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Marah Di Kaunter

24 Aug

Kring Kring (KK): Hai… boleh tanya betul ke ni Niezam?

NIEZAM: Yup. Sayalah ni. Takkan orang lain kut!

KK: Kadang-kadang kalau saya telefon ada perempuan yang angkat. Sebab tu saya tanya dulu siapa ni?

NIEZAM: Oh ya ke? Wanda kut. Dia selalu juga tolong jawabkan telefon ni. Yalah dia tak sabar nak dengar gosip panas. Siapa yang telefon ni.

KK: Nama saya Siti. Bukan Siti Jarum, bukan juga Siti Nurhaliza tau.

NIEZAM: Tau! Suara Siti Nurhaliza merdu, Siti Jarum garau sikit. Suara you ni lembut ada keras pun ada.

KK: Saya ni kerja di sebuah pusat beli-belah di KL ni. Nak bagi tahu Niezam satu benda yang terjadi di tempat saya.

NIEZAM: Pasal apa?

KK: Pasal suami artis. Perangai dia memang meluat betul kita orang tengok?

NIEZAM: Bini dia artis. Siapa ya?

KK: Ala… dia ni pelakon drama. Cun orangnya. Dah kahwin tapi dia tak pernah mengaku. Tak tahulah apa sebab dia buat macam tu?

NIEZAM: Apa jadi dekat tempat you tu. Dia orang bergaduh ke?

KK: Baru-baru ni dia datang ke kedai kami. Nak beli barang tak sampai RM100 pun barang tu.

NIEZAM: Kenapa?

KK: Masa nak bayar, suami dia bagi kad kredit. Tapi budak di kaunter tu tak boleh nak terima kad tu.

NIEZAM: Kenapa? kad kena reject ke? Tak bayar hutang?

KK: Bukan! Belakang kad tu tak ada tandatangan. Budak tu suruh suami artis tu sign belakang kad dulu tapi dia marah. Dia kata dia tak mahu sign.

NIEZAM: Kenapa? Siapa yang pakai kad kredit memang wajib kena sign belakang kad.

KK: Memanglah. Alasan lelaki tu, dia takut nanti ada orang tiru sign dia. Alah… macam kami nak tiru sangat. Bukan kad tu dia bagi kepada kita orang ni.

NIEZAM: Macam tu ke? Lepas tu apa jadi?

KK: Dia tengking kita orang. Dia siap kata kalau dia tak beli barang di kedai kami, kita orang tak boleh cari makan.

NIEZAM: Tak baik betul la. Ingat dia seorang je ada duit?

KK: Itulah pasal. Tak payah nak menunjuk la. Beli barang pun tak sampai RM100.

NIEZAM: Habis tu macam mana?

KK: Dia bayar pakai duit cash akhirnya.

NIEZAM: Ada pula duit cash?

KK: Ala… nak tunjuk macam dia seorang ada kad. Macamlah kita orang ni tak ada.

NIEZAM: Kau orang ada kad apa?

KK: Kad telefon!

Utusan Malaysia

Siti dedicates latest album to her fans

11 Dec


PETALING JAYA: With 11 successful albums to her name, Datuk Siti Nurhaliza has dedicated her latest one to her fans.

Hadiah Daripada Hati, which means “gift from the heart”, was launched in Kuala Lumpur yesterday with the title specially chosen by the singer.

Evergreen star: Siti Nurhaliza speaking to the audience during her album launch in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
“This album is for my fans who have supported me all this while. It comes straight from the heart, and that’s why I chose to name the album as such,” she said.

The album contains 11 tracks with various genres, and features works of composers like Azlan Abu Hassan, Aubrey Suwito, and Singapore’s Dick Lee.

The songs in the album are Ku Mahu, which is the theme song for drama series Spa-Q; Melawan Kesepian; Mulanya Cinta; Tanpa Kalian; Biarkan; Kerana Dirimu; Hati, which is the theme song of the film 1957: Hati Malaya; Wanita; Cintamu; Sutramaya and Sekian Lama.

“I hope my fans will accept this gift of mine to them,” said Siti Nurhaliza, who will leave for Mecca on Dec 13 to perform the haj pilgrimage with her husband Datuk Seri Mohamed Jiwa and her mother Siti Salmah Bachik.

The album is produced by Siti Nurhaliza Productions (M) Sdn Bhd and distributed by Suria Records Sdn Bhd.

It is on sale at music stores nationwide.

At the album launch, Siti Nurhaliza also launched an interactive SMS service, through which fans can download content such as songs, ringtones, and pictures.

Users need only type SN and send to 33777 to access the service, which is being offered by another of her companies, SN Mobile Digital.

Not just background music

28 Oct

The subliminal music score is another noteworthy aspect of the historical drama 1957 Hati Malaya. Meet the person responsible for it.

1957 Hati Malaya is Sharon Paul’s first local movie project. She has previously worked with film composers in America.
THE current movie 1957 Hati Malaya should be appreciated not just for its historical values but its music that is subtle yet uplifting.

While the visual effects (shooting techniques, period costumes, and not to mention the odd pretty actress!) naturally draw the most attention, connoisseurs of soundtracks are certain to sit up and take note of the film’s impressive score.

Although the musical highlights appear to be Datuk Siti Nurhaliza’s stirring rendition of Hati, and Perlu Kamu, which is sung by Indonesian Kris Dayanti and Ajai, who also co-wrote the song, the orchestral score does warrant equal attention.

Just who is behind the music that’s so crucial to the first ever movie – helmed by the renowned director Shuhaimi Baba – that recounts the struggles that led to Malaysia’s independence 50 years ago?

The person is Sharon Paul and chances are, you may not have heard of her. My recent interview with the soundtrack composer is the first she’s ever granted.

Naturally, I start off with the insensitive comment that most orchestral soundtracks sound quite similar!

“I feel I do stand out,” states the graduate of the famed Berkelee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, who has also spent two years in Los Angeles working for film composers Daniel Licht (who did the score for Hellraiser IV) and Stephen Klong. “No one here does orchestral scoring quite like I do, because I write very complete parts for the orchestra.”

Despite her confidence, Paul did experience frustrations while working on the soundtrack of Hati Malaya, her first local feature-length project. “Don’t get me wrong. I would have liked to have more freedom to choose exactly what music I felt suited the movie and how my score blended with the footage and dialogue. But any artistic collaboration, especially one of this scale, means that everyone has to sacrifice a little of their original vision,” Paul explains.

So what was her original musical vision for the movie?

“My intention was to have a lot of traditional ethnic music, but Shuhaimi was very clear that she did not want the soundtrack to come across as too ethnic. She wanted a sweeping orchestral score, not something too folky and traditional. Still, we did take Western elements and offset them with Chinese and Malay sounds,” she reveals.

Paul also utilised a trick common in classical music by employing one melodic theme for (Umno founder) Datuk Onn Jaafar and another for (first Prime Minister) Tunku Abdul Rahman. “Actually towards the end of the creative process I was influenced by the Gladiator soundtrack.

“It’s a movie about struggle and sacrifice and I wanted the music to reflect that. In the end I would have to say that I’m happy on a purely musical level, but I would also have liked to mix the music more prominently.”

Indeed, one can see that there are a number of stages during which Paul would have had to compromise. For example, only 25% of the music one hears on the soundtrack is played by live musicians.

“The two violinists are Joanne Yeoh and Yap Yen and I also used a lot of samples from the online libraries East West and the Moto Symphonic.

Nothing captures an emotional scene better than music, such as this in 1957 Hati Malaya where the crowd at an Umno meeting donates money to fund Tunku’s pro-independence talks in London.
“String arrangements are my forte and Shuhaimi loves the sound of solo violins to emphasise the rousing of emotions. There are some critical scenes like the one where the crowd at an Umno meeting collects money for Tunku to go to London and at this point the emotion is best expressed by the music.”

Paul didn’t just write the orchestral score, however. She also composed the music for Siti’s Hati, with lyrics by Shuhaimi.

“I am very happy with Siti’s performance. No one else could have sung this song for this movie and given it a similar impact,” she enthuses.

I couldn’t help but notice that when the movie first switches out of the 1950s into current time, there is a piece of music that sounds as if it is inspired by Indonesian rock bands.

Paul laughs. “Yes, actually that’s a snippet from another song of mine and I did write it in the style of the Ratu, the Indonesian girl rockers. I really like the piece of music, but I haven’t finished it. I need to find a vocalist, in fact!”

For such a talented composer, Paul is rather low-key. Of mixed Indian, Chinese and Portuguese parentage, she is a former student of Ampang Road Girls’ School and Ocean Institute of Engineering, in Kuala Lumpur. The still-single 30-year-old describes her hobbies as “travelling, watching movies (sometimes just to listen to the effect the soundtrack has), going out with friends and occasionally scuba diving.”

Her eventual emergence as a soundtrack composer can be viewed as a fulfilment of her late father’s dream.

“My father was a tax inspector, but he had always wanted to learn music as a child and was too poor. When he got the chance to support my dream, he was only too glad to help,” says the KL-born lass, the elder of two siblings.

Her first inspiration was perhaps an unlikely source. “I was really inspired by (the Malaysian musician) Jenny Chin. She may not be known so well to the general public, but I remember watching her do work as a keyboardist and arranger for Sheila Majid and Zainal Abidin and thinking, ‘I want to be her.’ As I focused more on international movie soundtracks, I realised that my heroes are established soundtrack legends like John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith. I also like the work of Tim Burton’s preferred composer Danny Elfman.”

It was by chance that she ended up working on Hati Malaya. “Shuhaimi saw me on the Bob Azrai TV show, Oh Mu La La, during which he interviewed upcoming composers. She then called me up and after hearing that strings were my strength, asked for a sample of my work. When she heard it, she got me on board for the movie.”

Admitting that it isn’t always easy both artistically and financially to work as a soundtrack composer, Paul has no intentions of curtailing her ambitions, and is intent on making it not just inside Malaysia, but internationally.

“We are hoping to have the soundtrack released in the next few weeks. Sometimes I get scared that people might not be ready to accept it. But I believe that it’s only a matter of time before there is an audience for this sort of music. I intend this to be just the beginning of my career.”

‘1957 Hati Malaya’ is currently showing in cinemas nationwide.

Milla is Era champion

9 Sep

By : Dennis Chua

GENTING HIGHLANDS: Nor Syarmilla Jirin aka Milla emerged as the big winner of Anugerah Era 2007 at the Arena of Stars here last night.

The Akademi Fantasia 5 winner got the Favourite Promising Artiste and Favourite Pop Song (Persis Mutiara) titles.

Jamal Abdillah and Mawi won the favourite vocal performance award for their duet Terharu.

Spider won in the Favourite Band category. Mawi won for Favourite Nasyid Song (Al-Jannah) and Favourite Music Video (Langit Biru), Faizal Tahir won for Favourite Rock Song (Maha Kaya Cinta).

Datuk Siti Nurhaliza continued to dominate in the women’s category by winning Favourite Female Vocalist.

Jaclyn Victor and Point Blanc won Favourite Local English Artiste.

Pop group Alleycats were honoured with the Anugerah Seni for their contributions to the entertainment industry.

The Kaki Wayang Era Favourite Film Award was won by Jangan Pandang Belakang.

Era Chart Award went to Kenangan Terindah by Indonesian group Samsons.

Organised by radio station Era FM, the annual awards, which debuted in 2001, also saw performances by popular singers such as Dayang Nurfaizah, Hattan, Anuar Zain, Misha Omar, Ella, Jinbara, Vince Chong and Idayu Yaakob.

The hosts included Kieran, AC Mizal, Yasmin Hani, Jimmy Shanley, Nana Che Mahazan and Aznil Nawawi.

The prizes were presented by actors Datuk Rahim Razali, Fatimah Abu Bakar and Afdlin Shauki and singer Siti among others.

The two-and-a-half-hour show was carried live over Astro’s Ria channel with simultaneous broadcasts over Era FM (103.3FM).

A total of 65 candidates vied for the awards. The awards’ theme was Trends And Traditions. Below are the results:

Favourite Promising Artiste: Milla.

Favourite Female Vocalist: Datuk Siti Nurhaliza.

Favourite Male Vocalist: M. Nasir.

Favourite Vocal Performance (Group or Duo): Jamal Abdillah and Mawi.

Favourite Band: Spider

Favourite Nasyid Song: Al Jannah by Mawi.

Favourite Local English Artiste: Jaclyn Victor and Point Blanc.

Favourite Rock Song: Maha Kaya Cinta by Faizal Tahir.

Favourite Pop Song: Persis Mutiara by Milla.

Favourite Global Song: Nafas Cinta by Misha Omar.

Favourite Music Video: Langit Biru by Mawi.

Favourite Film: Jangan Pandang Belakang.

Hotlink Ringtone Award: Farhana by Jinbara.

Handsome settlement for Datuk K's ex-wife

12 Aug


KUALA LUMPUR: Business-woman Tengku Zawyah Teng-ku Izham has succeeded in her bid to get her ex-husband Datuk Khalid Mohammad Jiwa to give her two luxury homes in Kota Damansara.

She had filed the claim for matrimonial property (harta sepencarian) at the Syariah High Court here last month.

The two had been married for 20 years before he divorced her in 2004.

Syariah Chief Judge Hussin Ahamad endorsed the properties for Tengku Zawyah, 44, when he met the divorced couple and their lawyers in his chambers yesterday.

The houses – two semi-detached units of two-and-a-half storeys – were bought for a total of RM1.8mil during their marriage.

The judge ordered Khalid, 47, to settle the remaining loans on both houses within five years.

Hussin also ordered Khalid, who is popularly known as Datuk K, to also allocate funds to his ex-wife for her annual vacation, monthly alimony, insurance, medical bills and maintenance costs as well as household needs.

Both parties also agreed before Hussin that their matrimonial home at Bukit Antarabangsa here be given to one of their four sons.

The court also ruled that Tengku Zawyah has the right to stay at the four-storey bungalow.

On Khalid’s part, he will get two pieces of land at Taman Kelab Ukay, a unit at the Corinthiam condominium in Jalan Binjai, another unit at the Bistari condominium, off Jalan Putra, and an office premise at Mid Valley here.

The two were married in Sungai Petani on Dec 24, 1985, and have four children – Muhd Anas Zawawi, 19, Muhammad Adib, 16, Muhammad Asyraf, 14, and Muhammad Aazief, eight.

He divorced her on Feb 1, 2004, through takliq (divorce by stipulation) at their Bukit Antarabangsa home.

The Syariah lower court here affirmed their divorce on April 13 last year.

Khalid will marry pop princess Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin, 27, on Aug 21.

Lawyer Zulkifli Che Yong, acting for Tengku Zawyah, said Khalid could choose any of his sons to own the house in Bukit Antarabangsa upon him reaching maturity age.

“Datuk K also has to settle the remaining loan for that house before transferring ownership to the son,” he said.

“My client got all the assets that she wished to get,” Zulkifli said.

On mutaah (compensation/ gift for a wife to start a new life after a divorce), he said both had a private discussion over the amount, which she agreed to. It is learnt that the gift was estimated to be worth more than RM1mil.

Another of Tengku Zawyah’s lawyers Azmi Md Rais said both parties would have 14 days to comply with the court order once it was sealed.

Khalid’s lawyer Datuk Muha-mad Burok said his client has promised not to stop taking care of the welfare of his ex-wife and children.

“They talked to each other like good friends. They are sincere in wanting to solve their problems and, therefore, could reach a mutual settlement. It is a win-win situation,” he added.

Speaking to reporters later, Tengku Zawyah, who was accompanied by two of her teenage sons and eight bodyguards, said the matter had been settled amicably.

When one of the boys behaved rudely to press photographers, she stopped him, saying: “They are just doing their job. I am not upset.”

Asked about the case, Khalid smiled and cheerfully said: “Everything is settled. There is nothing more to talk about.”

Asked if he was looking forward to his wedding with Siti Nurhaliza now that court case was over, he said: “All that happened are God’s blessings. We just pray for much better days ahead.”

Siti joins 'Hall' of fame

2 Apr

Siti joins ‘Hall’ of fame
LONDON, Apr 2:

Pop princess Siti Nurhaliza Taruddin has thrust her career in the international music scene by performing at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall here.
Restored in 1871, the incredibly versatile hall hosts over 330 events yearly.

With a capacity to seat 5,000, the hall is famed for staging the BBC Promenade Concerts from mid-July to mid-September.

It offers daily 45-minute tours to take in sights such as the Queen’s Box and Royal Retiring Room used by the royals during intermissions.

So far this year, the international circus troupe Cirque de Soleil and the opera, Carmen, have performed at the Hall.

Last month, there were one-off shows by British opera singer Russell Watson and Finn Brothers from Crowded House.

This week’s concert line-up are Scottish art rock band, Franz Ferdinand, rock trio Keane and UB40 with Eric Clapton. Tickets for all these performers have sold out.

The Royal Albert Hall is known for featuring only top international performers.

At Press time, Siti Nurhaliza was busy rehearsing her songs and running sound checks in the Hall. Her strong team of musicians include concert musical director and producer, Roslan Aziz, assisted by Pak Ngah Suhaimi, Indonesian Erwin Gutawa as orchestral director, 34 members of the London Symphony Orchestra in the strings section, eight Malaysian musicians for the pop segment and 16 traditional dancers from Yayasan Warisan Johor.

‘Buzz’ in the Siti of London

1 Apr

‘Buzz’ in the Siti of London
HALIZA HASHIM-DOYLE in the British capital

LONDON, Apr 1:

“You must queue up, then everyone will get the chance to take a photograph with Siti and get her autograph.”

Emcee Mahadzir Lokman’s voice was almost drowned out by the 400 students trying to greet Siti Nurhaliza at the Malaysian Student Department (MSD) in Queensborough Terrace here.

Siti fever is definitely gripping London. The word, or rather SMS and e-mail, spread within hours of the announcement about the sale of half-price concert tickets and Siti making an appearance at the MSD on Wednesday evening.

That was the last chance for fans in London to meet Siti before her Royal Albert Hall concert later today.

Architect Yusof Zainal, who was in London for work, couldn’t resist the offer.

“£35 (RM252) for a seat in the Arena area is a bargain. The view should be good too,” he said.

Accountancy student Nairah Hisham, who bought a full price ticket two months ago said whatever amount she paid will be worth it.

“I have always liked Siti Nurhaliza but I have never been to her concert. Now, when I have the chance, it is in the grand Albert Hall,” she said.

Almost 100 tickets at £30, £35 and £40 were sold at the MSD that evening.

About 100 tickets were sold during the two-day promotional event at Oriental City shopping centre in Colindale last weekend.

So far, 70 per cent of the 3,400 tickets have been sold.

MSD director Dr Syed Raisudin Syed Abdullah congratulated Siti and her team for making it to London and said Malaysians in Britain were proud of her.

The crowd cheered for Siti as the singer smiled coyly and invited the students to her concert, to support her and to raise the spirit for everyone.

“You must have been doing well to be here, to study at the university here. My contribution is to bring Malaysia’s music and image here,” she said.

Siti even treated the crowd to a song, Seindah Biasa, from her latest album and had them screaming for more. For over an hour Siti signed posters, tickets and had photos taken with her fans, comprising mostly of Malaysian students, workers and children.

Twenty winners of a contest in Malaysia, who were rewarded a trip to London for the concert, were also at MSD. What is it about Siti that made the fans adore her so much?

“Her voice, her looks and her mannerism. Everything about her is beautiful, she is practically perfect,” said teacher Nor Sinaran Cahaya Dolkefflee from Kuala Lumpur.

“To be here, to see her and to go to her concert in London is a dream come true,” said avid fan Noraziah Abdul Aziz, who was so overwhelmed that she cried when she saw Siti Nurhaliza that evening.

Another fan, Nur Quratuanini Sima Mohd Sofian from Kuala Lipis, Pahang, said she even climbed on stage during one of Siti’s concerts in Malaysia.

“I love everything about Siti. I can’t stand people saying bad things about her,” said Nur who sent 200 SMSes for the competition.

An information officer at the Malaysia High Commission, Revi Pilla,i said he still remembers going to the Royal Albert Hall in 1989 when the late Sudirman Haji Arshad performed at the Salem Music Awards.

“I went to see Sudir with other Malaysian friends. It was such a great atmosphere.

“We were so proud. This week we are going to see this amazing young lady performing at the same hall. It will just be wonderful,” he said.

Siti's C-Tea to hit market nationwide.

3 Jun


MALAYSIA’S premier pop princess Siti Nurhaliza will test her popularity in the consumer line by venturing into a new product that is made in Sabah.

The 25-year-old singer will have her identity stamped on C-Tea, a new tea product, which is expected to officially hit the market nationwide sometime this month.

This was revealed in a sneak preview on two C-Tea flavours, Pandan and Geranium, during the two-day State Level Pesta Kaamatan, or Harvest Festival, at the Hongkod Koisaan Building in Penampang, near Kota Kinabalu.

Citi Pro Resources’ (a company owned by Siti) special assistant Patricia Cynthia Kitingan, when met during the sneak preview, said C-Tea would be distributed to the retail market once it is launched.

‘The sneak preview is the first throughout the country and it has been positive,’ she said, adding that ‘there have been many inquiries on the product by both the public and distributors’.

C-Tea comes in tea bags and powder form. The tea is produced in Nalapak, Ranau.