Archive | August, 2007

Arre O’ Samba!

31 Aug


Arre O’ Samba!

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO

‘Aag’ hits the screens today, but without all of the immortal lines of ‘Sholay’. We take a look at dialogues that have outlived their films in the recent times – from Mumbaiyya one-liners to Urdu couplets.


Smart talk Stills from &#8216’Aag’

Aag, what Ram Gopal Varma calls as his “interpretation of Sholay,” releases today. When Amitabh Bachchan takes centre stage as Babban Singh, the audience will pitch him against late Amjad Khan’s character of Gabbar.

For many, watching Sholay is a karaoke experience. Having memorised the dialogues (Salim-Javed), the Sholay faithfuls would join Dharmendra in echoing “Kuttey mein tera koon peejaoonga,” or Amjad Khan in “Kitne Aadmi The?” Varma’s Aag, on the other hand, will tear away from the original and according to Varma, will not replicate all of the immortal lines. “My film is a tribute to Sholay and not a remake. Babban is an exotic looking, larger-than-life villain and is as dangerous as Gabbar. But the way he speaks will be different,” reasons Varma.


Don – the chase begins

Keep it short


Munna Bhai MBBS

“Which film’s dialogues have stayed in public memory in the last 15 years?” asks Amitabh Bachchan, talking to Friday Review. If Shah Rukh Khan as Don is widely heard on ringtones and ringback ton
es of mobile phone users declaring “Don ko pakhadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai,” that too cuts back to Amitabh Bachchan’s original Don (dialogues by Salim-Javed again) in 1978. Amitabh reasons t
hat the emphasis on dialogues has changed over the years. “This is the age of fast food; everything has to be precise and concise. If your laptop takes a few minutes to boot, you want to replace the hard disk. There’s no time for redundancy and rhetoric. We have to cater to this generation of youngsters. On the other hand, films in the 50s to the 80s emphasised on the written word,” he says.

The written word still rules, and blends to suit different contexts. Mumbaiyya language saw a revival thanks to Munna Bhai and Arshad Warsi. “Even today, many people on the streets call me ‘maamu.’ Mu
nna Bhai MBBS
and Lage Raho Munna Bhai spoke in a language that people could relate to. It’s needless to add that only when the story, the concept and the film succeed, people remember the dialogues,” points out actor
Bomman Irani.

A stark departure from Don, Aag and Munna Bhai are films like Fanaa and Rang De Basanti. An easy blend of Urdu and Hindi hooked the younger lot to Fanaa. An
d Rang De Basanti (dialogues by Prasoon Joshi and Rensi D’Silva) made both ‘masti ki pathshaala’ and ‘Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna’ anthems for many a revolution across colle
ges. “Before RDB, I had planned to make another film on freedom fighters who preferred the sword to the pen. We got groups of youngsters in Delhi and Mumbai and discussed at length about the freedom movement and what they thought of the country. It was clear that they weren’t interested. I understood that I had to juxtapose the old with the new. This reflects in every aspect of the film – from the screen play to the dialogues and lyrics in songs. We needed Sarfaroshi ki tamanna as much as Roobaroo and Masti ki paathshala,” says Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

In the film, Su, the Brit youngster, watches in dismay as Siddharth and his friends read lines from her script – Azadi meri dulhan hai – and chuckle “what’s his (Bhagat Singh) problem? Who speaks like this?” Of course, the brat pack undergoes a sea change and get into the spirit of the roles of the freedom fighters. Lines from the Bhagvad Gita echo in the background as the freedom fighters endure their days of torment in prison.


Rang De Basanti

Fanaa, meanwhile, is a throw back to the days of the shayari. Among the many quoted in the film, “Tere dil mein meri saason ko panaah mil jaye, tere ishq mein meri jaan fanaa ho jaye,”
remains the most popular. In Shaan’s voice, Subhanallah also became an anthem.

Lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar explains, “Don and Sholay captured the youngsters with smart one-liners. The other films presented couplets that were easy for the younger lot to understand. Many youngsters
cannot differentiate between Hindi and Urdu. They assume that what they can understand easily is Hindi and what takes them some time to decipher is Urdu. There is no clear boundary between spoken Urdu and Hindi. In many films and songs, what is used is neither pure Hindi nor Urdu. It’s Hindustani.”

And we’ll get to see more of this blend when Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Akbar-Jodha opens later this year with Hrithik and Aishwarya Rai.


Hindu On Net

Arre O’ Samba!

31 Aug


Arre O’ Samba!

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO

‘Aag’ hits the screens today, but without all of the immortal lines of ‘Sholay’. We take a look at dialogues that have outlived their films in the recent times – from Mumbaiyya one-liners to Urdu couplets.


Smart talk Stills from &#8216’Aag’

Aag, what Ram Gopal Varma calls as his “interpretation of Sholay,” releases today. When Amitabh Bachchan takes centre stage as Babban Singh, the audience will pitch him against late Amjad Khan’s character of Gabbar.

For many, watching Sholay is a karaoke experience. Having memorised the dialogues (Salim-Javed), the Sholay faithfuls would join Dharmendra in echoing “Kuttey mein tera koon peejaoonga,” or Amjad Khan in “Kitne Aadmi The?” Varma’s Aag, on the other hand, will tear away from the original and according to Varma, will not replicate all of the immortal lines. “My film is a tribute to Sholay and not a remake. Babban is an exotic looking, larger-than-life villain and is as dangerous as Gabbar. But the way he speaks will be different,” reasons Varma.


Don – the chase begins

Keep it short


Munna Bhai MBBS

“Which film’s dialogues have stayed in public memory in the last 15 years?” asks Amitabh Bachchan, talking to Friday Review. If Shah Rukh Khan as Don is widely heard on ringtones and ringback ton
es of mobile phone users declaring “Don ko pakhadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai,” that too cuts back to Amitabh Bachchan’s original Don (dialogues by Salim-Javed again) in 1978. Amitabh reasons t
hat the emphasis on dialogues has changed over the years. “This is the age of fast food; everything has to be precise and concise. If your laptop takes a few minutes to boot, you want to replace the hard disk. There’s no time for redundancy and rhetoric. We have to cater to this generation of youngsters. On the other hand, films in the 50s to the 80s emphasised on the written word,” he says.

The written word still rules, and blends to suit different contexts. Mumbaiyya language saw a revival thanks to Munna Bhai and Arshad Warsi. “Even today, many people on the streets call me ‘maamu.’ Mu
nna Bhai MBBS
and Lage Raho Munna Bhai spoke in a language that people could relate to. It’s needless to add that only when the story, the concept and the film succeed, people remember the dialogues,” points out actor
Bomman Irani.

A stark departure from Don, Aag and Munna Bhai are films like Fanaa and Rang De Basanti. An easy blend of Urdu and Hindi hooked the younger lot to Fanaa. An
d Rang De Basanti (dialogues by Prasoon Joshi and Rensi D’Silva) made both ‘masti ki pathshaala’ and ‘Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna’ anthems for many a revolution across colle
ges. “Before RDB, I had planned to make another film on freedom fighters who preferred the sword to the pen. We got groups of youngsters in Delhi and Mumbai and discussed at length about the freedom movement and what they thought of the country. It was clear that they weren’t interested. I understood that I had to juxtapose the old with the new. This reflects in every aspect of the film – from the screen play to the dialogues and lyrics in songs. We needed Sarfaroshi ki tamanna as much as Roobaroo and Masti ki paathshala,” says Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

In the film, Su, the Brit youngster, watches in dismay as Siddharth and his friends read lines from her script – Azadi meri dulhan hai – and chuckle “what’s his (Bhagat Singh) problem? Who speaks like this?” Of course, the brat pack undergoes a sea change and get into the spirit of the roles of the freedom fighters. Lines from the Bhagvad Gita echo in the background as the freedom fighters endure their days of torment in prison.


Rang De Basanti

Fanaa, meanwhile, is a throw back to the days of the shayari. Among the many quoted in the film, “Tere dil mein meri saason ko panaah mil jaye, tere ishq mein meri jaan fanaa ho jaye,”
remains the most popular. In Shaan’s voice, Subhanallah also became an anthem.

Lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar explains, “Don and Sholay captured the youngsters with smart one-liners. The other films presented couplets that were easy for the younger lot to understand. Many youngsters
cannot differentiate between Hindi and Urdu. They assume that what they can understand easily is Hindi and what takes them some time to decipher is Urdu. There is no clear boundary between spoken Urdu and Hindi. In many films and songs, what is used is neither pure Hindi nor Urdu. It’s Hindustani.”

And we’ll get to see more of this blend when Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Akbar-Jodha opens later this year with Hrithik and Aishwarya Rai.


Hindu On Net

China's Finance Minister Sacked Amid Political Shake-Up

30 Aug

BEIJING – Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday sacked his finance minister amid a major political shake-up ahead of the ruling Communist Party’s crucial five-yearly gathering.

Jin Renqing, who oversaw the longest stock boom in Chinese history during his four years in the post, was removed and replaced by Xie Xuren, the head of the nation’s tax bureau, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Four other new ministers were appointed on Thursday — on top of a string of other high-profile changes in recent months — as the political establishment braces for the party’s crucial Congress that opens on October 15.

Hu is widely seen to be reshaping the top echelons of power so that he can consolidate and strengthen his base at the Congress for another five-year term.

“The Congress is like Chinese New Year. You try to clean your house beforehand,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a political scientist at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Aside from the sacking of Jin, Xinhua said that China’s parliament had also approved new ministers in the state security, personnel and supervision portfolios. The supervision ministry oversees graft within the government.

A new minister was also appointed to take over at the commission that is in charge of China’s space and missile programme.

An official with the information office of the State Council, or Cabinet, said Jin had tendered his resignation for “personal reasons”.

Some press reports suggested that he was involved in a sex scandal, fitting in well with Hu’s desire to be seen as cracking down on corruption and moral problems within the party ahead of the Congress.

Hong Kong’s influential Ming Pao newspaper said Jin was sacked after he introduced a woman to Chen Tonghai, the chairman of oil giant China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec), who resigned in June under suspicions of graft.

While not mentioning Jin specifically, Hu said in comments published in the People’s Daily, the party’s mouthpiece, on Thursday that there were ethical and

other problems within the leadership of China’s financial team.

“In the financial system, we must strengthen efforts to ensure clean governance and behaviour becoming of the party,” the paper quoted Hu as telling the politburo on Wednesday.

“We must raise the professional ethics and the ideological and political quality of all financial personnel, especially those in leadership positions.

“We must ensure a new healthy atmosphere, combat unhealthy trends and evil practices, and create an overall benign atmosphere.”

China’s stock market did not see any visible impact from the announcement of Jin’s removal, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closing up 1.14 percent for the day.

This reflected the relatively moderate importance of the finance and other ministers in China’s political system, where real power rests with the politburo’s standing committee, analysts said.

“In terms of economic policy, the key figure is the premier of the Cabinet,” said Zhang Xin, a professor of public administration at Beijing’s Renmin University.

“The finance ministry implements whatever policies the cabinet decides.”

The government official who confirmed Jin’s “resignation”, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he had been appointed vice-director of the State Council’s Development Research Centre, a think tank.

The position of vice-director at the centre is equivalent to the rank of

vice-minister in China’s complex political system.

Xie, 59, was until Thursday head of the State Administration of Taxation, the same position Jin held before taking over at the finance ministry.

Other high-profile politicians who have lost their posts ahead of the Congress include Li Zhaoxing, who was removed as foreign minister in April, and Chen Liangyu, sacked last year as Shanghai party chief for graft. – AFP/ac/ir

Channel News Asia

Safe Sex Not Top Priority For Young Women: Survey

30 Aug

SINGAPORE: Young women here are highly aware of HIV/AIDS and the risks of an unwanted pregnancy.

But they do not always practise safe sex.

This is according to a survey of 1,000 sexually-active women conducted by the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Singapore.

The survey, carried out at queues outside nightspots, found that 20 percent of those polled were not prepared for an unwanted pregnancy, but they did not use contraception.

The Society said this is the group that may be contributing to the rising abortion rate in Singapore.

According to data from the Health Ministry, 12,032 women had abortions last year, up by 550 from the 11,482 in 2005.

It was the first time in more than 10 years that the abortion rate has gone up. – CNA/ir

Channel News Asia

Potong Rambut Hanya 50 Sen!

30 Aug

Oleh Fairul Asmaini Mohd Pilus
asmaini@hmetro.com.my

Selain kibaran Jalur Gemilang, perarakan, perbarisan serta laungan Merdeka, penghayatan hari bersejarah berkenaan juga boleh dizahirkan dalam pelbagai cara kerana apa yang penting, ia dapat menyemai semangat patriotisme dalam diri setiap insan.

Namun, bagi kakitangan salun terkenal di The Summit, Subang Jaya, Khal Hair Salun, mereka berpadu tenaga menjayakan promosi menarik potongan rambut berharga 50 sen.

Pemilik salun berkenaan, Khaljaksa Khalil, 40, berkata, promosi itu diadakan bagi menghargai pelanggan setianya selama ini serta bersempena sambutan kemerdekaan negara ke-50 tahun.

Khaljaksa berkata, dia berbangga menjadi warganegara Malaysia dan promosi berkenaan adalah sebagai satu cara untuk melahirkan rasa bersyukur terhadap kemerdekaan negara yang mencecah 50 tahun.

Menurutnya, promosi 50 sen berkenaan hanya boleh dinikmati untuk potongan rambut saja dan bukan untuk perkhidmatan lain yang ditawarkan seperti mewarna, melurus atau kerinting.

“Promosi potongan rambut berharga 50 sen ini hanya boleh didapati pada 31 Ogos ini bermula pada waktu operasi kami iaitu dari 10 pagi hingga 10 malam.

“Kami menjangkakan lebih 100 pelanggan berpeluang menikmati promosi berkenaan dan ia terbuka kepada semua lapisan masyarakat tidak kira lelaki mahupun wanita,” katanya.

Salun berkenaan sudah bertapak dalam bidang dandanan rambut sejak lebih 10 tahun lalu. Malah, ia turut menjadi pendandan rambut rasmi bagi kumpulan media terbesar negara, Media Prima, sejak lima tahun lalu.

“Khal Hair Salun mempunyai enam kakitangan terdiri daripada empat pendandan serta dua pencuci rambut.

“Kami juga memiliki pelanggan di kalangan artis tempatan termasuk Siti Nurhaliza, Zahid (AF2), Misha Omar, Marsha , Erra Fazira, Fauziah Latif, Jaclyn Victor dan Adam (AF2).

“Kutipan yang diperoleh pada hari berkenaan akan disumbangkan kepada Pertubuhan Rumah Amal Cahaya Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (Ractar), Subang Jaya, Selangor.” katanya.

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Satu Lagi Magis Untuk Azean Irdawaty

28 Aug

Oleh KHADIJAH IBRAHIM

Azean Irdawaty sempat merehatkan kakinya di spa yang terdapat di Bazaar Fusion.

AHAD lalu aktres Azean Irdawaty nampak ceria di Bazaar Fusion, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Hari itu bazaar tersebut mengadakan jualan kebajikan bagi mengisi tabung dana membantu perubatan penyakit kanser payu daranya.

Kata Azean atau Kak Yan, hari itu dia berasa lebih sihat berbanding pertemuan kami pada 16 Ogos lalu yang terpaksa menggunakan kerusi roda.

Ketika itu Kak Yan baru selesai menjalani kemoterapi.

“Selalunya, minggu pertama selepas kemoterapi Kak Yan lemah dan letih. Minggu kedua Kak Yan lebih banyak berada di atas katil dan bergerak pun kena guna kerusi roda. Minggu ketiga lebih selesa sedikit, panas badan pun kurang,” kata Azean bercerita pengalamannya.

Kak Yan yang bakal menjalani rawatan kemoterapi untuk kali ketiga itu, bagaimanapun mengakui dia tidak pernah berasa penyakit yang ditanggungnya itu sebagai satu bebanan.

Malah katanya, sejak disahkan menghidap barah payu dara peringkat ketiga pada 18 Jun lalu, dia mengalami pelbagai magis dalam kehidupannya.

“Ini adalah satu ujian untuk Kak Yan dan baru sekarang Kak Yan tahu betapa ramainya insan yang menyayangi Kak Yan. Setiap kali bertemu dengan orang yang tidak dikenali, tidak kira apa bangsa, mereka akan datang pada Kak Yan dan berkata yang mereka sentiasa mendoakan kesejahteraan Kak Yan. Sifat prihatin mereka itu membuatkan Kak Yan rasa gembira sangat,” katanya dengan wajah ceria.

Memberi contoh jualan dana di Bazaar Fusion, kata Azean, dia menyaksikan ramai rakan artis dan orang perseorangan yang begitu ikhlas membantunya.

“Dulu masa sihat, Kak Yan tidak ada masa beramah mesra begini kerana sibuk bekerja. Sekarang ini ia bagaikan satu magis. Setiap minggu ada sahaja aktiviti yang perlu Kak Yan hadir. Semua ini menjadikan Kak Yan tidak ada masa untuk memikir pasal sakit ini. Itulah keajaiban yang Allah kurniakan pada Kak Yan saat ini,” katanya tersenyum.

Pada majlis jualan amal yang dianjurkan oleh Ruhani Abd. Rahman dan Wafa Abdul Kadir itu, pelakon Sharifah Shahira menyumbang mufin, Tony Eusoffe menyediakan laksa Sarawak dan Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Kebudayaan, Kesenian dan Warisan Malaysia (KEKKWA), Datuk Azizah Abot memasak nasi beriani.

Manakala artis yang hadir memberi sokongan ialah Serina Redzuawan, Hans Isaac, Jehan Miskin, Jue Aziz, Ako Mustapha dan ramai lagi.

Syanie yang bertindak sebagai juruwang pada acara yang berlangsung dari pukul 10.30 pagi hingga 5 petang itu berkata, pihaknya tidak menyasarkan jumlah kutipan.

“Idea buat jualan amal ini timbul sewaktu Wafa bercerita pada mummy (Ruhani Abd. Rahman) tentang aunty Yan yang perlu cari wang untuk kos perubatannya.

“Jadi salah satu cara untuk membantu aunty Yan, adalah menerusi jualan amal ini. Memang meriah kerana ramai rakan artis dan orang ramai yang datang membeli makanan,” katanya.

Sokongan anak-anak

Sementara Benjy yang turut hadir tampak selesa dengan imej botak sebagai tanda sokongan terhadap mamanya.

“Sebelum ini pun Ben pernah botakkan kepala tapi itu saja-saja. Tapi kali ini sebagai tanda sokongan terhadap mama yang tabah itu,” katanya terus terang.

Menurutnya, imej kepala botak boleh mengurangkan peluangnya untuk berlakon. Namun katanya, apa yang penting ketika ini adalah tanda sokongannya terhadap ibu tercinta.

Bagi Kak Yan pula tindakan Ben itu amat mengharukan.

“Satu hari dia melawat Kak Yan di hospital dan terus buka topi. Katanya, Ben tidak boleh bantu mama dengan wang ringgit tapi ini sebagai tanda Ben menyokong mama. Waktu Ben cakap begitu, Kak Yan terasa hiba.

“Entahlah, mungkin dia tidak mahu mamanya rasa rendah diri kerana mamanya pun dah botak sekarang. Tapi bagi Kak Yan, botak pun satu fesyen. Macam hari ini Kak Yan sikat belah tepi dan tetap guna spray rambut,” ceritanya.

Kata Kak Yan seorang lagi anaknya, Elza Irdalynna yang sedang mengikuti Diploma Kursus Persembahan Seni dan Media di Sunway University College juga mahu menunjukkan tanda sokongannya.

“Elza kata, dia tidak boleh botakkan kepala tapi sebagai tanda sokongan pada Kak Yan, dia lulus semua subjek dengan cemerlang. Bagi Kak Yan itu pun sudah mencukupi. Alhamdulillah, selama ini anak-anak Kak Yan tidak pernah mengecewakan Kak Yan baik dari segi perbuatan atau kata-kata,” katanya penuh bangga.

Pada majlis itu juga Azean ditemani oleh suami, Khairil Anwar dan anak bongsu, Irnessa Irdayanty yang bakal menduduki peperiksaan Sijil Peperiksaan Malaysia tidak lama lagi.

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MOE Rejects Some 3% Of Applications For Relief Teaching Annually

28 Aug

SINGAPORE : The Education Ministry receives some 3,000 applications for first time registration as relief teacher each year – and some 100, or 3 per cent, of these are rejected.

Minister of State for Education Lui Tuck Yew gave these figures in Parliament on Monday when he replied to questions brought up by Nominated MPs Eunice Olsen and Siew Kum Hong on the recruitment criteria for relief teachers.

In particular, Mr Siew asked why playwright Alfian Sa’at’ was rejected in his application for relief teaching.

Rear Admiral Lui said it was inappropriate to discuss individual cases of teachers or relief teachers in the House.

However, he said applicants could be rejected because they do not have the requisite educational qualities, do not have a passion for teaching, or perhaps they have unsuitable records or disciplinary history.

He explained : “Teachers are in a unique position of authority and have great influence over the children they teach, engaging hearts and minds and shaping their attitudes and perspectives.

“Whether permanent or relief, teachers are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which befits this role and to uphold the integrity of the profession, both in a personal and professional capacity. The values they hold are also an important consideration as they are role models for our children.” – CNA/ch

Channel News Asia

Konsert Pop Yeh Yeh Di Mana Silapnya?

27 Aug

Oleh: KHADIJAH IBRAHIM

ENTAH di mana silapnya, Konsert Pop Yeh Yeh Suatu Evolusi yang mengumpul 20 penyanyi popular era 60-an termasuk empat kugiran ternama serta empat kumpulan muzik masa kini kurang mendapat sambutan daripada penonton.

Antara artis yang menjayakan konsert selama empat jam itu ialah Datuk Ahmad Jais, Datin Azizah Muhamad, A.Rahman Onn, Afida Es, Hasnah haron, Jeffrydin, Zam Zam, L.Ramlee, Kassim Selamat, Rodziah Latiff, M.Ishak, A.Kadir Jailani, A. Nandong dan Hussein Ismail.

Sementara kugiran yang tampil mengadakan persembahan ialah Orkes Nirwana, Zurah III, Rhythm Boys, Wanderers, De Fictions, XPDC dan Putera Impian.

Konsert yang bertempat di Stadium Malawati dan julung kali diadakan oleh Global Ads Workstation Sdn. Bhd., hanya mampu menarik suku sahaja penonton untuk memenuhi kapasiti stadium yang boleh memuatkan 8,000 orang itu.

Meskipun pada pandangan mata kasar, kekurangan penonton kelihatan ‘mencacatkan’, namun Pengarah Urusan Global Ads Workstation, Shamsulrizal Saidin tetap merasa puas hati.

Kata Shamsulrizal, meskipun hanya sekitar 1,000 hingga 2,000 penonton yang hadir namun, dia tetap bangga kerana persembahan yang diberikan oleh para artis cukup bertenaga.

“Saya amat berpuas hati dengan komitmen yang diberikan oleh artis lama atau pun yang baru. Kesemua mereka telah memberikan persembahan yang terbaik.

“Meskipun jumlah penonton kurang daripada yang kami sasarkan namun saya tetap gembira kerana ada peminat-peminat dari Singapura yang sanggup datang menonton konsert ini,” katanya ketika ditemui selepas konsert yang berakhir pada pukul 12. 40 malam.

Dia yang mengeluarkan kos RM200,000 untuk menjayakan konsert yang dinaungi oleh Timbalan Menteri Penerangan, Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi itu menafi dakwaan yang mengatakan konsert tersebut kurang promosi.

Jelas Shamsulrizal, pihaknya membelanjakan lebih kurang RM100,000 untuk membuat promosi konsert tersebut.

Promosi dimulakan sejak bulan Mei dengan sidang akhbar dan tarikh konsert tersebut juga telah diuar-uarkan di kaca TV serta radio menerusi beberapa program.

Namun konsert yang mengenakan harga tiket pada kadar RM10, RM18, RM28, RM48 dan RM68 itu masih tidak berupaya untuk mengajak orang ramai hadir.

Meskipun konsert yang bertujuan mengimbau semula nostalgia silam sempena sambutan kemerdekaan yang ke-50 kurang menyerlah, namun ia tidak mematah semangat Shamsulrizal.

“Saya tidak serik untuk membuat konsert lagi. Mungkin selepas ini saya akan anjur konsert pop yeh yeh di luar Kuala Lumpur pula.

“Pada yang terlepas menonton Konsert Pop Yeh Yeh Suatu Evolusi ini mereka boleh menontonnya kelak kerana pihak kami bercadang akan memasarkan cakera padat video (VCD) tidak lama lagi,” katanya terus terang.

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Call Him Encik Negara Ku

26 Aug

Jamaludin Alias, the voice behind many patriotic songs
Jamaludin Alias, the voice behind many patriotic songs

His was the voice generations of Malaysians heard over radio and television, advocating feelings of patriotism.

P. SELVARANI discovers something significantly more about the man with the deep booming voice

Jamaludin Alias, the voice behind many patriotic songs

“SINGING wasn’t my profession. It was my hobby.”

This was the passionate declaration of the bubbly 70-year-old Jamaludin Alias.

Telecoms Department technician, sports writer, sports commentator, news announcer, radio deejay, founding member of and singer with a keroncong band and “government” singer.

Jamaludin was all this and more: He was the first to sing the Negara Ku.

And this was way back in 1957, more than a month before independence in August.

“Tunku (Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj) wanted a national anthem for Merdeka,” Jamaludin remembers clearly during this interview at his home in Kelana Jaya where he lives with his wife, Kalsom Othman.

“He chose the Perak anthem but changed the lyrics.

“I was then instructed to teach the people to sing the national anthem over radio, under the guidance of (Tan Sri) Dol Ramli with Alphonso Soliano on the piano.

“Every day during that one month before Merdeka, I would slowly sing the song, line by line, for 15 minutes over radio, to help the people learn to sing Negara Ku.”

A recording of the national anthem sung by the Radio Malaya choir — Jamaludin was a member of this choir — continued to fill the airwaves in the years after Merdeka.

As Jamaludin says, there was “no turning back” after that.

He quit his job as a Telecoms Department technician and after a six-month stint at the bilek gerakan (operations room) of the Prime Minister’s Department, he joined Radio Malaya as a part-time announcer, deejay and later as a news announcer and sports commentator.

By this time, Jamaludin, who has a passion for keroncong songs, teamed up with Radio Malaya composer Johar Bahar to form the keroncong band, “Orkes Rindu Malam”, which performed over radio. (The band is still around with a new set of members.)

Jamaludin got into singing young, thanks to his eldest sister, Halimah, a teacher who loved singing.

The 8-year-old Jamaludin, who lived with Halimah in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, would sing along and it wasn’t long before he started participating in school talent time competitions with his school mate, the late Zain Azman.

By the time he was 17, Jamaludin was already a guest artiste over Radio Malaya, singing keroncong songs.

His break came in 1957 when he was roped into Radio Malaya’s Merdeka Choir under the stewardship of the late Tony Fonseka.

The 20-odd member choir was assembled in preparation for the Merdeka celebrations to sing the many patriotic songs penned by, among others, Johar, Jimmy Boyle and (Datuk) Ahmad Merican.

“For that whole month, we practised every day from 9am to noon.

“There was never a prouder moment than when all of us — Malays, Chinese and Indians — stood in our various (ethnic) costumes at the Selangor Club Padang on the eve of Merdeka.

“We sang Malaya Tanah Airku as we watched the Union Jack being lowered and the Malayan flag raised.”

Earlier that evening, Jamaludin had joined the great P. Ramlee and Saloma and other popular artistes to perform at a pre-Merdeka banquet hosted by Tunku at the Residency.

“And on Merdeka evening, we performed at the floating stage of the Lake Gardens for the public.”

The Information Ministry wasted no time in putting Jamaludin’s voice to good use to inspire a sense of patriotism among the citizens of a new nation through songs such as Putera Puteri.

And at the height of the Confrontation with Indonesia, Jamaludin’s voice boomed over the airwaves to fuel the fire of nationalism with songs such as Malaysia Berjaya, Samudera Raya, Gagah Perkasa and the ever-popular Perajurit Tanah Air, accompanied by the Royal Malaysian Police band.

“(Tun) Ghazali Shafie, who was the information minister, had commissioned the late Saiful Bahari to compose the songs.

“I did the recording for these songs from 7pm to 1am at the Film Unit (later called Filem Negara), which was located at the site of the present New Straits Times building in Bangsar.

“It was hard work but I enjoyed it.”

Jamaludin was paid a “princely” sum of RM50 for the effort.

After each recording, the song would be played before Tunku Abdul Rahman and members of his cabinet for approval before it was broadcast.

Perajurit Tanah Air is Jamaludin’s favourite because of its touching lyrics. It is one song many of us identify with, especially the opening line “Inilah barisan kita…”.

And he was soon singing other campaign songs for the government such as Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa (to promote the national language), Keselamatan Jalan Raya (road safety) and Mari Mengundi (for the general election).

His popularity as a singer of patriotic songs earned Jamaludin the nickname penyanyi kerajaan (government singer).

“I did not mind it (being called the government singer) at all.

“I viewed it as my contribution to the country,” says the grandfather of four.

“I am happy that Malaysians still remember these songs and today’s children are still singing them.

“Some of my songs are still played over (Radio) Klasik Nasional.

“I have done my part and I am proud of it.”

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Spa Hanya Untuk Lelaki!

23 Aug

Oleh Syah Rul Aswari Abdullah
srul@hmetro.com.my

SEPULUH tahun dulu, ramai yang memandang sinis jika ada lelaki yang mengaku gemar berkunjung ke spa untuk mendapatkan rawatan. Selain dikaitkan dengan aktiviti kurang sihat, ia dikatakan ‘mengurangkan’ kejantanan seseorang. Ketika itu, tiada spa yang dikhususkan hanya untuk golongan Adam.

Tetapi, itu zaman sebelum kemunculan ikon metroseksual seperti David Beckham. Kini, berkunjung ke spa menjadi aliran terkini terutama untuk golongan eksekutif muda di ibu kota.

Spa Senjakala, umpamanya adalah spa hip menyediakan pelbagai jenis pilihan terapi hanya untuk lelaki.

“Ketika memulakan operasi lima tahun lalu, banyak pihak tidak yakin kami akan bertahan sehingga sekarang. Tetapi, kini kami boleh berbangga dengan pencapaian kami.

“Bukan saja kekal bersaing sebagai pusat spa di tengah ibu kota, kami juga menjadi pencetus kepada pembukaan beberapa pusat spa khusus untuk memenuhi keperluan lelaki di negara ini,” kata Pengurus Operasi Senjakala, Evan Hwang.

Katanya, spa ini kini menerima banyak tempahan daripada warga asing yang mahu mencuba rawatan terapi yang ditawarkan. Buktinya, ia kini bagaikan agenda wajib untuk pelancong lelaki dari Singapura. Ada antaranya hanya sekadar cuba-cuba tetapi kebanyakan mereka kembali semula untuk rawatan yang menyeluruh.

“Dua tahun pertama, kita memfokuskan usaha mempromosikan spa ini. Contohnya, ada warga Singapura yang datang hanya untuk membeli-belah di ibu kota meluangkan masa petang di Senjakala sebelum bertolak pulang,” kata Hwang.

Spa lima tingkat ini memiliki 12 bilik rawatan peribadi dan dilengkapi meja terapi yang selesa. Lima bilik VIP turut disediakan untuk layanan mewah bak putera raja. Bilik jenis ini dilengkapi kamar mandi peribadi, ruang berehat dan peti keselamatan deposit.

Pengunjung tidak saja mampu menikmati urutan tradisi Melayu malah berpeluang menikmati tujuh lagi urutan terapi lain seperti urut santai, urut Thai dan urutan daripada batuan panas yang membantu mengembalikan kelegaan tubuh badan sambil melapangkan fikiran.

Selain urutan tradisional, Senjakala menawarkan perkhidmatan rawatan wajah dan seluruh badan menggunakan produk kecantikan semula jadi yang diimport dari Australia, Switzerland, Amerika Syarikat dan Eropah.

Bagi yang cerewet dengan penampilan diri, Senjakala juga bersedia memberikan khidmat nasihat peribadi bermula daripada hujung rambut hingga ke hujung kaki.

Info:

* Senjakala Spa menawarkan pelbagai rawatan khusus bagi golongan Adam seperti 14 teknik mengurut, rawatan wajah, menyental badan, sauna, jakuzi dan gimnasium.

* Didirikan dalam bangunan lama lima tingkat yang mempunyai 10 bilik rawatan biasa dan lima bilik VIP.

* Setakat ini mempunyai 20 pakar terapi yang menerima sijil latihan daripada Senjakala dan diuji oleh pakar urut dari Australia, Singapura dan Thailand.

* Rawatan terbaru di Senjakala ialah lomi, sejenis urutan dari Hawai menggunakan siku sebagai teknik urutan asasnya. Kadar RM140 untuk urutan selama satu setengah jam.

Lokasi:

Spa Senjakala

No 20, Jalan Pudu Lama,

Bukit Mahkamah, Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2031 8082

Emel: webmaster@senjakala.com

http://www.senjakala.com

Waktu Operasi: 12 tengah hari hingga 12 malam

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