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Siti's father passed away

15 Feb

Hafidah Samat


Taruddin Ismail, the father of singing sensation Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, died of heart complications at the Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital yesterday. He was 67.

The retired policeman died at 10.45pm, three days after being admitted following his collapse at his house in Kuala Lipis, Pahang.

Siti’s sister-in-law and manager Rozi Abd Razak said Taruddin had complained of chest pains before collapsing.

She said he underwent a bypass on Friday and was in a coma since the operation.

Catch: Russell Just Gets Better

5 Dec

CLASSICAL singer Russell Watson has a new zest for life, having battled brain tumour twice (in 2006 and 2007) and survived.

The 42-year-old from Manchester, England is delighted to be performing in Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with Starhill Gallery’s “A Journey Through Time 2008” (a 11-day exhibition of luxury watches and jewellery showcase).

He performs at Feast Village until tomorrow, showtime is from 10pm onwards.

Watson, whose meteoric rise to international singing stardom was due to his profound rendition of Nessun Dorma in 1999, promises a fresh and entertaining show this time around.

It also marks his first concert out of the United Kingdom in the last three years, having had to put his international career on hold because of his ill health.
In 2005, Watson delighted Malaysian audiences with his powerful rendition of popular cover songs and classic numbers at YTL 50th Anniversary Concert of Celebration, held on a custom-built three-level stage in Sentul Park, Kuala Lumpur in front of 6,000 people.

“It’s great to be back in Kuala Lumpur. I haven’t been able to perform anywhere else with me getting better and then falling sick again. So, yes, I am excited to return and entertain my fans here,” he said in an interview here early this week, adding that there are plans for a tour next year which will cover the United States and Asia.

Following a successful recovery from tumour, Watson performed a sell-out 17-day British tour this year.

He was also head judge on BBC’s hit show Last Choir Standing, where he helped select England’s favourite choir.

He released his ninth album entitled People Get Ready two weeks ago. The album, which is a collection of his favourite soul songs, has gone gold, with 108,000 copies sold to date.

“This album reflects a period of my life where everything seemed carefree. This is the material that goes back to my childhood. I grew up listening to this kind of music,” he said.

Watson will be back in Kuala Lumpur for the release of this album, early next year.

His earlier albums have all gone gold, platinum or double platinum. He has four Classic BRIT Awards and is recognised worldwide as UK’s biggest-selling classical artiste of the 21st century.

He has broken a succession of records, being the first British male to simultaneously occupy a No. 1 spot in the UK and American classical charts, as well as being the first artiste to have an album at the top spot in the UK classical charts for an entire year.

Describing his second battle with brain tumour, Watson who is known to his fans as “The People’s Tenor”, said that just when he thought he was recovering from the first one, he started getting headaches again and fell sick.

“The pain was worse the second time around as the tumour was haemorrhaging. I was rushed to the hospital and I was in the critical unit for days. I was very ill, my hair fell out and my face swelled up because of steroids.

“It was touch-and-go. Thankfully, I made it,” he said, adding that, only for the last eight months that he is feeling like himself again.

But, Watson, who has performed before presidents, prime ministers, the late Pope John Paul II and royalty, said that he could never feel completely recovered because he still has to take a daily concoction of medication.

Nevertheless, having gone through that period of uncertainty, he now embraces life like never before.

“I believe you can only truly understand life and have full appreciation of it if you have been on the brink of death. Now I value life more and have a complete regard for my friends and family. My life has changed for the better.

“I feel blessed. I don’t feel lucky at what I’ve been through but I feel fortunate to have gone through it. People say I’m heroic and brave, but I don’t see myself as such because this wasn’t something that I chose to have.”

Watson never stops thinking about his mortality. He is more spiritual, and that translates into better performances.

“I have a better understanding of life and what I do for a living… it has more meaning to it now. I have a real appreciation of what I do now, rather than what I used to do – sing a couple of songs, get the money and leave,” he said.

At “A Journey Through Time 2008”, Watson joins international and local award-winning music virtuosos such as renowned flutist Andrea Griminelli, multiple-award singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza and R&B songstress Ning Baizura.

The event is the second collaboration between Starhill Gallery and Tourism Malaysia, following last year’s successful venture in hosting Asia’s largest luxury watch and jewellery showcase.

Backed by symphony orchestra Starhill Gallery Symphonietta, Watson sings 10 songs, a repertoire of classical music with a little bit of swing.

On whether he will be singing Nessun Dorma, one of the best known tenor arias in opera, Watson said: “I never get away with not doing it. Everywhere I go, audiences will be screaming for me to include it. The song follows me everywhere.”

Watson, an avid fan of Frank Sinatra, will also perform songs by the late crooner such as Strangers in the Night in his hour-long repertoire.

“I may make a few changes to my repertoire. But not too many because it’s a lot of stuff for a man who has had two brain surgeries to remember, you know,” he joked.

῕ Catch performance by Ning Baizura on Dec 8 and 9, Siti Nurhaliza on Dec 10 and Andrea Griminelli from Dec 11-14.

New Straits Times

Brazilian Movie About A Woman's Liberation Wins Top KL Film Award

30 Nov

Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and his wife Datin Seri Shuryani Shuaib presenting a souvenir to Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Brazil’s A Casa de Alice (Alice’s House) won the hearts of the judges and emerged the biggest winner when it was chosen as best film at the 2nd Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival 2008 (KLIFF 2008) last night.

Directed by Chico Teixeira, this feature film, which revolves around a woman named Alice who longs for liberation from the monotony of her life, beat 22 feature films in the final selection, winning a trophy, a certificate of appreciation and RM20,000.

Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal presented the award.

It also bagged two other awards: Best South American and Best Actress (Carla Ribas), which came with cash prizes of RM5,000 and RM3,000, respectively.

The Best Director trophy went to a group of directors who call themselves Yes! That’s Us for their film, Divizionz.
It tells of four friends who experience obstacles that test their friendship and mission.

This South Africa/Uganda film also bagged two awards for Best African Continent and Best Music Score.

Best Asian Continent went to Jordan’s feature film Captain Abu Raed.

The movie, which tells a story of friendship, inspiration and heroism in Jordan also saw its leading actor Nadim Sawalha bagging the Best Actor award, beating local actor Eman Manan of Wayang.

Meanwhile, French production Darling was presented with the Best European Continent and Best Editing awards.

Other winners included Canada’s Fugitive Pieces, which emerged winner for Best North American award, while the Best Cinematography award went to Taiwan’s feature film Hai Jiao Qi Hao (Cape No. 7).

Egypt’s Hassan we Morcos (Hassan and Morcos) bagged Best Screenplay while Best Sound went to Iran’s Hamoon Va Darya (Hamoon and Darya).

Malaysia’s lone win came from Hatta Azad Khan’s feature film, Wayang, which tells of a respectable and wily master puppeteer who faces hurdles in passing down the age-old tradition.

It received the Special Jury award, winning a trophy, a certificate and RM3,000.

With the theme “Celebrating Cultural Diversity”, KLIFF 2008 was organised by the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) and Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The festival, which ended yesterday, was hosted by Sarimah Ibrahim.

It saw participation by filmmakers from around the globe, ranging from independent production houses to major US-based companies, competing for awards in 15 categories.

The star-studded event was held at Merdeka Hall, Putra World Trade Centre and was broadcast live on Astro Kirana.

Performances included Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, Ning Baizura and Dafi of Akademi Fantasia 6 fame.

Indonesian Melly Goeslaw performed a duet with Yusry KRU.

Present at the event were Finas director Mohd Mahyidin Mustakim, KLIFF chairman Datuk Abdul Rauf Yusoh and KLIFF director Wafa Abdul Kadir.

New Straits Times

RM15m Fund For Inspirational Films

27 Nov

Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (second from right) admiring the award that Malaysia director Saw Tion Guan (left) won for the Best Short Film category for ‘G16G17’ yesterday. Leng Tzu Jien (second from left) and Bjorn Jensen (right) took the awards on behalf of the winners of the Best Animated Film titled ‘Memory Loss’ and the Best Documentary, ‘Under the Ice’.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has approved the setting up of a RM15 million fund to make films of national interests.

Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal announced this at the launch of the three-day Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival at the National Handicraft Complex in Jalan Conlay here yesterday.

Shafie said the fund would support the making of films with historical, cultural and heritage themes.

“This will contribute to national unity and celebrate the stories of human courage and endeavour.”

Meanwhile, Wayang, a touching and inspiring story of a wayang kulit exponent who mentors a blind orphan in the fast-disappearing art form, is Malaysia’s representative at the festival.
The film, directed by Dr Hatta Azad Khan of sitcom Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu fame, and which stars Eman Manan and Zul Huzaimy Marzuki, is one of 22 films from 15 countries competing in the festival held at the Putra World Trade Centre here on Saturday.

The other films include The Last Lullaby (United States), A Casa De Alice (Brazil), Hamoon Va Darya (Iran) and Fugitive Pieces (Canada). Sixteen awards are up for grabs in the festival.

Besides the RM20,000 top award for Best Film, there are also the Best Asian, North American, South American, African and European Film categories, each worth RM5,000.

The Best Director, Actor, Actress, Cinematography, Sound System, Screenplay and Musical Score categories are worth RM3,000 each.

The festival’s director, Wafa Abdul Kadir, said it was the first time it was rewarding all categories with cash prizes.

Previously, only the top prize carried a cash reward.

“It is our incentive to filmmakers, locally and internationally, to produce quality films with universal appeal.”

Wafa said the organising committee received 191 entries from Malaysian filmmakers. The festival’s theme is Celebrating Cultural Diversity.

The winners of the Best Documentary, Best Animated Film and Best Short Film were announced in the festival launch. They were Under the Ice, Memory Loss, and G16G17, from Canada, Taiwan and Malaysia, respectively.

The main awards ceremony will see performances by Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Taruddin, Yusry Abdul Halim, Ning Baizura, Suki Low, Zahid Baharuddin and Dafi Ismail Sabri, as well as India’s Mallika Sherawat and Indonesia’s Melly Goeslow.

New Straits Times

Using Datuk K's Name Lands Man In Jail

22 Nov

KUALA LUMPUR: An entertainment business manager who used the name of prominent businessman Datuk Khalid Mohd Jiwa to cheat another businessman into parting with RM19,000 and a cheque for RM15,000 was sentenced to two years’ jail and ordered to be whipped once by the magistrate’s court here yesterday.

Magistrate Aizatul Akmal Maharani ordered Wan Hazrul Anuar Wan Hussien, 24, from Kota Baru, Kelantan, to serve the jail sentence from the date of his arrest on March 9, last year.

The accused pleaded guilty to cheating Mahmood Kamsani Mustapha, 56, at the KMK Restaurant, D’Sentral, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, at 1.20pm on Feb 6, last year.

Wan Hazrul Anuar had told Mahmood Kamsani that he wanted to sell four Suzuki Swift cars said to belong to Khalid, the husband of popular singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin and who is better known as Datuk K, causing Mahmood Kamsani to pay him RM19,000 and a cheque for RM15,000 in the name of Naluri Properties Sdn Bhd as deposit when he knew the cars did not exist. — Bernama

New Straits Times

Weekend Watch: Cities Honoured With Heritage Status

20 Nov

Jaclyn Victor will perform in Konsert Jom Heboh (TV3, Sunday, 9pm)

TOMORROW, there will be a “live” telecast over RTM1 from Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur at 8.30pm of the official commemoration of Malacca and George Town as Unesco World Heritage sites.

Wan Norazlin.

The Badminton Super Series: China Open 2008 airs “live” over RTM1 this weekend. Catch the semi-finals tomorrow at 2pm and the finals on Sunday at 2pm.

The popular Konsert Jom Heboh is shown over TV3 this Sunday at 9pm). “Live” from Penang’s Stadium Batu Kawan, the artistes performing include Krystal, Jaclyn Victor, Stacy (AF), Jeffridin, Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, Awie and Fazly Zainal.

New series Sonnria Pasta debuts over 8TV tomorrow at 4pm. It is about a girl whose short-lived relationships with men changes after an encounter with a celebrity.

This week’s instalment of Music On 8 (8TV, tomorrow, 10.30am) features all-girl group The Pussycat Dolls.

Midnight Movie (RTM1, 11.30pm) – Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Helen and Charles McCarter seem to have everything: a fine home, beautiful clothes and success. In public, they seem the perfect match. But behind the scenes, it is another matter… Starring Kimberly Elise and Shemar Moore.

Panggung Sabtu (TV3, 2pm)

– Ankahee

A couple marry and have a daughter and live happily – for a while. But the appearance of a young beauty changes everything. Starring Esha Deol, Aftab Shivdasani and Amisha Patel.

Saturday Nite Special On 2 (RTM2, 9.30pm) – Predator 2

The monstrous alien is at it again. He leaves a trail of corpses in Los Angeles and the only man who can stop him is Lieutenant Mike Harrigan of the LAPD. Starring Danny Glover, Gary Busey and Bill Paxton.


Cerekarama (TV3, 10pm) – I’Tikaf

A man finally remarries after his wife died 14 years ago. However, his eldest son disagrees with the plan and makes life difficult for the man. Starring Khairil Anwar, Remy Ishak, Jalaluddin Hassan and Wan Norazlin.


Hong Movie Saturday (ntv7, midnight) – Set To Kill

Bodyguard Nick is assigned to protect Connie, an assassination target. Meanwhile, there’s an embezzlement-related scam going on at Connie’s company. Starring Ning Jing, Raymond Wong and Isabel Chan.

TV3 Cinema (TV3, 12.30am)

– Rocky VI

In the fourth instalment of this popular film franchise about an underdog boxer, Rocky is brought out of retirement to challenge an almost invincible one-man killing machine from the Soviet Union.

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers and Dolph Lundgren.

Golden Premier (RTM2, 10pm) – Love Me, Love My Money

Richard, a wealthy and newly-divorced businessman who loses his fortune in a bizarre accident, plays up his “wealthy” status upon meeting a beautiful women named Ah. Starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Shu Qi.

New Straits Times

'suara Salehah' Shines At Skrin Awards

8 Nov

(From left) Murali Abdullah (best drama director), Su Lin Pillai (best film), Mamat Khalid (best film director), Yasmin Ahmad (special jury award) and Ziela Jalil (best drama) with their trophies last night.

KUALA LUMPUR: Suara Salehah won several top prizes at the Anugerah Skrin 2008 yesterday.

These included best drama, best drama actress (Fauziah Ahmad Daud) and best drama director (Murali Abdullah). Best drama actor went to Zamarul Hisham of Ihsan.

Best supporting drama actor and actress were Que Hai-dar and Normah Damanhuri.

Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang continued its winning streak with awards for best film director (Mamat Khalid), best film actor (Rosham Nur) and best film.

Newcomer Baizura Kahar won best film actress for her work in Sepi .
Bicara Aur Dengan Tebing won best serial drama and best comedy drama went to Mr Mama.

Also honoured yesterday was Yasmin Ahmad, who was presented with a special jury award.

Noryn Aziz, Adibah Noor, Jaclyn Victor, Faizal Tahir and Datuk Siti Nurhaliza provided the evening’s entertainment.

The ceremony, hosted by Adlin Aman Ramlie and Nurul Syuhada Nurul Ain Mohd Zin, was held at the Putra World Trade Centre and broadcast live over TV3.

New Straits Times