Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016 Media Conference…

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(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Due to my heavy work commitments last year, Anugerah Planet Muzik 2015 (APM2015) did not get a proper coverage be it in terms of my customary annual review as well as the usual promo leading up to the event in this domain of mine, even though I did share photographs of the Walk of the Stars and Red Carpet segments during the actual event night. I also did not attend the media conference held at Orchard Hotel when the organisers released the list of nominees back then. Hence I would like to apologise if any of you had waited for me to post them up but ended up not seeing any on this blogsite. I’ll try to make it up this year, which is why this particular post takes precedence, less than a fortnight before the event makes its long-awaited return. This year, Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016 (APM2016), debuts at the newly-opened Theatre @ Mediacorp at Stars Avenue on 30 September 2016.

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Fiza O and A B Shaik were the hosts of the media conference..

As with previous years, before the event proper, there will always be the traditional media conference to announce the nominees of the upcoming awards show. This year, the media conference was again held at the premises of Orchard Hotel on 20 July 2016 and was hosted by RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O and Warna 94.2FM‘s A B Shaik. Guests who mostly made up of local artistes, came to the event with high hopes of being nominated or at the very least, to soak in the atmosphere. For those still new to the scene, it was an eye-opening experience for them to just be in the same room as other household names, an opportunity for them to get to know one another and have mini networking sessions amongst themselves. Guests that day were also treated to performances by newbies Haikal Ali, Din Ilango and The Chapters, as well as Kalysa Aziz. All four displayed their worth on stage and personally, yours truly thoroughly enjoyed their respective performances.

apm2016-media-conference-055The panel consisting of Mr. Hassan Salleh, Assistant Vice-President (Malay Broadcast Division) & Manja Editor, Ms. Zakiah Halim, Chief of Malay Broadcast Division and Dr. Edmund Lam, Chief Executive Officer of COMPASS, addressing the audience on the experience of selecting the nominees as well as giving nuggets on what to expect in this year’s awards show.

Looking at the final list of nominees this year, I personally feel the local pool of talents were unfortunate not to receive more nominations especially in the regional categories. Last year, Iman’s League made the all-important breakthrough for the Singapore acts and won the Best Band (Regional) award over more established names like Noah, Sheila On 7, Akim & The Magistret and Bunkface. Many netizens especially those in Singapore wondered who they were and cried foul over their win. Personally I was disgusted by the reaction as I thought national pride would at least overcome any emotions over their own personal favourites. Iman’s League though they are quite under the radar here, they have since made inroads in other Asian countries like Korea and even Malaysia, albeit in the underground scene. Their win gave so much hope and inspiration for other acts to follow suit that anything is possible if the quality of song is on par with the other established regional acts.

apm2016-media-conference-012Strong support and attendance by our local pool of talents and representatives at the media conference…

This year, the organisers of APM2016 (Mediacorp Suria, Warna 94.2FM, RIA 89.7FM and Manja Magazine) received 420 nominations from the various music distributors and record labels from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Nominees are not just solely from the three countries mentioned. Last year, the awards show received their very first nominees from Brunei (Aziz Harun) and Philippines (Mark Adam). This year, Shunpei Nakagawa became the very first Japanese to be nominated through his collaboration with Malaysia‘s Indah Ruhaila with their song “Aishiteru Selamanya” amongst the five nominees in the Best Collaboration (Artiste) category. Hark back to 2012 and you will note Cassidy Anderson from Australia as another nominee from outside the Nusantara region. As the name “Planet Muzik” implies, nominees from other countries are much welcomed. Speaking of Aziz Harun, he will be the third Bruneian after Faiz Nawi (2005) and Jazz Hayat (2013) to make a performance on the APM stage this coming 30th September 2016 (APM Wikipedia page admin please take note!!!).

apm2016-media-conference-074Haikal Ali‘s “Bertemu Kembali” is such a haunting hit, I will not be surprised if he bags either Best New Artiste (Male) or Best Singapore Song awards or even both. His appearances at all three media conferences for APM2016 (including in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta) showed the organiser’s confidence in his potential…

I had a small chat with Ms. Zakiah Halim during the reception afterwards on what we can expect during the show as well as voicing out some of my doubts over the choice of venue for this year’s event. I had attended three shows already at the new venue earlier this year (“Anda Mahu Rok?“, Sinar Lebaran 2016 and Raya Oh Yeah!) and somehow the place does not give me good vibes in terms of seating arrangement and how much the stage and auditorium as a whole resembles a school hall setting. Without giving much away except for a coy smile and a twinkle in her eyes, Ms. Zakiah Halim only let on that they will do what they can to make the stage more accomodating both to the performers as well as audience. She did elaborate however, on the choice of performers this year. As you will note from the promotional poster, a bulk of the performers are not the same faces you see year in and out. In that respect, it is a refreshing change of line-up. And as always, amongst the performers, there will be deserving winners in their respective categories.

apm2016-media-conference-104Sufie Rashid, together with Taufik Batisah, are the two who got the most nominations amongst the local acts with six each…

Anyway, with less than a week to go before voting your favourites in the popular categories (local and regional) ends, let me just remind you to do the yeoman service for them and log on to Toggle.SG and vote before 23rd September 2016 23:59hrs. Every year you’ll get the sour grapes complaining about undeserving winners, but if you don’t vote, or expect others to do it for you, then you just have to suck it in when the final results are announced on the actual awards night. I did receive several invites via my personal inbox / private messages in my social media accounts from artistes who were nominated in the popular categories to either vote for them or help pitch in for them. I have to apologise that being a media outlet, I must be fair and neutral without showing any personal favours to anyone. What I just did was remind those reading this entry to go out and cast your votes for your respective favourites. I can only afford sufficient enough gesture like this as my way of helping.

apm2016-media-conference-024A group photograph with all the local artistes, representatives of record labels and artiste managements, sponsors and organisers of APM2016

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016 is presented to you once again by One Drop Perfumes. Main sponsors are Pos T.K.I. and Sensuous By Shannz (Red Carpet event), Co-sponsors – House of Dre and Official Transportation by Uncle Sam Auto Trading Pte. Ltd. Official broadcasters as in previous years are Astro Ria and NET Mediatama Indonesia (NET TV). The awards show is supported by Media Development Authority (MDA) and Composers & Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) and is brought to you by Mediacorp Suria, Warna 94.2FM, RIA 89.7FM and Manja Magazine. The awards show will be telecast live via Mediacorp Suria on 30th September 2016 at 9:00pm. You can also catch the livestreaming of the show via Toggle.SG, which includes the Red Carpet event at 8:30pm, and will not be televised on Suria, or the simulcast via the two radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM.

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apm-2016-final-nominees-list-page-005(List of nominees courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 Review…

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As promised, I am back with my review on the recently-held Anugerah Planet Muzik event held at Max Pavilion Singapore Expo on 15 December 2012. Unlike previous years, I did not scour through internet forums and social media as much to read through the thoughts of viewers and the media from our neighbouring countries. I only skimmed through Twitter (#APM2012) after I came back from the event and spent a good two hours just reading what people had to say. Not surprisingly, the show was slated by our neighbours (what’s new???) but generally the local viewers were the more happier lot, especially when our local heart-throbs walked away with the popular category awards. Of course I saw the word “boring” being bandied about, but it’s subjective from person to person. Even the recent awards shows in Malaysia like Anugerah Industri Muzik and Anugerah Blokbuster were not spared by the so-called “armchair critics”, but these criticisms are difficult to be taken seriously as most of these comments were made by people who know nuts about the industry nor what goes on behind the scenes.

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The hosts – TG, Sophie Navita and Dato’ AC Mizal

Of course, not every production or show is bound to be perfect, but in terms of entertainment value, I feel that this was one of the better editions of Anugerah Planet Muzik we have had in years, much better even than last year. It has to be noted that this was the first time that Mediacorp Radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM were holding this event without the support of Beyond DDB Events Sdn. Bhd. after the passing of its late Managing Director, Mr. Amin Hussen. In the past ten editions of Anugerah Planet Muzik, the company, along with the two local Malay radio stations had worked hand in hand and had been a great supporter of this prestigious awards show. At the first time of asking and doing this on their own, I think the two local Malay radio stations can hold their heads up high, and that the previous ten editions have given them good experience and know-how to stage the event better, bar all the internet talks and complaints.

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Awi Rafael, Anji and Aliff Aziz performed “Aishiteru“, made popular by Zivilia

What the social media critics constantly fail to see is the intention of what Anugerah Planet Muzik stands for and why it is held. Unlike our neighbours (both in the industry as well as those watching on the sidelines) who still think based on nationalistic lines / boundaries and still comparing whose artistes / entertainment industries are better (Shame on you Julia Perez & Zed Zaidi!!!), music and entertainment are probably a few things that unite people of different cultures, background and interests. There is a reason why Dato’ Sheila Majid ended her thank-you speech that night with “May music keep us together” and Gigi‘s frontman Armand Maulana had said “Keep the peace, love and respect for music” in his winning speeches at the 2006 and 2008 editions of Anugerah Planet Muzik. The event is all about our regional acts converging and coming together, build networks, share ideas, plan future collaborations and at the same time introduce / reacquaint themselves to the viewers in the region. Sadly, we are still seeing sourgrape comments and slating our neighbouring artistes, especially on the subject of the popularity awards.

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Taufik Batisah and Shila Amzah performing “Aku Bersahaja“…

The most common gripes I heard were the awards won by both Taufik Batisah (Most Popular Regional Artiste) and Hady Mirza (Most Popular Regional Song). I believe when the organisers held media conferences at both Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta to announce the nominees and details of the awards show, the media over there would have reported as well how viewers could vote for their respective favourites via the official Anugerah Planet Muzik page. No matter where you are in the world, you were given the opportunity to vote for your favourites from 5th November 2012 till voting ended on 5th December 2012. You guys had a whole month to vote for your favourites, but when the winners were announced, you claimed that the artistes are not popular in your countries and you have not heard of “Ku Tetap Kan Menunggu” on your respective airwaves. Well suck it up guys, time to start learning who your regional acts are and what songs are popular in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. YouTube always helps, it is a question of whether you have the initiative to look up on your own or not. Stop living in your coconut shells and start seeing the quality acts around you, not just where you are based at.

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Aweera of MOJO showing his vocal finesse performing “Andai Ku Bercinta Lagi“…

I admit before this I knew nuts about Ridho Rhoma, Maria Calista, Anji, Soo Wincci, and a few others, but thanks to Anugerah Planet Muzik, I now appreciate their talents and understand how they came to be household names in their respective countries. Likewise I hope our regional neighbours would also feel the same way towards our local acts like Awi Rafael, Audionauts, Siti Zahidah, Aliff Aziz, SleeQ and our two idols Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza. I thought our local brigade who performed that night were excellent and did not let themselves down at all. They definitely stood tall with their counterparts. My only complaint is that Zahidah should have been granted more minutes than she was given when performing “Malam Ini“, cos Najwa Latif was given a slightly longer time to sing her hit “Kosong” (which by the way, she went flat and admitted to it on the entertainment magazine show “MeleTOP” on Astro Ria) and her massive hit single with SleeQ, “Untuk Dia“.

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Maria Calista – A name that needs to be remembered from now on…

Speaking of Maria Calista, I unashamedly say I am a big fan of her voice now. Every time I watch reruns of her singing Kotak‘s “Apa Bisa” during the Best Song nominees segment, my hairs will stand on its end. It was even better watching her singing it live. That night when she performed the song, I could see she was making constant eye contact towards Kotak, her eyes and facial expressions were seen as though they were asking the group for their approval. As I was seated on the floor next to the group, I could see all three members of Kotak (Tantri, Chua and Cella) nodding their heads in approval and when she broke into chorus, the group just stood and whooped. In fact the Indonesian contingent gave her a standing ovation. Such is the spirit and camaraderie being shown for their countrymen that I secretly hope could be replicated here as well. Ridho Rhoma‘s “Let’s Have Fun Together” is also now stuck in my head, yes yours truly who does not have a liking for Dangdut initially.

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Following in his father’s footsteps – Ridho Rhoma

It was a no-brainer when I heard Dato’ Sheila Majid‘s name being added to the list of performers that night, that she would be the rightful recipient of this edition’s Anugerah Khas Planet Muzik. A deserving recipient for her achievements for the past twenty-seven years and a legend in her own right, she is still the same humble, intelligent, articulate and immaculate person that she is. And it seems that she is quite ageless. Her skin is flawless and looks like she is still in her late 30s. Her songs will always be evergreen in our hearts and the tribute that Hady Mirza and Shila Amzah gave her was commendable, if not an excellent one. Of course the diva herself did not disappoint, as always, lapping up the accolades that came her way but still retaining that sense of humility, which all up-and-coming artistes should emulate if they dream of longevity in the scene. And her speech was sharp, concise and brought so much deep meaning to what it means to love music.

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Style and Elegance personified – Dato’ Sheila Majid

The hosts, all first-timers at this awards show, did their best to liven up the crowd, though I felt the energy dropped slightly when it was Tahar Ghalib (TG)’s turn to speak. Don’t get me wrong, I simply love the tone of his voice and still feel he is the best person to helm a show with a love / sombre theme but when the three of them were together onstage, I could sense a certain energy imbalance between him and Dato’ AC Mizal. I dunno, I could be wrong with my assessment, but I did feel that way that night. However, I could definitely see that TG was determined not to let his two counterparts, Sophie Navita and the wacky Dato’ AC Mizal upstage him, by dishing back some punchlines of his own. Maybe it is the difference in the personalities of the hosts, with Dato’ AC being more extrovert and zany, naturally providing more spark to the proceedings. I do however have a little grievance with the hosting script when it came to the part on Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. I felt that at a time when she is going through a personal family problem, any jokes on her or her husband is a bit insensitive. Not too sure if they knew what had happened to Dato’ Khalid Mohd Jiwa during or before the event, but for the benefit of doubt, my guess is they did not know till much later.

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APM is all about friendships, collaboration and cooperation between artistes of the three neighbouring countries…

Unlike previous editions of Anugerah Planet Muzik, this one ended much earlier than expected, a sign that showed the organisers have learned from their past experiences of over-running the show. Performances and segments were generally compact and enjoyable and these I felt contributed to a very enjoyable show as a whole. Of course there will always be grievances about repeat / recycled performances by the same artistes year in and out, but I think this is what Anugerah Planet Muzik has come to be known for, as they try to showcase artistes from the three countries coming together and sharing the stage, but as always, more artistes could have been featured. I’m sure more of our local acts would love to display their talents onstage. If I were to make some noise about what I find kinda odd about the performances is that maybe Kotak should not have performed a slow number to open the show and “Beraksi” to introduce the hosts afterwards, as they had already performed the same song during the 2009 edition, which was held in Jakarta. Also, we could have had a different closing to the show, rather than a repeat performance of “Let’s Have Fun Together” by Ridho Rhoma. Unsurprisingly, those seated in the first few rows got up and left for the post-event reception before the show ended proper.

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Another enjoyable performance that night between Teacher’s Pet and Judika

We can all complain and vent our frustrations till the cows come home but it has all been done and dusted, the awards audited and given away to their rightful recipients. I sometimes do not understand why our neighbouring counterparts can sound so vengeful when it comes to competition of any kind, be it in sports or even music. I mean let’s face it, they won most of the Best category awards but still made snide remarks over who is more popular. Can’t we just live and let live and share the awards all around??? This is afterall not Anugerah Planet Malaysia or Indonesia. And for those who are saying that the organisers are making a profit out of this event, me being the biggest critic of this event since I first started blogging on our entertainment scene, will say that they are not. Economic conditions and circumstances in our entertainment industry do not allow us to hold our own awards show for our acts, which is why we have separate award categories during the show to honour our Singapore artistes. Singapore does not have the privilege of having mega sponsorships from big companies as what is being enjoyed by our regional counterparts.

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The finale…

I hope that after all is being said by the critics out there, the know-it-alls to the fellow professionals in the industry, the organisers can take stock and continue the good momentum that they have done and even lift the standards further for future Anugerah Planet Muzik events. I for one would love it if Max Pavilion, as a venue, is scrapped once and for all if the show is to be held here again. This was the third time that the event was held there and all three times, the sound system was a major letdown. I have heard and experienced myself how bad it was and am not too sure if it is the sound system or the acoustics of the venue which hinders quality acts from being heard and enjoyed by the audience. Aliff Aziz‘s performance when he sang “Jangan Ganggu Pacarku” was the one most glaringly heard from the speakers, with the crackling sounds being emitted, a major distraction. The Red Carpet event, though slightly better this time, still had the audience coming into the area meant for media and artistes to sit and I don’t think it was a comfortable affair for them with the audience clamouring and jostling forward to snap photographs of the artistes. Some jokes made by the award presenters also went a bit flat and did not resonate with the audience (the panda jokes come to mind, even though it was meant to be an educational / tourist promotion thing) so perhaps something that the region can relate to would be welcomed the next time. Still, it does not take away the fact that this was a much better event than last year, and for that I commend the organisers and thank them for kindly inviting me to the grand occasion…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 Post-Event Reception

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(Cover poster courtesy of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 Official Facebook page)

When it comes to big events such as Anugerah Planet Muzik, regular readers of this blog will know and expect that you will never get an immediate review here unlike other entertainment portals or blog sites. I think that sets my domain apart from the rest and complement those other sites, in terms of photos and content being shared. Anyway I still have not finished editing the 3706 photographs I snapped that night, but I have whittled them down to about 600 or so. And that was only the first cut!!! I still need to go through a few more QC rounds before I post the rest up along with my review, which might take days or even before the year is out, seeing that I am also doing my weekly Ratu recaps. Nonetheless I hope you guys have liked the photos I featured so far in my past two entries and I’m sure you would like the ones I snapped after the event was over at the customary post-event reception…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 – Red Carpet Event

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The pre-cursor to Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 was the Red Carpet event. Not too sure if viewers of Astro Ria on Mio Singtel were able to catch it live as I heard initially it was supposed to be, unless it was only meant for Malaysian viewers. Nonetheless, for the benefit of my fellow Singaporean readers as well as those from outside this country who did not get to see enough from fellow entertainment blog sites / portals, yours truly have captured more photographs for your viewing pleasure. Note that this is not the full compliment of artistes who walked down the carpet as I had missed out on a few, like local groups X-Clusive and Diorama amongst others, due to the speed they were walking down the aisle and did not stop near where I was stationed that night. Some like Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza did not appear along the Red Carpet at all, but I guess they have their valid reasons. Enjoy the photographs on show!!!

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The Red Carpet event hosts – Hafeez Glamour, Fiza O and A B Shaik

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Fiza O, A B Shaik and Zaza Majid hemmed it up before the event got underway…

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Lynn Malik and Lefttool

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Hafriz (one half of local hip-hop duo Mxnor | Mxjor) and former Singapore Idol season three contestant Faizal Isa

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Haramain Osman and Judah Lyne from The Lion Story

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Local band PULSE! who were nominated in the Best New Duo / Group category…

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Farid and Nash leading the Aryan Band entourage…

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Farhan Shah and Clarence Liew. They are currently working on a single together and expect it to be out early next year…

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Wawan (left) and his band The Auras

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A band Singapore (and Thailand) can be proud of – Audionauts

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Snowball had local actor-host-singer Ashmie Roslan (second from right) and rapper Phalique (right) as part of their entourage…

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Ross and Aidil of Revalina

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Hyrul Anuar looking dapper in his slick suit…

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Awi Rafael and his beau Hanez Suraya

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Hazama looked cool in this outfit, a reflection of his personality…

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A very likeable personality this Budi Doremi

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I didn’t know Ridho Rhoma has quite a following in Singapore till this Red Carpet event…

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Not much is known of local band Arus, but their music is infectious nonetheless…

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The Sallys were not at full strength that night…

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Amanda Imani and Indonesia-based Malaysian actor Keith Foo…

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Rocker Shafyre and his buddy Calito

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The gal who did us proud on stage that night, Siti Zahidah

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The “Ombak Rindu” couple – Adira and Hafiz Suip

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Aliff Aziz and the vocal powerhouse from Indonesia, Maria Calista

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The ever-so-shy Najwa Latif

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A beauty queen who is also a deejay, host, actress, singer and chef – Soo Wincci

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Judika and his beautiful fiancee, beauty queen Duma Riris

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An awesome band from Malaysia, Mojo. They are set to make waves in the scene…

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Resident hosts of Ratu, Fauzie Laily and Marina Yusoff. With them is the handsome and articulate Khairudin Saharom

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A lot has been said about her post-APM 2012. Alyah is still a great singer in my eyes…

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Zizan being flanked by Elfira Loy (left) and Kaka Azraff

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All smiles here – Sharnaaz Ahmad and Shila Amzah

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Ever so loving couple, Mr. Sheikh Haikel and wife Anna Belle Francis…

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SleeQ looking slick as always…

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Singapore Idol season 3 winner Sezairi Sezali and his sweet partner, Syaza Qistina Tan

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Tujuh Band, with Cassidy Anderson

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Good to see Teacher’s Pet revived and active in the scene…

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Dato’ Sheila Majid and husband Acis of Gersang fame…

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Didicazli, seen here with his mother, Madam Siti Rosminah Jaafar of Al-Jawaher fame…

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This photo of Kotak was actually taken during one of the commercial breaks…

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