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)

Dzar Ismail & Hidayah Amaliah’s Wedding Event…

Slightly over a month since THE “Wedding-of-the-Year” between RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O and DJ KC, another one of the station’s personalities, Dzar Ismail was betrothed to his beloved wife, Nur Hidayah Amaliah this past weekend. Before I proceed on my short entry, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank the groom for kindly allowing me to share some of the happy moments of his wedding event. Initially the groom told yours truly to just come as a normal guest, but I managed to cajole him into sharing some photographs for my readers, given the fact the past week had seen an extensive number of people keying in his name and searching for information on him before coming into this domain. No kidding, cos I did a screenshot and showed him the figures and he relented.

Due to the inclement weather, the bride and groom arrived slightly later than planned over at the groom’s side at Compassvale Walk. It was a very humble event, with no wedding dais, but it did not take away the essence of the event and joy shared by everyone for the newly-wedded couple, who looked ever-so-radiant in their Javanese-style outfit. The guests were treated to a performance by the groom’s mates from the Dikir Barat group Keris Movements, of which Dzar is a member and also the group’s Tukang Karut. Dikir Barat, known for its impromptu lyrics at times, provided a lot of humour elements when the groom himself took over the microphone and entertained the guests. Not only that, he managed to rope in DJ KC to join him, who was initially busy taking photographs of the proceedings. It was indeed funny to see them going back and forth teasing one another.

To Dzar and Hidayah, here’s wishing you all the best in your new chapter as husband and wife.

Keep the love and fire burning, and may this union last till Jannah… Amin!!!

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)