Big support for S’pore singers at music awards in KL
…but not for the biggest winners
By Sheela Narayanan in Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIAN artistes may have swept most of the big trophies.

Hady Mirza (far left) and Taufik Batisah, who learnt a backflip in two weeks just for the awards show. Datuk Siti Nurhaliza in a Michael Ong gown and matching headscarf. Pictures: BERITA HARIAN

But Singapore acts got most of the cheers from a largely-Singaporean audience at the Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) awards in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday night.

The show, hosted by former MTV veejay Sarah Sechan, is the annual Malay music awards organised by Singapore radio stations Ria and Warna, and was being held there forthe second time.

Many in the 3,500-strong audience had bought a travel package with MediaCorp’s official tour agency, Azizi Tour and Travels, to attend the show at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Singapore Idol Taufik Batisah got cheers for his slick song-and-dance performance of his track Sesuatu Janji (A Certain Promise).

And just to raise the ante this year, the 27-year-old threw in a back flip.

The flip, he proudly told The New Paper backstage, took just two weeks to learn.

‘Every year I want to come up with something new for my APM performance. Usually it takes about six months to learn to do the back flip.

‘I managed to do it in two weeks,’ he said.

His antics won over the crowd.

Taufik took home three awards – Most Popular Singapore Act, Most Popular Singapore Song and Best Singapore Artiste.

He shared the Most Popular Singapore Act award with Asian Idol Hady Mirza and hip-hop duo Sleeq.

Singapore rock band Cradle scored two awards, Best Singapore Album, for Ceritera Awan (Poetry Of The Clouds) and Best Singapore Song for Ayu.

Other Singaporean performances for the night were by Hady and Aliff Aziz.

Said Singaporean fan Sarinah Abbas, 41, an administrative assistant, who paid $185 for a two-day, one-night package trip: ‘I really had a good time. I thought the performers were very good, especially Hady and Taufik.

‘They made us proud.’

The show marked the comeback performance for Malaysian singer Faizal Tahir.

The 30-year-old had been slapped with a three-month performance ban by the Malaysian Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage for taking off his shirt during a live show in January.

In a controversial stage stunt, he had stripped off his jacket, T-shirt and belt onstage during an anniversary concert for Malaysian television station 8TV.

The ban ended last week.


And at APM, he seemed to be very careful not to go over the top, sticking to safe ballads – one solo and a duet with Indonesian singer Bunga Citra Lestari. He also bagged two trophies – Best New Male Artiste and Most Popular Male Artiste, beating popular Malaysian singers Mawi and Anuar Zain for the latter category.

During his thank you speech, Faizal, who wore a transparent black shirt with a matching black singlet, thanked his family, management and fans for keeping ‘the faith’ with him during the last few months.

He even tugged at his shirt in an attempt to poke fun at his stunt. The audience caught on and roared with laughter.

Faizal told The New Paper backstage that winning the two awards meant a lot to him.

Especially since it came so soon after his ban ended.

‘I was spaced out when my name came out on the screen. This is a very big deal for me,’ he said.

It was not surprising that Malaysia’s pop darling Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, donning an aquamarine Michael Ong gown with a matching headscarf and coloured contact lenses, won Most Popular Female Artiste.

Her husband Datuk Khalid Mohd Jiwa, a regular companion during her recent public appearances, was noticeably absent.

Fellow diva and close friend, Indonesian singer Kris Dayanti, won Best Female Artiste.

Anuar Zain picked up the Best Male Artiste award and his performance had 10 models in various gowns parading around him.

Later, backstage, the giggly girls took turns taking photos with the 37-year-old singer, dubbed one of Malaysia’s most eligible bachelors.

With a big grin on his face, Anuar was overheard saying: ‘I am a very lucky man.’

Suria will telecast the APM show at 9pm on Saturday.
Some of the winners

Most Popular S’pore Act
Aliff Aziz
Taufik Batisah

Most Popular S’pore Song
Berserah (Taufik Batisah)
Masanya (Sleeq)
Sayang-Sayang (Aliff Aziz)

Best New Female Artiste
Farah Asyikin

Best New Male Artiste
Faizal Tahir

Best Singapore Song
Ayu (Cradle)

Most Popular Song
Itu Kamu (Estranged)

Most Popular Group

Most Popular Male Artiste
Faizal Tahir

Most Popular Female Artiste
Siti Nurhaliza

Best Male Artiste
Anuar Zain

Best Female Artiste
Kris Dayanti

Best Singapore Album
Ceritera Awan (Cradle)

Best Song
Nakal (Gigi)

Best Album
Peace, Love, Respect (Gigi)