Konsert Sinaran Hati Gemilang Recap…

(Graphics courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

MediaCorp Suria has been a strong supporter of charitable causes such as “Ikhlas“, “Azam“, and recently, “Project Hope“. This is the fourth year that Suria and Tabung Amal Aidilfitri Trust Fund (TAA) collaborated in producing a mega charity show to raise funds for the less fortunate. The 2-hour charity show called Sinaran Hati Gemilang, was televised live on Suria last night at MediaCorp TV Theatre.

Huda Ali & Khairudin Saharom given the honours to host the event… 

Anchored by Khairudin Saharom and Huda Ali, who is now making waves across the Causeway as a protege of renowned movie director / producer Datuk Yusuf Haslam, the charity show was themed “Gemilang which signified luminescence and resplendence. It was also a night where the event featured four multi-talented and outstanding individuals who were main contributors to the show’s segments namely: Mr Iskandar Mirza Ismail (recipient of Anugerah Jauhari 2003 and Cultural Medallion 2008 – Music), Madam Som Said (recipient of Cultural Medallion 1987 and Anugerah Jauhari 2009 – Dance), Mr Isa Kamari (recipient of Cultural Medallion 2007 – Literature) and Mr Almahdi Al-Haj also known as Nadiputra (recipient of Cultural Medallion 1986 – Theatre).

Didicazli, the TAA Ambassador for 2009 / 2010 performing his current hit single “Takkan Kembali“… 

Sinaran Hati was graced by performances by Asian Idol Hady Mirza, Sarah Aqilah, Kunjung Whitaker, Ahli Fiqir, Shahril Wahid and Didicazli. Indonesian songbird, Rossa, also made a special appearance singing “Hey Ladies“, “Hati Yang Kau Sakiti” & “Ayat-Ayat Cinta“. A segment of the show that showcased Madam Som Said‘s contribution was performed by dancers from Sri Warisan and narrated by her daughter-in-law, television personality Marina Yusoff.

Shahril Wahid exuded so much class and emotions during his poetry recital act…

Last year, TAA had hoped in raising $1 million in its 1-year campaign with MediaCorp Suria and MediaCorp Warna 94.2FM. Judging by the donations received last night through the phone-ins and contributions by private organisations, I believe they had surpassed that target. Sinaran Hati tickets that were priced at $19 and $49 respectively and all proceeds from ticket sales were channeled towards the TAA Trust Fund.  

Donations can also be made through TAA telepoll lines:

  • 1900 112 9010 for a $10 donation
  • 1900 112 9050 for a $50 donation

 The telepoll lines are now open till 28 February 2010.

The current duo of AhliFiqir, Mawar Berduri and Daly ending off the poetry recital segment…

I’ve had a few people asking me whether I would be doing a review on the night’s show when I was at the reception afterwards. I simply said “No, I don’t think so…“, as it was meant to be a mellow and toned-down affair, with the aim and intention to raise dollars for the less fortunate and needy as depicted by the various clips and acting segment during the show. I was also down with a bad case of flu last night, suppressing myself from coughing and sneezing till my eyes teared. A wonder how I held my ground the whole night staying till the end. All that added up to me not having the mood nor feeling the need to do a review but if views were to be shared then I’ll just give brief thoughts on the show.

Rossa, looking all-splendour performing “Ayat-Ayat Cinta“… Rumours have it certain sections of the media weren’t pleased with her for cancelling a scheduled interview but rumours are definitely meant to be taken with a pinch of salt and not to be taken wholesale cos there’s always two sides to the story. If it really happened, I’m sure she had her valid reasons…

As a show, overall I felt there was a distinct lack of punch and aura, a feel-good factor that was missing, the “X-factor” you might call it. Cos it felt like watching a weekly variety show. However, it has to be stressed upon that this was to be expected and forgiven, as this wasn’t a glammed-up show filled with all the pomp and razzmatazz to honour the movers and shakers of the industry over the past year or a happy and fun occasion like “Pesta Pesta Pesta” or “Anugerah Grand Finale“. This show was meant to tug at the heartstrings, and some cynical ones might add “pockets”, but this was all definitely for a good cause, to give a reality check on the less fortunate living in our midst. Of course it did not have to be too sombre for one’s liking but I believe you catch my drift.

Hady Mirza giving his all singing “Angkasa“…

Which leads me to the conduct of certain sections of the audience during the show. Yes I appreciate and respect the fact that you were showing your love and appreciation to your beloved artiste / idol on stage. But you have to remember in what setting and atmosphere were you at. Add to the fact that you have distinguished guests-of-honour also in attendance. Screaming like mad women throughout your favourite artiste’s performances not only irritated the others in the auditorium, it was also a show of disrespect to the guests that you simply have little / no sense of decorum and dignity in an event of that magnitude. There is a time and place for such show of affections but definitely not at last night’s event and most definitely not throughout the whole song the artiste was singing, which in turn led him to momentarily lose focus. We still have a long way to go in realising when to do something and when not to do it or when we are overdoing it. It happened at last week’s Bagaikan Sakti concert and it happened again last night.

The finale…

I thought the artistes involved were excellent in their delivery and execution and they have to be lauded for putting up generally good performances on the night. I personally liked Shahril‘s and Kunjung‘s poetry recital of Isa Kamari‘s “Tubuh Kurus” (hope I got the title right), but AhliFiqir‘s presence towards the end of that was like a “What was that all about?” moment for me, as it was too brief and nothing more than just a few seconds on stage. But at least they came back to perform again, of which the title of the song they performed was lost on me, cos the flu was distracting me by then. I would have given Hady‘s performance of his hit single “Angkasa” a thumbs-up too, if not for some of his overzealous fans. But who can forget the little boo-boo written on the cheque that was given by Mediacorp to TAA??? I don’t think I need to elaborate more on that already.

The performing artistes taking photographs with our guest-of-honour…

The post-event reception was so-so in terms of star factor. Besides the likes of Shah Iskandar, Norfasarie, Lydia Izzati and Fadhlur Rahman, there were not many artistes who came to watch the event as I believe this was more to honour the donors, sponsors and dignitaries who have contributed to the TAA cause. The performing artistes themselves did not stay long at the reception, preferring to change back to their normal clothings once the guest-of-honour Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean left the vicinity. I did not take much photos myself as I could not get good shots due to where I sat in the auditorium and also the fact that the reception was devoid of star power. What I have included in this entry were what I considered the better ones. Kudos to Mediacorp and TAA for achieving their target!!!

TV personalities, Norfasarie, Fadhlur Rahman & Shah Iskandar enjoying the sumptuous spread…

(Some of the information included in this entry were courtesy of the joint press release by Mediacorp Suria and TAA Trust Fund.)

New Buzz In Da’ Hood…

Entry today won’t be lengthy. No mood to type so long as per usual. Maybe the hectic life at work I’ve been leading of late is taking its toll on me. Anyway would just like to share something new about my neighbourhood. Even though this place is about an MRT station stop away, it’s still within the same area and about 2km from where I live. Come to think of it, I nearly bought a home there when it was still up for grabs, because of its close proximity to Buangkok MRT and the new Sengkang Mosque that is currently undergoing construction.

As you can vaguely make out the words, the name of this particular area is “Aspella“, but of course if you were to tell cab drivers, they won’t know where it is… 😛

From the entrance of Buangkok MRT station, you will be greeted by this sight, an upmarket Kopitiam outlet, a 24-hour NTUC Fairprice supermarket and a 24-hour Sakura Restaurant

The interior is small but outside the restaurant, the place is enough for big gatherings to be done. But I’m sceptical how this place is gonna survive when it is situated at one end of the place and the flow of human traffic is still slow…

Outside the 24-hour NTUC Fairprice supermarket…

We had a choice of buying this 2nd-floor unit but since it is too close to the supermarket, we decided against it, bearing in mind the noise when the area properly comes to life and also the stench that will be emanated in time to come. My idea was getting somewhere further up the floors but the units were already taken up…

A common sign seen at the bakery shop facing the supermarket. When will people stop being ignorant that “No Pork No Lard” constitutes to being “Halal“???

At the other end of the area, there is another Kopitiam outlet. What is special about this place is that they have a dedicated area for football fans to converge. Even the place is decorated with pictures of football players and a goalpost with a miniature goalkeeper diving for the ball as you can see from the photo. Now I hope the place screens Champions League football cos there is no way I am gonna subscribe to MIO Singtel‘s subscription next year when the rights to watching the games are switched over to the broadcaster.

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Unlike any normal Sunday evenings where football will be at the top of my agenda, there wasn’t any yesterday as none of my friends were available. I too had to return to the office due to some last-minute agenda cropping up. But since work ended early at about 4pm and I was feeling bored with no football, I decided to head down to the Darul Ma’wa Children’s Home along Still Road as there was a carnival going on. What’s more, there were performances by Revalina, Sheila Abdul, AhliFiqir, Dayang Nurfaizah and Hady Mirza.

By the time I came, Revalina and Sheila Abdul had already performed, which was a big bummer since I so wanted to see how Sheila Abdul performs live being a newbie in the industry and with a growing reputation across the Causeway under the tutelage of Adnan Abu Hassan, who we all know is responsible for producing excellent talents like Liza Hanim, Misha Omar and a certain Dato’ who is nominated at the upcoming MTV Asia Awards.

I wasn’t so much into the performances, was just sitting at one corner to the left of the stage and enjoying it for what it’s worth. AhliFiqir came on stage without DJ Cza and Mawar Berduri, who is apparently hospitalised at Changi General Hospital. Get well soon Mawar!!! Appropriately at an event like this, they opened their act by rapping to Too Phat‘s “Alhamdulillah“, did “Dia Datang” and finished off with “2 X 5“. Dayang then came on singing “Erti Hidup” but not before the accompanying CD skipped three times during the intro. I think she sang “Ingin Ku Miliki” after that before ending off with “Seandainya Masih Ada Cinta“. I wasn’t concentrating on her performance as I was busy chatting away with AhliFiqir‘s Samsol a.k.a. Tukang Kata. Last met him at APM2008 when we hung out for awhile after the show and just after I checked out from the hotel. Of all topics that we discussed, we talked about the political situation in Malaysia as he is more in tune with what is going on since he is based there.

As expected when Hady came on stage, the fans rushed forward to take close up photos of him. The good thing about my camera is that I could just sit from the comfort of where I was and zoom in to give that close-up shot of him. I have to give him credits as he is now very much at ease conversing in Malay than before. Maybe the experience performing in Indonesia has been of great help to his progress. The only thing I hope now is that he will release a Malay album as quickly as possible, since most of the time when I watch him perform live, he would be singing “Merpati” and “Freedom 90“.

MatGila (left) meeting his idol…

There was an autograph-signing session with Dayang right after the show ended. As I was with one of my fellow listener friends, “MatGila“, who is a big fan of hers, I gamely helped to take a photograph of him and his idol. I know he will be one happy fellow for the days, weeks, months to come. I also met a few old friends who were part of the organising set-up and made small talk with them before leaving. Can’t help but reminisce the old times when I too had been a part of all these, helping out and rubbing shoulders with the artistes. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the time…

One of the emcees of the event, the wacky Fiza O, with yours truly…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2008 Prelude…

With just 12 days to go, the excitement and heat generating from Anugerah Planet Muzik 2008 (APM) is being felt everywhere. Wait a minute, did I say everywhere??? For starters, the promotions that are being held are currently limited to the two local Malay radio stations (RIA & Warna), who are also the main organisers of this event. Radio ERA, which is the co-official radio station from the Malaysian side, only starts their on-air promotions next week, with VIP tickets up for grabs (how come there are no VIP tickets for Singapore???), even if they have started to air trailers and interview artistes who are involved with the event since yesterday.

Industry sources from Malaysia and Indonesia and even visitors to my main domain have reported that APM is still very much a stranger to their shores. They find the event weird with just a trophy and nothing else, not to mention being stumped by most of the nominees of each category. Coupled with the bad press that the event has been getting from foreign journalists covering it in recent years, organising it in Kuala Lumpur this year, seems like the wrong choice. Yes, I have to admit, I was and still am very much peeved at the decision to make it across the Causeway. But over the past few weeks, I have been trying to understand where the organisers are coming from, the rationale behind doing it in Kuala Lumpur. If it means introducing our local acts to the Malaysian audience for a crack at the big time over there, then it could well pay off. If it means, they are able to collaborate with the watching bigwigs, then it’s fine enough.

I know this event is supposed to be for the region and not limited to Singapore, so why then are there separate Singaporean categories??? Doesn’t it show that it is also an event for Singaporeans to be proud of and made to stay in these shores for good??? I dunno, I just feel that for all the efforts made by the organisers to make this the premier event for the region, most people still do not know of its existence, or some might have been turned off by past events, or promotions are only limited to Singapore. Each country has its own agenda and propaganda as to who should be nominated and who should not. Every year I keep on hearing and reading of people being unhappy at the nominations. Most have no idea who are our artistes and what business do they have to be mentioned in the same categories as their own, whom they regard as more superior and that our artistes’ presence are mere tokens. Even some of the Indonesian nominees are unheard of in Malaysia and Singapore. Has anyone heard of Azyza, with all due respect to her??? Some of you might be forgiven if you think she is a Malaysian artiste, when in fact she’s a Singaporean. And who the heck is Ussy Sulistiawati some of you might wonder??? So whose fault is this??? The organisers??? The record companies??? The artistes??? The media???

Looking at the Singaporean line-up of performers, I don’t think Aliff Aziz and AhliFiqir needs any introduction. And Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza have already been performing in APM (Taufik since 2005 and Hady last year), which means they too need no introduction. But are they getting any headway in their career paths??? Hady, bless him, is already making inroads in the Indonesian market (thanks to his Asian Idol title), which is the barometer of what achieving success in the regional market is all about. Sadly, our two Idols are finding it tough to crack the market in Malaysia, where Jaclyn Victor seems to be THE ONLY Idol and no one else, even if they had Daniel as the subsequent winner of the series there. I seriously hope that this APM being held in Kuala Lumpur would kickstart their careers there and show that the Singaporean invasion currently being led by Imran Ajmain, Aliff and AhliFiqir are not mere flash in the pan.

It is extremely interesting to note that for the first time in eight years, Datin Sri Hajjah Siti Nurhaliza at press time, is not in the line-up of performers. Which is strange cos APM has inevitably turned into a mini Siti Nurhaliza showcase for me. But I guess this time she’s making way for others to shine. But seriously, she’s not going to disappear from this event. If I was a betting man, I’d bet my life that she will still appear on stage to receive an 8th-straight Most Popular Female Artiste award. The recent Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian event proved that her star is still bright for the 11th year running. But I agree that there should be a diversity and not recycle the same performers year in and out (Hint: Our 2 Idols). Actually I have a niggly issue with the Singaporean performers. We have a healthy pool of talent waiting in the wings, but why is it that we have the same old people performing on the night??? With just 12 days to go to the event, I hope more names from the Singaporean side could be announced. It would most definitely be a morale booster for our artistes and I’m sure the exposure will do wonders to their respective careers. If I was a Singaporean artiste, I wouldn’t mind not being paid, so long as I get to perform on a big stage and prove my worth to grace such a prestigious event. I believe any Singaporean artiste reading this who would want to spread their wings, would share my sentiments, even if I do not represent anyone.

If only we could have various weekend roadshows around Singapore about two months before the event just to hype up the show, maybe we could attract more people or at least create some awareness of it. Cos if we were to follow the leads being set in Malaysia with different artistes gracing different roadshows in different states, we could at least have something to heighten promotions, not to mention giving our artistes the exposure that they badly need to our own audience. Yes I know, money and sponsorship are big factors when it comes to organising such events and I believe this does not happen just with the radio but the television side as well. I’m just amazed at how in Malaysia they can go about having these roadshows like nobody’s business and how much the sponsors are willing to fork out. I wonder if our business people over here are not willing to take a gamble and pump their cash for some flash, just to see our music industry grow.

This domain of mine is by no means THE OFFICIAL BLOG / WEBSITE of APM2008. Since no one else is doing it and what you get at the organisers’ websites are just the list of nominees and event information, I take the liberty to update and inform what I hear so that people would support the event, no matter what grouses and complaints we / you might have. At the end of the day, I still see this event as our own and am proud that we have something credible, if not substantial, to show for to the region. For those who have time to spare this Sunday 13th April 2008, there will be an APM2008 Prelude Roadshow at Dewan Singgahsana Malay Village Geylang Serai at 3:30pm. That’s in Singapore for those of you reading this in Malaysia and Indonesia. Guest artistes performing will be Didicazli and Sleeq, who are by the way, nominated in the popular local categories. There will be games and APM2008 tickets to be won, so come down if you are free to do so.

P.S. By the way, tickets are not being sold anywhere so please stop asking me where and when are they being sold, especially in Malaysia, cos I have no idea what’s going on over there. The only thing you’ve got to do if you are in Malaysia is to tune in to your premier (ok I know Hot FM lovers will disagree) radio station ERA for more details cos they are the co-official radio station. Oh and maybe Astro might have something up in store as well since the event will be shown live on Astro Ria