Celebrity Friendly Football Match: Mediacorp Suria vs. Persatuan Seniman Malaysia

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Due to personal health reasons and family commitments, I have not been involving myself with anything pertaining to our local Malay entertainment scene since Pesta Perdana ended, in fact harking back to the end of the Ratu Suria competition. You can safely say that I have been switching myself off from the scene. I had initially planned to attend and post weekly photographs of the current TeRaSeh competition which is currently underway, but the fact is, I have not attended a single weekly episode since its inception some seven weeks ago, no thanks to my schedule and also my reservist, which was during Episodes Two and Three. However, thanks to Mediacorp Suria, I was brought out of my “hibernation” for a memorable trip to Kuala Lumpur recently.

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Our kind sponsors for the trip – Orange Coach & Travel Pte. Ltd.

Close to four weekends ago, I was fortunate to be invited by Mediacorp Suria to be a part of the football team that took on Persatuan Seniman Malaysia at Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, which is situated in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Similar to the last Piala Dollah Kassim tournament, the squad that travelled to Kuala Lumpur was more or less the same with Rafaat Hamzah again captaining the side and familiar faces like Shahril Wahid, Sahfuddin Mahfudz, Effandy Idris, Anugerah Skrin 2010 alumnus Md Idris Jamin, Aidil Jufri Jumari, Raja Razie, not forgetting the First XI players Alang, Mohd Helmi and Faliq Sudhir. This team also welcomed a few guest players namely Danial Ashriq, Izzat Yusoff, Hasyf Nasir, Hafiz Nasir, Noe Chicanoe (Opening Act Go Glam fame) and local singer Raja Izzuwin Shah, who also acted as the coordinator of this friendly match, along with his wife Lydia (Shootz 19).

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The Kelab Sultan Sulaiman pitch with the stunning backdrop of KLCC Twin Towers

It was initially advertised that some players from the opposing team were supposed to play, but the only ones I knew who took to the pitch were ex-members of Nico, Shades, KOOL (who are all known as the super group GX-4 by the way) and Kamal Adli. The rest were unknown to me, simply for the fact that I do not watch Malaysian dramas or shows to be kept abreast of who’s who. Acappan and Isma Aliff as well as the President of Persatuan Seniman Malaysia (you-know-who) were initially touted to play, but the former two were not seen and the latter did not change into his gear, but remained a concerned spectator by the sidelines. I was actually looking forward to meeting Isma Aliff, a legend in his own right for the number of comedy films he did back in the late 80s, as well as recording several parody songs which I remember till this day.

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Players warming up before the match…

Anyway, the match was a whitewash, played in three halves of half an hour each. I hope I don’t sound too pompous and arrogant when I used the word “whitewash”, but I cannot describe it any other way. It was too one-sided, even if our team had started the first fifteen minutes playing with a lot of jitters and making a number of basic, silly mistakes, myself included. We were tired as we only arrived in Kuala Lumpur two hours prior to the game, but the moment we scored our first goal through Razif Ariff, we began to dictate play and became more confident. Further goals by Raja Izzuwin Shah, Danial Ashriq, yours truly (yes I had a cameo playing upfront in the last ten minutes, scoring with my first touch!!!) and a brace by Alang, made the scoreline a bit too flattering. You can understand why I said a 6-0 scoreline is a bit flattering.

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Alang celebrating his first goal and the team’s fourth for the evening…

Much had been said prior to the game by well-wishers online, when they saw who was initially supposed to play in the opposing team (no prizes for guessing who). I know it is easy to get sucked into nationalistic feelings or be aggrieved by the constant sniping by you-know-who with regards to some of our artistes making a name for themselves across the Causeway. But the match was indeed a friendly match born out of goodwill and I was glad that it remained extremely cordial from the start right to the end. For that I am very happy that the players were all playing with smiles on their faces and never put ourselves in situations where things could get complicated. We were ambassadors of our country afterall and it was a great advertisement to show that we were professional, gracious and respectful towards our hosts. Let’s hope that we can return the same favour when the second leg returns in June, this time on our home soil.

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Both sets of players in a show of solidarity and friendship after the match ended…

P.S. Special thanks go out to bro Syah Ibrahim and his team from Orange Travel for kindly sponsoring our trip to Kuala Lumpur as well as the the accomodation at Sunway Putra Hotel. The service and hospitality rendered were first class. Thank you also to Mediacorp Suria for again inviting me to join the football team and team manager Ishak Jamid for allowing me to play upfront as a striker for the last ten minutes of the game. I enjoyed the trip very much and brought home memorable moments I could replay in my head from time to time. For the record, Alang was awarded the Top-Scorer trophy whereas Mohd Helmi was awarded the Man-of-the-Match award. Prizes were kindly sponsored by none other than popular radio deejay of ERA.FM and comedian, Johan (Raja Lawak). Last but not least, to the two busloads of supporters who made their way up just to support us, THANK YOU!!!

(All photographs and video clip featured in this entry are courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Official Launch of Piala Dollah Kassim 2011…

It’s back once again!!! Piala Dollah Kassim, a charity football tournament involving the local Malay media and television personalities, which was successfully held last year, makes its return again this year. Now into its fourth edition since it was first conceived and incepted in 2002, the tournament this year has broken the norm of previous years’ editions in having it a year after the last one. Previously the tournament was held once every two years, with a gap of six years between the first and the second editions. I believe due to the success and support from last year’s tournament, especially the Grand Final where two thousand-odd people witnessed it at Yishun Stadium, it is only natural that it has been changed to an annual affair. But for how long it will remain that way, it’s up to the organisers, PERKAMUS, who have worked hard to make it happen again this year. For that, they deserve every pat on the back they get.

The coveted trophy…

This year’s event is probably an emotional one for myself and of course the family of Allahyarham Uncle Dollah. Regular readers of this blog would know by now the family ties that we share as his wife and my mother are sisters. This will be the first time the event is held without him around anymore. Even when he was in a state of coma and bedridden last year, I felt his presence and spirit cheering me on from the stands when I played for the Mediacorp Suria team as its goalkeeper. There were good and bad memories from last year’s tournament, the good of course being able to play in front of a near capacity crowd and the bad, well I’ll just leave it as that, but I tend to take positives out of the few bad ones. This year, I will reprise my role as the team’s custodian once again. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mediacorp Suria for placing their faith in me and it is an absolute honour to represent my family and play in the tournament again.

The launch was hosted by Rosley Jimaen and Deanna Manto

Once again the tournament will be a four-cornered fight between Berita Harian, Dramatis, Mediacorp Suria and the organisers as well as the defending champions themselves, PERKAMUS. The draw to determine the respective match fixtures was recently held at the rooftop of the Singapore Press Holdings‘ building on 25th September 2011. Representatives and several players from the respective teams graced the occasion, not forgetting the various kind sponsors of the event. This year, the beneficiary organisation who will receive the proceeds from the event will be Darul Ma’wa Children’s Home. Several side-events and carnival have been lined up during the days of the qualifying matches and these are kindly organised by the good people of Bikers’ Aid International, a professional fundraiser and charity organising management consisting of 40 motor clubs with mixed races and genders from 3000 motorcycles members here in Singapore and Malaysia.

Cikgu Yusnor Ef with the opening speech…

Though I will not delve much on what happened during the launch per se, it was heartening to hear the President of PERKAMUS, Cikgu Yusnor Ef, appealing to other organisers of football-related events not to misuse the good name of Uncle Dollah and also to seek his family’s approval before using his name for their respective events. I’m sure older readers of this blog would remember how I went on a ranting spree last year, when some irresponsible people came up with the idea of having a football academy using Uncle Dollah‘s name without seeking his family’s approval. And it was just last week that our family found out that a football competition organised in Tampines also used his name without seeking prior approval. We’re not trying to be high-handed, but I’m sure nobody likes others to use one’s own family members’ names without first seeking permission. Like what Cikgu Yusnor said, “Do not misuse his name to the point that it becomes devalued and cheap…” As a family, we do not want Uncle Dollah‘s name to be used by any organisation for their own benefits. Uncle Dollah was a generous man, any event organiser that uses his name in future should take note that any proceeds from their event, must go to a charity organisation. Over the years, the family has been working closely and have absolute trust in PERKAMUS, because they have been doing the right thing.

Uncle Dollah‘s son, Ezaad, urged all players to check their fitness and health before taking onto the pitch so as to prevent a similar occurence of what happened to Uncle Dollah back on 4th Oct 2009.

I do not know who will be playing in the other teams, other than Nick Mikhail, Izzat Yusoff, Amy Kecik, Khairudin Samsudin, Faizal Ramli amongst others, playing for the Dramatis team and Jeff Catz for PERKAMUS. But I’m quite confident that our Mediacorp Suria team, with the injection of new players from the Anugerah Skrin 2010 competition, and retaining half of those who represented the team last year, will try and give the defending champions a run for their money. This year Mediacorp Suria will be represented by renowned television personalities Rafaat Hamzah, Fauzie Laily, Syed Azmir (captain), Shahril Wahid, Effandy Idris and the Anugerah Skrin 2010 alumnus like Shahril Kahar, Aidil Jufri, Mohd Idris Jamin, Raja Razie and Muhd Dzar. We also welcome into our team the likes of actors-hosts Fadhlur Rahman and Taufiq Salleh, who represented the Dramatis team in last year’s tournament, as well as Khairul Ruzaini (the son of actor Jasmani Basri), and Razif Ariff, who are both part-time actors themselves. In short, this tournament is sprinkling with stars all in the name of charity.

The fixture list…

All qualifying matches will be played at the Singapore Polytechnic stadium on three consecutive Sundays, beginning 9th October 2011. The first match will kick off at 3pm with Berita Harian facing off with the Dramatis team. Mediacorp Suria will play against PERKAMUS at 5pm. The 3rd and 4th placing match as well as the Grand Finals will be held on 20th November 2011 at the Woodlands Stadium. Admission to all the matches is free. So if you do not have anything to do for the next three Sundays, do come down and support your local personalities and also help to do your part for charity. See you there!!!

May the best team wins!!!

From left: Jeff Catz (PERKAMUS), Syed Azmir (Mediacorp Suria), Art Fazil (PERKAMUS), Jasmi Ahmad (Dramatis) and Farid Hamzah (Berita Harian)…

How to get there… (Click on the map to enlarge it)

Konsert Ramuan Reminisced…

I know that most of you entering this site would expect to read something on the Anugerah 2011 Grand Finals this past Tuesday night. While it is tempting to type on something which is still so fresh in my head, it is not something that I do immediately after a show on a regular basis. Yes I was at the show live, but I always make it a point to watch it again via the Catchup site to listen to the contestants’ vocals once again for clarity sake. So you guys coming in here would have to wait till at least the end of the week before I put up my entry and share what I feel, with regards to the Grand Finals. First up is Konsert Ramuan, which was  successfully held at Goodman Arts Centre on 19th June 2011. The concert, as was mentioned in my promo a couple of weeks ago, was a fundraising affair in support of “Ramuan Rahasia“, a locally-produced film directed by award-winning director, Sanif Olek.

Hosts for the day – Junaidi Sali & Effandy Idris

It has been quite awhile since I last attended an event of such magnitude, which brought together an array of local acts to grace the stage with their different sets of styles, genres and ensembles. I think the last one I had attended was RIA‘s Birthday Bash in February 2010 where a cast of strictly local acts had graced the Republic Polytechnic’s Convention Centre stage. Even then the number of acts were not as many as this one. Here, all the acts, a total of twenty-five of them according to Sanif himself via his Twitter, came together for a common cause, a bond that unites them, a shared vision to see through a mission of realising the dreams of finally seeing our first true local Malay film on the silver screens. Oh how heartening it was to see everyone, from the mainstream to the indies, joining forces for one goal – To raise funds for the making and completion of Ramuan Rahasia.

Sanif Olek, the film director of  “Ramuan Rahasia” addressing the audience…

The timing of the event (11:00am) till evening (I had left at around 4:45pm not to know what time the whole thing ended) felt like a Malay wedding event. Besides being entertained by stellar acts, the event became a reunion of sorts amongst people who have not met in ages, just like a Malay wedding scenario. A lot of happy faces were seen, tired but satisfied looks by the organisers and people who had worked hard behind the scenes to make this event a success. Though the turnout could have been better, it was still a good start and I sincerely hope that it would have gone some way to ease the funding burdens. The event reminded me of the local music festival “Melayu Ada“, which was also organised by Cokelat Events & Production. This time round, they joined forces with Sanif‘s “Reeljuice” company and a number of good friends in the local industry.

Due to family and other commitments, I could not be at the event throughout and only reached the venue slightly before 3:00pm. By then, I had missed out on the performances of several artistes like Anugerah Planet Muzik nominee SleeQ, Projek Rentak 2010 winner X-Clusive, former Bhumiband vocalist Adha, and acts like Tujuh, Revolusi, Yunos Erksan and Asnida Daud amongst others. As I had planned to join up with the rest of my family members who were at City Square Mall for the Anugerah Finals Roadshow, it meant I missed out on watching acts I’ve not seen in a long while, most notably Roze Kasmani, Imran Ajmain, Klutz and Kraton. But I’m sure everyone who came enjoyed themselves and I was no exception. I enjoyed watching Dinodi making a rare live appearance and belting their haunting hit “Cinta Tragika“, but most people forget / do not know that they did record an album with excellent tracks other than that hit.

For $10 / $12 entrance fees, and watching so many acts performing under one roof, it was certainly value for money and proved that Singapore do not lack quality talents. They just lack the support from locals who are more in tune with what is across our shores and beyond. Or from my personal observations, the regular monthly wedding / halal food exhibitions at Singapore Expo have somewhat contributed to the decline in interest of watching paid concerts / shows / gigs amongst local entertainment lovers because they can watch them for free at these events. The only way for our local music industry to grow is if we make the time and effort to come down and watch them, regardless of entrance fees or buying their singles / albums and not downloading them illegally. It was heartening to see local acts, singers, bands, actors coming together and show their solidarity. It certainly bodes well for the local industry to have people fighting for one another. I leave you with a song specially composed and written for this fundraising effort and performed live during the concert by Anugerah 2004 winner, Aqmal. A lovely song for a noble effort. I hope you would help to contribute too as efforts are still ongoing. For more information, do drop by www.ramuanrahasia.com

Snapshots of Konsert Ramuan

One half of the wacky hosts – Junaidi Sali

 The other half – Effandy Idris

The supporters of local music…

Some of the items being sold at the flea market outside the event hall…

A new face on television thanks to the Kopi Bujang series – Raimi Liandy Safari (right) – manning the ticketing booth…

This hip-hop duo who call themselves “A-Phat“, reminds me of 90s group Nico from their dress sense and having a group member’s moniker as the name of the group…

Anugerah 2004 winner, Aqmal, never fail to wow me with his voice…

I did not understand a single word that the lead vocalist of A.U.M. sang that day (or should that be screaming???), but their music is infectious, I felt like headbanging along…

A comeback long-awaited – Dinodi

Shafyre‘s showmanship is top-notch. Like a true rocker…

Izzat Yusoff, lead vocalist of Shine, was another who did not disappoint. Another group that made me want to dance along to their reggae beats…

Zaibaktian came on stage to join Dinodi in performing the former’s hit “Dunia Yang Fana“. This song collaboration was made into a soundtrack for the “Mimpi Mekah” programme which aired on Suria last year…

Zax entered the earlier rounds of this year’s Anugerah 2011 competition. Though he was quite decent with his delivery, I just felt his rendition of “Seroja” was too similar to how Ace had performed during the recent semi-final rounds…

Sanif with Sani Hussin and Aidli “Alin” Mosbit, two actors who are part of the “Ramuan Rahasia” film…

Pesta Perdana 11 Pre & Post-Show Reception Photographs…

After such a heady month of March where this blog had a post at a rate of every other day, it’s back to its normal hiatus stage. For those of you hoping to view photographs of the recent Rock Elektra event or wanting to read the latest happenings during the Anugerah 2011 auditions held at East Point Mall over the weekend before last in this blog, I have to apologise first and foremost cos I did not attend either events due to more pressing issues at work and at home. I would have loved to attend the latter to see the talents and potentials on offer but alas my schedule was a bit too tight for me to bring to you what went on over at East Point Mall. I know the topic of Pesta Perdana 11 is kinda stale by now, but I did plan a three-parter posting on it, with this being the icing on the cake. Since I did not attend Rock Elektra and the Anugerah 2011 auditions this past weekend, I hope this posting would more than make up for it and acts as a filler. The photographs are a selected few I’ve chosen for your viewing, since only my Facebook contacts are able to view the whole collection…

Roving host & Anugerah Skrin 2010 winner, Syirah Jusni looking splendour…

SleeQ and Fauzie Laily with Berita Harian‘s Entertainment Correspondent, Ms Hanim Mohd Saleh

One word to describe Azzah Fariha Samat & Silver Ang: Beautiful…

I will never fail to laugh in the presence of these natural comedians – Sufian Ahmad & Junaidi Sali

Renowned theatre activists, the husband-and-wife team of Haryani Othman & Khairul Famy Kassim…

Anugerah Skrin alumnus Shahril Kahar, Junaidi Sali & Erwin Shah Dawson…

“Slick” is the word to describe Helmindra J. A. Halim, Nick Mikhail & Fauzie Laily

Without them, our comedy scene is a tad poorer. From left: M. Saffri  A. Manaf, B.J. Kadir, Hamzah Adon (striped shirt), Zainal Ihim, Hussin Saaban & Mahadi Shor…

The faceless character in Kopi Bujang, Effandy Idris and wife Sabrina Ali

My uncle, Jasmani Basri, who came alone that night surprisingly…

Nadiah Mohammad with Erwin… They represent the future…

My favourite couple: Den Sabari and Huda Ali

Silver Ang, her chaperone and Sufiyan Safee

Award-winning stylist and director, Azni Samdin (right) with a friend…

Osman Sulaiman and Shahril Wahid did not win anything that night but they were winners in their own rights…

Broadcast journalist Raudha Osman, Shenthy Feliziana and Nadiah Mohammad

The VVIPs of the event…

The star of Delicatessen, Sufiyan Safee

Best Actor Award recipient, Rafaat Hamzah, revel in his win…

Two beautiful ladies – Sharon Ismail & Rilla Melati

The smile says it all… Congrats Fauzie… You definitely earned it…

A face not seen on our local television screens in a long, long while – Nuraliza Osman

Anugerah Skrin 2010 mentors Seri Wahyuni Jaes & Sani Hussin…

Shahridzuan Selamat and his good friend Sabreena

Another deserving winner – Nurul Aini

Mastura Ahmad along with Eaglevision‘s Netty Fiona, an unsung heroine behind the scenes…

Hyrul Anuar and ex-official blogger of the Singapore Idol 3 season, Budi Iskandar… Nice get-up guys…

Nurul posing with beloved husband Sofian Roslan


Another shot of my favourite couple…

Riz Sunawan clowning around with Keatar H M and Hamzah Adon…

The good people at Mediacorp Suria, Siti Zuraidah, Raudaa Razak and Budi Iskandar

The league of winners – Rosita Hussin, Suhaimi Yusof, Sharon Ismail and Sani Hussin

Fauzie and Nurul rounding off the winners’ league…