lundi, février 21, 2011

Sudirman Haji Arshad

Today, driving to work, sharply dressed in my black turtleneck, black suit and black high-heeled shoes, I was in a cheerful mood. By the time I got to the office, I was sobbing like a school-girl. I turned around timidly and saw one or two drivers sobbing away too!

The radio was having a tribute to Allahyarham Datuk Sudirman Haji Arshad.

This man is no ordinary singer and to Malaysians, he represented patriotism at the most sublime level. My earlier tribute to the No 1 Asia (Royal Albert Hall 1989) can be found here.

To be continued.


Sudirman reached out to all Malaysians, the young , the old, the winners, the down-trodden. Everybody from all walks of life. He wore the Malaysian flag with style. His songs portray the life of the ordinary man like no other. His love songs made you nostalgic. His songs like 'Ayah dan Ibu' to honour fathers and mothers brought tears to your eyes. In fact it was this song, sung in the traditional malay rhythm, that started the floodgates for me this morning.

Ayah Dan Ibu
Ayah dan ibu
Itulah permulaan kami
Dapatlah melihat bulan dan Matahari
Ahai...Yang dikurniakan dari Ilahi
Ahai...Ayah dan ibu lah Mesti dihormati

Ayah dan ibu
Wali dan juga keramat
Pada mereka kita beri hormat
Ahai...Bagilah tunjuk ajar danNasihat
Supaya hidup
Supaya hidup kita akan selamat

Father and Mother
This is where it all begins
From the very first moment
We get to see the moon
And the sun

Ahai... God's beloved gift
Ahai... Whom we must always cherish

Father and Mother
Must be respected
Them being the all
Giving us guidance and
Advice so that we will be
Forever safe

During Hari Raya Aidil Fitri we listen to Balik Kampung which is synonymus with the exodus back to the villages during Eid and Independence Day celebrations starts with Sudirman's Tanggal 31.

He was always effortless in his approach to reach out to all races in Malaysia. A true Malaysian spirit. Here he sings a Hindi song with a fan.

A lawyer by training, Sudirman first enthralled us with this rendition of Send In The Clowns. God, he blew us away at that Bintang RTM competition. I was 11 years old.

My favorite song is entitled Hujan (Rain). As a poet, the lyrics are dazzling.

hujan yang turun
bagaikan mutiara
berkilau bersinar berkerdipan

The rain falls
Like pearls
Dazzling, shining, twinkling

subur menghijau
bumi terbentang
dan bayu berpuput lembut

The green flourishes
Across the earth
A gentle breeze in the air

cinta yang bersemi
di waktu hujan turun
menyirami ketandusan hati

A love that flowers
In the falling rain
Cradles the deserted heart

Hujan yang turun
Engkau pergi

The rain falls
As you leave
In its cascade

selembut hujan bercurahan

begitulah cinta ini

As gentle as the rain
Is this love of mine

semesra bumi yang disirami
begitulah hati ini

As caring as mother earth
Is this heart of mine

hujan yang turun
bersama airmata
bersama pedih bersama rindu

The rain that falls
Hide my tears
The hurt that is missing you

kau datang dan kau pergi jua
rindu lagi

You came and now you are gone
And I am left missing you

In Gerimis Di Lautan, again, the lyrics just tug at the heart strings and the rhythm of the song evokes all that was Malaya at best.

Gerimis di lautan
Mendayung sampan ke kuala
Pada rang bulan pungguk merayu

The rain falls gently at sea
While the boat comes in
And the owl sings to the moon

Menangis kesiangan
Menanggung rindu pada si dia
Apakan daya orang tak mahu

While I cry until morn
Missing the one I love
Who has no eyes for me

Apalah guna ke bendang
Padi seberang takkan menjadi
Apalah kasihnya orang
Kasihnya orang orang tak sudi

Why should I work the paddy field
When there will be no harvest
Why should I continue to feel
This way when she returns not my love

Gerimis di lautan
Ku ubati lukaku sendiri
Namun parutnya terpandang jua

The rain falls gently out at sea
I will heal my own wound
But the scar remains

Oh biarlah ku sendiri
Oh tinggallah ku kan pergi
Oh biarlah Oh tinggallah

Let me be
I will leave

One of the most famous duets of the 80s featured Sudirman and NoorKumalasari.

Now, when I hear this next song of his, tears automatically threaten to fall. Salam Terakhir, Final Farewell, was sung by Sudirman in his controlled tender voice with emotions brimming to the surface. This song gave rise to all speculations until his untimely passing on 22nd February 1992.

Sampaikan salam buat semua
Salam terakhir salam teristimewa
Kepada kau yang tersayang
Pada teman yang ku kenang
Pemergian ku ini tak dirancang

Usah bertanya mengapa aku
Mengucap salam terakhir kepada mu
Kerna waktu berputaran
Bimbang tak berkesempatan
Melahirkan kerinduan terhadapmu

Do not ask me
Why I need to say goodbye
Time will move on
I fear I would miss the chance
To tell you just how much I will miss you

( korus 1 )

Demi sebuah kenyataan
Yang amat menyakitkan
Aku yang tidak berdaya
Hanya berserah padaNya

( korus 2 )

Salam akhir
Salam yang teristimewa
BersamaNya ku memohon keampunan
MelaluiNya ku beri kemaafanKepadamu

Andainya aku punya waktu
Masih ku ingin mengulangi semula
Saat indah bersama mu
Sayang tak berkesempatan

Abadikan saja salam ku di ingatan
Salam ku yang terakhir

Remember me always in your memories
My final farewell

As I was leaving the office, there was a lively discussion about how this Malaysian icon affected our lives. Ann, Khalil, See Toh, Raymonde, Jay Jay and Thana all were sharing their favourite songs. And Thana reminded me of this lovely duet between Sudirman and Asian diva Anita Sarawak - Bercanda di Pasiran Pantai. Oh, what a song.

vendredi, février 04, 2011

It begins and ends(?) in Egypt - Revolution Succeeds

New Dawn in EgyptEgyptians woke to a new dawn on Saturday after 30 years of autocratic rule under Hosni Mubarak, full of hope after achieving almost unthinkable change, with the army in charge and an uncertain future ahead.

As the muezzin's call to prayer reverberated across Cairo, the sound of horns honking in jubilation grew louder after a night when millions across the Arab world's most populous nation joyfully celebrated the fall of the president. More...

New policies. New constitution. New prosecutions.

As for the rest of the world? No country lives in seclusion. These are scary times.

12th February 2011

11th February 2011

"I stand above parties, which gives me more flexibility to express myself clearly. Of course I want to be involved in the future of Egypt, but whoever runs in elections right now is really not that important."

"Many young protesters see [Vice President Omar Suleiman] as just an extension of Mubarak. There is great opposition to him. But I think all these issues can be resolved if Mubarak steps down."

"If he's ready to go, we would ensure a dignified departure — this can be arranged. He has done many bad things, but he has also done good things for this country. ... He should step down with dignity."

Mohamed ElBaradei

Pharaohs come and go. So do traitors. But the pyramids still stand. At least for now.

It was the Egyptian Pharaoh who exiled the Jews from Egypt 3000 years ago. It was Egypt who lost to Israel in the 7 day war in 1967. It was Egypt who became the only Arab nation to embrace Israel. Well, maybe embrace is too strong a word. Accepted is better. Accepted its lies, its media manipulation. Its back-up plans.

Now one man wants to pull out the plug. Goodbye CNN. Goodbye 'fall guy'. It is too late to be concerned about dignity.

What is happening now is not about Egypt. It is about decades of living out a lie.

Feint within feint within feint.

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