Launch of Dunia Sinema Channel

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I’ve gotta admit, I’ve had a nice three week break since the last entry. I’ve managed to catch up on a lot of me time, with family and friends. So much so that laziness had crept in and I was beginning to delay this particular entry that I’m about to embark on. I think two weeks since the event launch of the Dunia Sinema channel on Starhub TV is long enough and I cannot delay any longer since Pesta Perdana 12 is just less than a fortnight away. Speaking of Pesta Perdana 12, I will be posting an entry on the nomination list pretty soon, but I’m sure some of you might already known or have seen it on your respective social media accounts. Hand to heart I have not been keeping myself abreast and don’t even know who is nominated in which category, which shows how much I have switched myself off from the local entertainment scene since the Ratu competition ended.

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Ms. Sandie Lee and Major (Hon) David Teo officially launched the Dunia Sinema channel…

Touching on the topic of Ratu, well the launch of the Dunia Sinema channel held at Fairmont Hotel on 2nd February 2013 felt like a reunion of sorts all over again, as at least ten of the contestants attended the event hosted by Metrowealth International Group (MIG). Familiar up-and-coming local actors and actresses like Erwin Shah Dawson, Lydia Izzati, Atikah Suhaime and Erni Aidil also graced the occasion with their presence. Even radio personality Hafeez Glamour, came to support the launch. Prior to the event, a closed-door auditioning session was being held next door to the event venue. It was the perfect opportunity for the Ratu contestants and our up-and-coming acts to show their potential and perhaps be the next face to be featured by MIG in their upcoming productions, be it on the silver screens or for television viewing. At a time where some bigwig in the scene across the Causeway is making all the negative noises about welcoming acts from outside their country, MIG should be applauded for welcoming them with open arms.

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The Ratu contestants with Hafeez Glamour and Major (Hon) David Teo

Anyway, back to the topic of the Dunia Sinema channel. MIG has been entrusted to manage the newly-launched channel, where there is a collection of Malay films produced by them and can be viewed through this collaboration with Starhub TV. The high demand for Malay films in Singapore in recent years, convinced Starhub and MIG to create this channel. This collaboration hopes to trigger a new history in the world of broadcasting, in turn further strengthening bilateral relations between Singapore and Malaysia, particularly in the field of publishing. Subscribers to the channel (Channel 120) can enjoy watching ten films of different genres every month at a flat rate of S$8.56 per month. The launch of the Dunia Sinema channel was inaugurated by Major (Hon) David Teo, CEO of MIG and Ms. Sandie Lee, Vice President for Content Services, Starhub TV.

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

MJ12 – Kronik DVD Promo…

After the resounding success of Konsert Misteri Jam 12 – Jangan Takut Hantu held at Fort Canning Park on New Years’ Day, RIA 89.7FM, Cokelat Events & Production and Gridmedia, have teamed up to produce a Misteri Jam 12-themed DVD titled “MJ12 – Kronik“. The DVD contains four short stories sent in by listeners of the most popular programme of the aforementioned radio station. Directed by Rafaat Haji Hamzah and Khairudin Samsudin, the four short stories feature the likes of radio presenters Hafeez Glamour, RZ and Fiza O, as well as up-and-coming artistes like Kai Abu Bakar (Kopi Bujang Season 2), Hisyam Hamid (Cut Amirah) and Rahayu Ridwan (Anugerah 2011 winner). There is a guest appearance by Ustaz Taufiq Ismail and DJ KC acts as the narrator / presenter.

I had the honour of sitting through three consecutive nights of filming, the first at Old Upper Thomson Road and the remaining nights at Wing Tai Building. I have never sat through a filming set before, so this was quite an eye-opening experience. The experience exposed me to some of the works that our talented artistes and backroom crew do which most of us do not get to see. Most of us only see the end product and appreciate the glamour associated with the entertainment scene. Trust me when I say “glamour” is only 10% while the rest is all sweat, toil, blood and tears. Through this experience, I learned to appreciate the hard work put in by everyone in a production. And for that I have to thank Rafaat and his wife Azizah for having me around.

I will not delve too much on what I saw and what I experienced. Instead, I will share with you snapshots I took during the three nights of filming as well as behind-the-scenes footage. Plus I don’t think I need to say much when it comes to the most popular show on local Malay radio. The name “MJ12” itself is an enticement on its own. But in case you are wondering how to go about purchasing the DVD, fret not. Here are the details on how to get the DVD. You can make payment via the following modes:

Bank: OCBC (Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation)
Account No.: 555842640001
Account Type: Corporate

Or

Bank: POSB (Post Office Savings Bank)
Account No.: 049-40431-0
Account Type: Savings Account

Payments can also be made via Paypal at http://cokelatbox.com/products/mj12-kronik/

You have to indicate your name for the distributors’ reference. For payments via the ATM or at the counter, do send Cokelat Events & Production Pte. Ltd. a copy of the transaction slip for verification. Upon receipt of payment, Cokelat Events & Production Pte. Ltd. will email you an acknowledgment note which also confirms your order. DVDs can be delivered or self-collected at the MJ12 booth located outside Tanjong Katong Complex (till the end of Ramadhan). After Ramadhan, it can be self-collected at COKELAT‘s Office.

This coming Saturday, 4th August 2012, the “MJ12 – KronikDVD will be officially launched at Tanjong Katong Complex. The event is held outside the building where the concourse leading to the main entrance of the building is at. If I’m not mistaken, where Fotohi Carpet Gallery has a booth during this festive period. DJ KC will be making an appearance from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Pre-ordered DVDs can be collected from 4:00pm to 8:00pm.

Lagu-Lagu Kita CD Launch

After years of being fed a diet of English children’s songs, Malay kids, parents and educators in Singapore can now look forward to a newly created package that has been created to revitalise and rejuvenate the Malay Children’s music industry. Lagu-Lagu Kita is a compilation CD of 40 carefully selected Malay children’s songs from a span of 40 years (1950s-80s). It is a project by Mini Monsters and is supported under the National Heritage Board’s Heritage Industry Incentive Programme (Hi²P), a co-funding scheme designed to encourage more the development and creation of innovative heritage products and services that will reach out to as many Singaporeans as possible

For the uninitiated, Mini Monsters is the Education Outreach arm of television production house Dua M Pte. Ltd. and Music & Movement Pte. Ltd. Headed by Creative Director, Najip Ali and Chief Creative Officer, Rilla Melati Bahri, Mini Monsters aims to revive an interest in the Malay Language by offering an interesting and fun approach in its learning. With their motto – “Berhibur dan Belajar” (Entertain and Educate) – Mini Monsters believes in partnering like minded establishments and educational institutions in order to promote active Malay learning. Their courses and products are aimed at giving the best to all kids – at school or at home – while instilling a lifelong love for the Malay language through confidence-building and creative ways.

This project serves to put a name and a face behind every lyricist and composer of these endearing Malay children’s songs that we grew up with, in hope of reviving the songs for the generations to come.  Aimed at children aged 4 to 14 years, kids can sing-a-long while they learn about Malay values, lifestyle and customs through the lyrics. This edu-tainment pack is not just targeted at Malay children but children of all ethnicities who are willing and keen to learn Malay in a fun and entertaining manner. Projects like “Lagu-Lagu Kita can not only bring back the heritage that we may have forgotten but also introduce a brand new audience to the many hidden and forgotten gems of Singapore’s heritage.

I had the honour of being invited to cover the event when it was held on the morning of 10 June 2012 at the Upper Concourse of the Esplanade, Theatres by the Bay. Thanks to the kind people at Mini Monsters for the invitation, I felt obliged to attend and in turn, come out of my blog “retirement”, as this is something I feel close to my heart since young. Back in primary school, I recall learning and singing some of these songs during my mother tongue classes. Coupled with educational shows like Mat Yoyo and other beneficial Bengkel Kanak-Kanak TV programmes, I admit that they have in a way introduced and strengthened my knowledge on the Malay language. Which was why I brought my children along that day to expose them to the songs that my wife and I had learned when we were young.

Seeing the performances of the singers that day (Imran Ajmain, Dalina Jaapar, Rudy Djoharnaen) and listening to the songs they performed, was like a walk down memory lane. I felt nostalgic thinking back of my lost childhood. At the same time, I felt so thankful towards this initiative to revive and to preserve these treasures for our younger generation to pick up and learn and in turn, to pass it down for generations to come. It has been a month since the CD was launched but my daughters insist on listening to them every day!!! This is indeed an effort which deserves to be supported by our community and of course by the schools. Our children can most definitely learn a lot from the messages imparted through the songs, be it in language, moral, religious and ethical values.

The CD pack contains a book & two audio CDs including a CD on the oral history of Malay children’s songs in Singapore as told by veteran songwriters and composers such as Nona Asiah, Yusnor Ef, Drs Bahri Rajib and Khamaliah Salleh. The 40 specially selected songs have been re-arranged and updated to appeal to today’s kids and teenagers. The songs in this compilation are sung by popular and well-known young artistes such as Imran Ajmain, Hyrul Anuar, Syarif SleeQ, Rudy Djoharnaen, Dalina Jaapar and Nurulhuda Ramdzan.

Another special feature of the pack – these 40 songs are categorised into stages to suit children across different age groups.  The stages go from Tahap 1 (Beginners) to Tahap 3 (Advanced) and together with a companion guide, it serves to educate them further by explaining the themes, values and reflections found in each of the individual song lyrics. What is interesting is that the book also contains photographs and a brief history of our Malay children’s programmes on national television since the 1970s. One of the photographs featured the book, a picture of the 1988 batch of Bengkel Kanak-Kanak TV graduates has my other half and several friends I’ve made along the way, in it.

Lagu-Lagu Kita” is priced at $29.90 and can be purchased at the following places:

  1. Esplanade Shop
  2. Museum Label @ National Museum of Singapore
  3. Museum Label @ Singapore Art Museum
  4. Museum Label @ Asian Civilisation Museum
  5. Muzika Rekods
  6. Warisan Media
  7. Wardah Books
  8. Mini Monsters – Send your emails to Ms. Lydia Cheriyan (lydia@minimonsters.com.sg)

“Demi Adriana” Book Signing Promo…

For those of you who missed out on buying the “Demi Adriana” novel written by RIA 897FM deejay, Hafeez Glamour, or getting his signature on the book last Sunday at Joo Chiat Complex, fret not, as this is your chance to catch hold of him (literally) and get them signed. Hafeez will be making an appearance at the showroom of Darwin Interior Design this Saturday, 31st March 2012, between 2-4pm, for a book-signing session. Details are written on the promotional poster above…

Zahidah Releases Her Latest Single “Malam Ini”…

28th March 2012 is a very special day in the life and music career of local songbird, Siti Zahidah, or Zahidah as she is affectionately known. She has officially launched her first solo Malay single, titled “Malam Ini“, today. For those of you who wonder where you might have heard of her, well she is none other than the co-recipient for “Best Singapore Song” award at last year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik, for her duet, “Lagu Teman“, with The Lion Story. For those more inclined with local English songs, she is the singer of the saccharine sweet “The Make Up Song“, and snagged the title of “The Next Big Thing” at last year’s competition of the same headline, organised by Mediacorp Radio‘s 987FM. Things are surely looking up for this NTU undergraduate as she attempts to make her mark on our local Malay music industry.

Malam Ini” was written and composed by none other than Zahidah herself. The upbeat number was produced by Haramain Osman and Judah Lyne, both of The Lion Story fame. This latest single from Zahidah is taken off her upcoming Extended Play (EP) album titled “Ethereal“, which is scheduled to be out in June 2012. The single has also been receiving heavy airplay, a guaranteed five times a day, on RIA 897FM since the start of the week. It will be available as a free digital download from today at http://soundcloud.com/iamzahidah/zahidah-malam-ini/s-49Mvo.

I have had the opportunity to listen to the song as early as last Sunday when I was listening to the repeat of the radio programme “SG“, which showcases songs by our local acts on RIA 897FM. My first impression when I listened to the first verse was, it reminded me of “The Make-Up Song“. But as the song goes on, what is different from the earlier single is the fact that the tempo is slightly more upbeat. The lyrics are supposedly sad if you were to listen intently, but the melody projects a positive attitude being adopted by the person telling the story of the song. Though I’m not well-versed at reviewing songs, as a listener, the song made me bopped my head to its beats. It’s like a perk-me-up or what one might classify as a “feel-good” song. Why I say it, is because of the positive vibes it resonates. The melody and beats also reminded me of those country blues numbers that our old folks would have loved when they were much younger. I can’t help but feel this song is targeted for all age-groups to enjoy.

Congratulations Zahidah on the launch of “Malam Ini“…!!!

Hopefully this latest offering will open more avenues for you to succeed in our local Malay entertainment industry and also abroad…

Ritabella’s “Fiza O Collection” Launch Event…

The days and weeks have been moving a little too fast for my liking, that I did not realise that it has been three weeks since this event was held at Joo Chiat Complex on 25th February 2012. I felt extremely honoured to be invited to this event, moreso when Fiza O herself called me up personally to invite me over. When someone has made the effort to invite you over personally given the time constraints they were facing in the lead-up to the event, it is quite difficult to say “no”. You feel very much appreciated and obliged to return the support in kind. That was how I felt. On hindsight, even if Fiza did not make the call, I would have been amongst the crowd, perhaps watching from the upper levels of the shopping complex. It was the same day that Imran Ajmain was supposed to have his showcase at The Arts House, but was postponed due to technical reasons. Having him performing that day made up for the showcase miss, since I was due to go had it gone on as planned.

Other than Imran Ajmain, the other acts who graced the event were all from Singapore. They include Aryan Band, no slouches themselves and slowly gaining a positive reputation across the Causeway, dance powerhouse Styles From Beyond and two participants who have been featured on Hafeez Glamour‘s “Opening Act” segment in his daily radio show, Sufie Rashid and Siti Syakirah Noble. I thought the idea of inviting Aryan Band to perform was a good choice, given the fact that they have not made any notable live appearances on these shores since their Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 debut, as they were busy touring in Malaysia promoting the soundtrack of the movie “Azura 2012” and making more good music. And good music was what we heard that day as the band introduced their new singles “Kasih Katakan Sesuatu” and “Tanpa Mu“, sandwiching “Azura 2012“.

Besides singing his hit song “Jika Engkau Pergi“, taken off his album “Punca Dan Tindakan“, Imran was also on hand to introduce his new single “Dikalung Kasihan“, a sappy ballad I have fallen in love with, which was composed by renowned composer Azlan Abu Hassan and lyrics written by Dato’ Dr. Fazley Yaakob, who needs no further introduction himself. I remember in one particular showcase I attended in the past, Imran said in jest that he was “sick of” singing “Seribu Tahun“, but one cannot deny that that is his signature song, especially when the audience clamoured for him to sing it again and Imran obliged by doing it twice, even if he had no accompanying music.  The strength of that song lies in its melody, the simplicity of its lyrics and the deep meanings attached to it, a potent combination which makes it one of the most beautiful love ballads and one I rank as one of my own personal favourites as well.

The two up-and-coming acts whose talents were first showcased on the “Opening Act” segment, Sufie Rashid and Siti Syakirah Noble gave good accounts of themselves. Of course there were jitters detected but that was natural to expect for newbies just starting out and having to perform to a large audience live. I was surprised to know that the latter, whose height and size belied her age, is only 12 years old!!! This particular radio segment is heaven sent for our budding local acts, as it gives them the platform for exposure and for event organisers and record producers to sit up and take notice of their potential. Since the segment was first introduced mid-2011, a number of these young upstarts who began their journey via uploading YouTube clips of themselves performing, have had the opportunity to perform at various events. This is one example whereby social and mainstream media work hand in hand to give them the opportunity to shine without having to rely on the next season of a reality show.

Forever Beauty Professionals Pte Ltd, which produces the Ritabella range of beauty, skincare and slimming products, launched the “Fiza O Collection“, belonging to the Illume Skin System set of skincare products, for those with sensitive, oily and dry skin amongst others. If I am not mistaken, a set costs about $80. I have seen the physical difference in Fiza since she became an ambassador of the Ritabella products. Normally she looks weary and tired after a hard day’s work, but since she started using them, she looks fresh and I do not see her eyebags. And what’s more, there is a certain glow about her skin, as well as Hafeez Glamour, the other ambassador of the products. Hafeez himself will be launching his own collection come 25th March 2012 at Joo Chiat Complex, as well as his second book, “Demi Adriana“, after “Diari DJ“, his first book which was produced in late 2005.

Till this day I am still struggling to find a particular product which is named after a local Malay personality in our entertainment industry. Back in the 90s when the Malaysia Cup was so popular, two of our national players, Hasnim Haron and Zulkifli Kartoyoho had boots named after them and produced by Umbro, the sports manufacturer which sponsored them. But that was in the arena of sports. Correct me please if I am wrong, but I believe Fiza O has made a history of sorts by being the first Malay personality in our local entertainment industry to have her name embedded to a particular product. And that itself is cause for joy and pride for the bubbly radio presenter and television host, whose daily radio show has one of the highest ratings. Congratulations to Fiza O once again on the launch of her own beauty and skincare product!!!

Rita Zahara’s “Malay Heritage Cooking” Book Launch…

Have you ever been left feeling at a loss over what to cook for the family daily or simply have no idea how to whip up a simple Malay dish if you’re alone or abroad??? I’m sure many of you out there must have gone through those moments of dilemma from time to time. I used to hear that from my mother before I got married, and now the whole cycle repeats itself with the queen at home asking the same set of questions almost every weekends. For a family that eats just a simple dish daily, perhaps they might not face this problem, but when you have different family members with different taste-buds and preferences (or dislikes) for certain dishes, more often than not, the person doing the cooking will be cracking their heads over what to cook, just so they could please everyone at home. Fret not, because the recently-launched “Malay Heritage Cooking” book, written by Rita Zahara, is the answer to your cooking needs.

The book, which is published by Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) in hardback, is the third publication from the “Singapore Heritage Cookbooks” series, which showcases delicacies from the different communities in Singapore, the Indian, Peranakan, Malay, Eurasian and Chinese communities. The cookbook contains sixty different known and traditional recipes, synonymous with our Malay community. The heritage cookbook series aims to document and preserve the cultural and culinary heritage of the different ethnic communities, passed on with passion from generation to generation and this particular book was inspired no less by the recipes taught to the author by her late mother and grandmother. Additionally, readers get the value-added feature of learning the history of Rita‘s family and their contributions to society, particularly her late grandmother, Che’ Zahara, whom she was named after, who was a well-respected philanthropist and a moving force behind the proliferation of the Women’s Charter in Singapore. Not surprising that this book is well-backed and supported by our very own National Heritage Board.

Introducing Rita Zahara – The author of the “Malay Heritage Cooking” book…

For those still wondering who the author is or have some vague memories of her, well you might have seen her covering news events on location or reading the news on News 5 Tonight on Channel 5, ChannelNewsAsia or Berita @ Suria on Mediacorp Suria some years ago. For a period of time, she was also one of the anchors for ESPN‘s Sportscenter programme on ESPN Star Sports channel. What many of us do not know, me included, is that Rita Zahara has been a guest judge / panelist in several food festivals in Singapore and Malaysia. Reading the “About The Author” section of her cookbook, I also learned that she is also heavily involved in humanitarian work for Muslim communities in Asia, empowering women and children with access to education. Certainly an influential person in our community, an asset that we should be proud of.

This book launch might have been more than a fortnight old, but memories of how grand and regal it was are still fresh in my head. As I had told the author of the aforementioned book herself when she was signing the cookbook for my missus and mother, this was one of the, if not THE grandest book launch I’ve ever attended. For those who know Rita well enough, they would acknowledge that any production that she comes up with, she will pull out all the stops to ensure guests have something memorable they could go home with, and this book launch was certainly one of them. From the decorations outside the Vanda Ballroom of Marina Mandarin Hotel where the event was held, to the ones inside, the tight four-piece percussion band playing traditional / classic hits, the opening dance item by Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts Ltd., right down to the glorious spread of food, it was a launch fit for a king and was attended by about 250 people, some of whom are distinguished personalities in our community lending their support.

The hosts: Adi Rahman and Steve Dawson

The amazing part about this book launch was that it was conceived and planned within three weeks by Rita and her sisters, Rita Zarina and Rita Zuhaida, that too taking into accounts the Christmas and New Year holidays. They were certainly blessed with the kind help from no less than twenty-eight sponsors and friends, who came forward to help one way or another to ensure that the launch was a resounding success. The goodie bags that we received upon buying the cookbooks contained, a Satay set and a $30 voucher by Tupperware, a brand name which is no stranger to us. Besides the items sponsored by Tupperware, there were also a book on microwave cooking and a publication by Marina Mandarin Hotel. With that kind of goodwill support from the various sponsors, it was no wonder that during her speech, Rita made the effort to thank each and everyone who had helped from the time the book was conceived, to the day of its official launch.

A feature of the book launch was the live recording of the semi-final rounds of Queen Juara Memasak, the reality cooking show currently shown on Mediacorp Suria and produced by Mediamorphosis. The segment of the semi-final round, was recorded in front of the audience and it required the four semi-finalists to weave the ketupat, something which most of us from the younger generation have no idea on how to go about doing it, me included. Out of respect for the show, I did not take photographs nor recorded the segment, and for those who had missed out on watching it when it was aired last Tuesday, you can do so by going to the XinMSN/catchup website. The best part about this segment was when Rita herself joined in weaving the ketupat and she did it all in two minutes!!! She started weaving slightly later than the contestants and finished doing it much earlier than them, a sign that the years of helping out in the kitchen with her late mother, did not go to waste at all. It is quite a skill to learn and execute, and my word, that was impressive!!!

Rita answering questions during the Q&A session…

Lest I forget, the winner of the Queen Juara Memasak programme will be featured in Rita‘s upcoming cookbook, which will feature contemporary Malay dishes by successful / influential Malay personalities in their respective fields, across Asia. The “Malay Heritage Cooking” book is now retailing at $38 (before GST) from good stores such as Kinokuniya, Times and Popular. You can also get it online via NoQ. Amazon will start to sell it from February 2012 onwards. An added feature that will be introduced in the not-so-distant future will be the cookbook being made available on e-book format. A simple click on a particular recipe and one would be able to view how the cooking is done or how a dish is prepared. That is how technology has evolved and we’re able to enjoy the interactive features introduced to us.

The missus tried out one of the recipes, “Mee Telur Daging“, and I have to say, it was heavenly. No, I’m not saying this because I have to say nice things about her cooking or give face to the author, but because the cookbook, was really helpful in introducing us to a new dish we are able to try out and enjoy. I’m sure the other dishes that my wife will whip up in future from the cookbook will be delectable as well. Even though I have only tried out just one recipe so far, I strongly recommend you to get this as this is very useful for cooking beginners, for those abroad missing simple Malay dishes and even for those who are new to our dishes. Not only does the book have recipes, but the author took great pains to talk about each and every single one of them, relating how the dishes are linked to the community, its history or even memories whilst helping her late mother in the kitchen.  Like what the guest-of-honour of the book launch, Dr. Fatimah Lateef, had mentioned in a television interview, this book is indeed a treasure…

Snapshots of the Book Launch

Symbols of our culture and heritage greeted us at the front door…

Guests lining up to buy the cookbooks outside the event venue…

Guests awaiting for the event to begin…

A familiar face spotted amongst the list of guests is local actress Ariati Tyeb Papar

Another one was Marina Yusoff, seen here with her equally famous parents-in-law flanking her…

So too was Nurul Aini, the host of Queen Juara Memasak

Adi Rahman looking suave in his traditional outfit…

While Steve Dawson was all business-like…

The event was graced by the traditional Malay dance item performed by Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts group…

Rita Zahara with her opening speech…

She broke down when she was speaking about her mother, I too felt a lump in my throat and tears welled in my eyes at this point…

The guest-of-honour, Dr. Fatimah Lateef, MP for Marine Parade GRC

The cake cutting ceremony. The cake was made to look like the cookbook. A pity I did not get a snapshot of it, as many people had gone up to see and eventually taking a piece of it to eat…

The percussion band that played traditional and evergreen hits…

Madam Som Said and daughter-in-law, Marina Yusoff, endorsing the book…

Rita signing the book for my mother…