Pesta Perdana 2019 Media Conference

We are just a few days away from the actual Pesta Perdana event itself, relatively about 48 hours on the clock. Dunno why it took me this long to post this entry when the media conference event that took place to announce the nominees in the various award categories happened more than a month ago on 21st February 2019. A combination of being busy with several personal commitments, coupled with being lazy and procrastinating contributed somewhat to this very belated entry. I had half the mind to just skip doing it altogether seeing how short of a time I have to post this up with just a couple of days away. I just had to do it as the memory of the media conference itself, or rather its venue where it was held, was probably the best one I had attended in the history of this awards show. For the first time ever, the media conference was held at the beautiful Skai Suites on the 70th floor of Swissotel The Stamford, one of Singapore‘s iconic buildings and once billed as the tallest hotel in the world.

Mediacorp Suria’s prestigious television awards show, Pesta Perdana, will be held this year ‘live’ on Saturday, 30 March 2019 at the MES Theatre at Mediacorp. The event will be graced by Guest of Honour, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Manpower. The biennial awards show, now into its 15th edition, honours the very best in local Malay television. This year’s show will be hosted by multi-talented actor, director and host, Khairudin Samsudin. As a celebratory prelude, fans had the opportunity to meet and greet their favourite celebrities and nominees in a special event called Viva Pesta! that was held on Saturday, 16 March 2019 at Mediacorp Campus Town Square. Hosted by A B Shaik and Farhana M. Noor, the event featured an exciting line up of immersive and interactive activities with delicious food and many instagram-worthy moments for the fans. In addition, fans at Viva Pesta! also attended a special prelude TV show, Pesta Perdana Ekstra! hosted by recently-minted Elit Suria winners, Hans Hamid and Hana Rosli. This show will air tomorrow on Friday, 29 March 2019 at 9.30pm on Mediacorp Suria.

Warna 94.2FM‘s Aura Shai was the host at the media conference…

A total of 31 awards will be given out at the Pesta Perdana awards ceremony from over 300 entries received between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2018. Shortman Films’ social drama Bantal Buruk Saloma leads with 11 nominations while Mediacorp Eaglevision’s “Tujuh Hariis close behind with 10 nominations. This is followed by Flipside Stories’ “Mekah Di Hati and Millenia Motion Pictures’ “Tekan Minyak which are tied with 7 nominations each. In a nod to the budding new talents of the industry, this year’s Pesta Perdana boasts a total of 30 first time nominees in the performance and creative categories. Interestingly, for five celebrity families, it is all the more special as they are all up for nominations in the various categories and they are:

  • J.A. Halim, Aminah Ahmad, Helmindra & Fizah Nizam (Father, Mother, Son & Daughter-in-Law)
  • Sani Hussin & Rosita Hussin (Siblings)
  • Seriwahyuni Jaes & R. Azmann (Husband & Wife)
  • Faisal Ishak & Umie Isa (Husband & Wife)
  • Haslinna Ja’aman & Danial Nazim (Mother & Son)

Ms. Sabariah Ramilan, Head of Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Mediacorp addressing the guests at the media conference…

Other nominees include Papahan Film’s “SR115, winner of Best Original Screenplay at the Asian Academy Creative Awards 2018 and finalist at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019 for Drama and Best Screenplay categories; Xtreme Media’s “Swap Kerja Sr 2, finalist for Outstanding Variety Show category at the 4th Asia Rainbow TV Awards 2018, as well as Filmat36’s “Kembara Kasih Sr 3, nominee for Best Documentary category at the Venice TV Awards 2018 and finalist in the Community Service Programs category at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019. Two other nominated programmes, “Bonda and “Projek Kasih, are also recognised finalists at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019 for Drama Special and Variety Special category respectively.

Ms Sabariah Ramilan, Head of Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Mediacorp, said, “For nearly two decades, Mediacorp Suria has been working closely with local production houses and talents to ensure our programmes entertain, engage and remain relevant to our audiences. We are proud to see our programmes receive recognitions at the regional and international stage, but it is right here at Pesta Perdana that we celebrate and embrace the achievements of our homegrown talents.”

Hisyam Hamid being sandwiched by his missus, Mel Hanafi, and veteran actor, J.A. Halim

Though I agree with what was said, I did have a chat with several local personalities in different fields whom I will not name, who said a lot can be done after 15 editions of the awards show. For one and this has been mentioned extensively amongst the people in the industry, it would be nice to have monetary cash rewards to go along with the trophies they receive, something that we tend to see on some awards shows across the Causeway. However, to put things into perspective, Pesta Perdana is like our own local Malay version of the Emmy Awards. If we were to put it along parallel levels of such awards show (the Grammys and Oscars included), monetary awards are not given out, yet the prestige in winning speaks volumes for the artistes’ or production houses’ reputation, potential and quality. Monetary cash rewards means we need big sponsors pumping in big money. In reality, do we have that in the first place???

From left: Ryan Sufiyan, Razi Salam & M.K. Kash from Flipside Stories, and Fadhli Abdullah

For the Most Popular Male and Female Personality categories which are decided by voting, a prominent personality mentioned that it would also be nice if we were to take a leaf out of Channel 8‘s Star Awards show and crown the Top 5 or Top 10 from each category. Voters can have an initial choice of 30 from each category, 10 from the veterans, 10 from the current and the remaining 10 from the up-and-coming cohort. This particular system makes it an inclusive category and not leave the veterans forgotten or feel as though they are cast aside for younger, more good-looking and marketable personalities. I know for a long time, our local television scene has this tendency to favour looks over talents in the name of marketability, but I think it would not hurt at all to have the more veteran ones have their day in the sun. At least they know they have a place in the hearts of viewers and not just the young ones with better social media outreach. For the record, the public may cast their votes for the Most Popular Male and Female Personalities on toggle.sg/pestaperdana. Voting has been opened since 15 March 2019 and will officially close at 10.00pm on 30 March 2019.

Erwin Shah Dawson was seated next to fellow award nominees Aien Aksan (middle) and Batrisya Soffian

Another thing I would like to mention and this I feel is repeated like a bad record on my end cos I’ve said the same thing before in the past, is that certain categories can be expanded or introduced to include more production houses and not just solely limited to one. I have nothing against Mediacorp Eaglevision cos they, like all the other production houses, produce good and quality programmes on television. But when one category is dominated by just them, it doesn’t look quite good on paper as it looks as though it is favouritism, since they are producing this awards show after all, though I do note that this is probably an (only) avenue to honour their amazing in-house writers and producers. They can probably tweak the categories in future or as what I had mentioned in the past before, to have other production houses produce more of these Variety and Variety Special programmes on Suria, not just limited to them and being an in-house production company of Mediacorp. I think once in awhile, a different and fresh injection of ideas from others can produce a different kind of show on television. At least then we can deny the brickbats on social media that local television shows are one and the same.

From left: Atyy Malek, Endang Rahayu, Andy Idris and Huda Ali

With that said, I am looking forward to attending and covering this Saturday‘s event, as it is looking more likely that this will be the only awards show this year that local television will witness. I’ve heard and this has been confirmed by several people that my favourite awards show, Anugerah Planet Muzik, has been consigned to the history books, a big pity really, as this was an event that I looked forward to fervently every year, not only for the array of stars coming to perform and win the regional awards on offer, but also an avenue for our local musicians, artistes and songwriters to be recognised for their contributions to the music scene. My appeal to the powers-at-be is never to forget nor cast aside our local acts. Even if we were to resurrect the one-time Anugerah Hitz SG, I will be more than happy because this domain of mine was afterall first conceived, in the aim of supporting local music acts, though I sometimes blog on other regional acts on show here as well. Doing away with APM took a big chunk out of my interest in blogging and seriously speaking, I really lost interest and almost called it a day when I first heard the news. I guess that partly contributed to why I hummed and hawed before finally deciding to post this entry up.

A beaming Fadli Kamsani, who is now the latest face in Warna 94.2FM‘s stable, seated alongside his good friends, Danish Ashraf (left) and Farhana M. Noor

Pesta Perdana goes live on Mediacorp Suria at 8:30pm this Saturday, 30th March 2019. The Red Carpet event will be shown live on Mediacorp Suria‘s Facebook page from 6:30pm onwards.

Pesta Perdana 2019 Full List of Nominees

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Graphics Posters of Nominees courtesy of Mediacorp Suria…

Snapshots of Pesta Perdana 2019 Media Conference

KC & Fiza O’s Wedding Event (Day 3)

Second outfit by Raffiey Nasir

I’m back again with another entry on arguably, no, make that THE wedding of the year between RIA 89.7FM‘s KC and Fiza O. The third day of celebrations, 21 October 2012, saw the couple sharing their joy with guests from the bride’s side, over at Customs House, situated in the vicinity of the Fullerton Bay Hotel. Appearing twice wearing outfits by first, Weddingku Gallery, and the second by Raffiey Nasir, the couple was a picture of pomp and regalia befitting their title as King & Queen for the day. Not even the early downpour and subsequent gloomy weather could dampen the spirits of those who came to celebrate along with the wedding couple.

First outfit by Weddingku Gallery

The event was equally as beautiful as the previous day at Serangoon Gardens Country Club and this was evident by the good organisation by all parties involved, as well as the likes of Rose Catering Services, Dessert Artisans and Madame H Creations pulling out all the stops in ensuring that guests were spoilt for choice on what to savour during the celebrations. To top it off, Malaysia-based Singapore artiste Imran Ajmain serenaded the couple with his haunting ballad “Seribu Tahun“, a song that is so apt for a wedding event and performed with so much emotion by the crooner himself.

Before I leave you with the photographs, here’s wishing all Muslim readers of this blog, Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha… Have a smashing celebration and long weekend with family and loved ones… 🙂

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)