scene takes and comments on everything and anything they see. And so we say congratulations to the six finalists – Syafiqah Shahlan, Danish Ashraf, Nurul Nadia, Fadli Kamsani, Yaya Hamid and Syaiful Ariffin. Commiserations are due to the four eliminated – Wirda Elliesa, Iskandar Shah, Shida Lestaluhu and Kamarul Arifin. I think it’s too cliche and oft-repeated, but it is never the end of their journey once they are eliminated. There will always be avenues and opportunities for them. They just need to improve and hone their craft on their own. Others before them have done that, who is to say they cannot follow suit???🙂

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8


Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 1643The female semi-finalist contestants (from left): Nurul Nadia, Shida Lestaluhu, Syafiqah Shahlan, Wirda Elliesa and Yaya Hamid

It was all about “Girl Power” this past Tuesday night (8th March 2016), as the first semi-final episode of this year’s Anugerah Skrin competition was aired live from the small confined space of Studio 4. In line with the International Women’s Day celebrations that day, the five young ladies who have progressed thus far at this stage, were given the opportunity to take centrestage. For the semi-final rounds, the contestants are required to act with a renowned actor from the opposite gender and from scenes of popular drama shows on Suria, which these more established actors have acted in. As for the hosting segment, they were tasked to host outdoors and alone, unlike previous rounds where they had a sparring partner amongst themselves. This past week, their hosting tasks brought them to the island of Sentosa. Last Tuesday also saw an addition of two guest judges in Ariati Tyeb Papar and Zaidi Ibrahim, two previous Pesta Perdana winners, no slouches in their respective crafts.

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Jeff Catz and Nurul Nadia

Nurul Nadia was paired with Jeff Catz for the first acting segment of the night and they acted a scene from the four-part series, SAGA. Khairudin Samsudin commented that Nurul Nadia‘s performance was superb and I feel that it was justified. I think it helped her a lot in terms of putting in the sad emotions when Jeff‘s character blew his top and raised his voice at her. The only downside was her lack of eye expressions which looked as though they disappeared somewhat when she cried. As for her hosting, it was a bit of a hit and miss for me, good in patches and having less confidence during the rest of the takes. At this stage, one’s confidence should be up there already and not stuck with the jitter bug. At times I see Nurul Nadia a bit too meek. She has to come out from her fear and comfort zones if she wants to win this competition. However, I think she might be good enough for a grand finals spot by virtue of her acting performance alone. Finally, the judges realised her voice resemblance to Huda Ali‘s which I had pointed out weeks ago when the competition first started.

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Norman Ishak and Wirda Elliesa

I personally thought Wirda Elliesa did slightly better than previous weeks, when she was partnered with Norman Ishak for their scene taken from Firasat. However, she was told that her character’s supposed firm traits had more anger instead. This is where the finer technical details of their acting are scrutinised by the judges as we get closer to crowning them as winners. For the laymen like us who watch from the comfort of our screens, we feel that it was believable to an extent, but perhaps not in the eyes of the judges. I personally felt a bit uncomfortable watching the preview scene when they were interviewing both of them, cos when Norman was being interviewed, Wirda was looking down and adjusting her hair, instead of towards the camera, a slightly bad habit I noticed since the earlier episodes. Some viewers might view that as lacking in manners, but to give benefit of doubt, I believe she might have thought that the focus of the camera was on Norman alone. As for her hosting, it felt quite ordinary and the questions posed were too basic though I dunno if it was part of the script or they had to think of the questions themselves. Instead of “promoting” the Luge, I think the attention of the viewers was more on her than what she was presenting about.

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Fido Ahdross and Syafiqah Shahlan

For the first time in the competition, I detected a lack of confidence in Syafiqah Shahlan’s acting performance. She has always been a model of consistency but during her segment with Fido Ahdross, when they played out a scene from A&E, I could sense that her mind was probably not focused with what she had to deliver, thus resulting in a lack of emotions and an overall average performance. Not for the first time that night that the judges pointed out the lack of expressions in the contestants’ eyes. Syafiqah‘s saving grace was her hosting performance which had the word “FUN” spelt out in capital letters to indicate her personal experience and even the audience who might have felt the same, just by watching her segment. The only grouse I have is they could have gotten a better instructor who could speak the Malay language fluently. It felt odd watching a Malay-sounding named person speaking in English for a Malay programme. Worse, his grammar was atrocious for someone who is more comfortable speaking in English. I’m sorry, it’s my OCD kicking in…

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A. Mahadi and Shida Lestaluhu…

I did say in my Episode 3 entry that Shida Lestaluhu was probably not ready for a comedy role yet. A month has passed since I made those remarks and even though I feel that she is still not yet ready, I note a better performance from her alongside A. Mahadi. They had reprised a scene from the highly popular Menantu International drama series. At first glance, the ad-lib of the tie on the mannequin in the scene felt normal, but upon watching again, I agreed with the judges that it sounded a bit off. Shida‘s intonations could also have been expressed better especially on the parts where she had her verbal joustings complete with traditional Malay idioms. For her hosting, I think she did better as an individual as opposed to having a sparring partner. But like what judge Sharon Ismail had pointed out, she has to be aware of her camera angles and not be seen as though she is looking down on her interviewee.

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Fir Rahman and Yaya Hamid…

Finally we come to Yaya Hamid. If you compare her performance as well as Nurul Nadia‘s, whom I felt were the better performers of the night, I am more inclined to say I enjoyed Yaya‘s performance with Fir Rahman more. Their scene taken off Kosmopolitan, was a public display of affection (albeit in a private office setting), which had me feeling uncomfortable and squirming, for the fact that it seemed almost believable. I liked the way they interacted with their eyes towards the end, I thought it felt quite intensed and electric. I feel that Yaya‘s acting has steadily improved as the weeks progress, though I would also caution her that she can still improve on her stressing of words along with her emotions. Her hosting segment was good to a certain extent. There were times where vibrancy and zest were missing in her presentation delivery but overall I thought she still did ok. She was brave enough to let her hair down just going through the motions of the trapeze act.

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The guys ready to rock Episode 8: Syaiful Ariffin, Danish Ashraf, Iskandar Shah, Kamarul Arifin and Fadli Kamsani

As expected, there were no eliminations in Episode 7. However Episode 8 will be slightly more brutal and intensed than previous weeks, in that four contestants will be given the axe, two each from the guys and ladies. I am not sure who amongst the ladies will be eliminated at this stage, because my personal observations might not tally with the judges. However based on the judges’ comments, I more or less know who will be saying goodbye to the competition this coming Tuesday. I will not say it here because I do not want to make the young ladies’ respective morale drop even before Tuesday has arrived. They left Episode 7 still smiling, which was a rare sight, and I do not want them to come into Episode 8 all sad and gloomy. Before I end, I just want to say, I love this particular entry as it is the shortest to date for this year’s Anugerah Skrin competition!!!😛

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7