Straight from the heart



Malaysian pop diva Siti Nurhaliza says she has had to make adjustments in her life as a married woman
By Eddino Abdul Hadi, MUSIC REPORTER

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‘Music can bring the people of the world together, and help people realise that unity is more important than wars or conflict’ – Siti Nurhaliza — PHOTO: ESPLANADE

SITI Nurhaliza, Malaysia’s reigning singing queen, certainly believes in the power of song.
‘Music can bring the people of the world together, and help people realise that unity is more important than wars or conflict,’ she tells Life! in an e-mail interview in Malay.

The singer will be performing at the Esplanade tonight in Diari Hati – Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza (Diary Of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza’s Heart), her first solo concert here in three years.

The most expensive ticket is priced at $300.

Since making her professional singing debut 13 years ago, the Pahang-born lass has seen a meteoric rise unparalleled by any other Malaysian artiste.

She also happens to be the youngest Malaysian to hold the title of datuk, an honorific conferred on her by the Sultan of Pahang in 2006 when she was just 27, a move that surprised even the singer herself.

She says she feels honoured and she’s not taking the privilege lightly.

‘With the level of success comes a big responsibility for me as an artiste,’ she says. ‘I always have to give my best in everything that I put out for the people and work hard for my career.’

As a child, the fifth of eight siblings living in a police barrack, she didn’t dream of a career in music.

‘My goal at that time was to be a policewoman,’ she reveals, inspired by her policeman father.

Her grandfather was a violinist though, and her housewife mother was also known to sing traditional Malay songs.

She received her first big break when she won a national singing contest organised by television station Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) in 1995.

Since then, the 29-year-old has released 12 solo studio albums, a duet record and countless compilation albums.

She also holds the record for garnering the most fan-voted awards for any artiste from Malaysia. Among them are seven consecutive Most Popular Star awards from the country’s Berita Harian newspaper, six consecutive Most Popular Female Star awards from Singapore’s Anugerah Planet Muzik (Music Planet Awards), four consecutive MTV Asia awards for Favourite Malaysian Artiste and even awards from Australia, Shanghai and Indonesia.

Still, she insists that such recognition isn’t important for her.

‘Being an artiste is not about chasing awards or popularity. My fans have placed their trust in me so I have to live up to their expectations,’ she adds.

Her marriage to Dato’ Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa in 2006 caused a bit of a brouhaha among her fans, mostly for the fact that the prominent businessman was 20 years older and that he was only recently divorced from his former wife before marrying Siti.

She reveals that she has had to make quite a number of adjustments now that she is a married woman. ‘My marriage and my responsibilities as a wife are my priorities right now. I have discussions with my husband before I make any decisions pertaining to my career,’ she says.

No stranger to the business world herself, she also has her own entertainment and marketing companies dealing in, among other things, her own brand of tea.

Stylistically, she has also recently started sporting the tudung (headscarf) in public, a sartorial decision made after she returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca.

She says she has no problems carrying on a normal life just like everyone else – but with a catch.

‘I still go shopping at the malls and eat at public restaurants,’ she says. ‘As long as I am accompanied by my husband, family or staff.’

dinohadi@sph.com.sg

Diari Hati – Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza (Diary Of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza’s Heart) is on at the Esplanade Theatre tonight at 8. The $60 and $80 tickets are sold out and only $120, $160, $220 and $300 tickets are left and available through Sistic (www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555).

SEAT AVAILABILITY @ 21/3/08 18:16
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http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Story/STIStory_218840.html

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15 Comments

  1. Siti Nurhaliza was epic, legendary and inspirational.
    She was hilarious throughout.
    She interacted with the audience not the usual she has been.

    It was worth it.
    May we see you again Siti in Singapore.
    We all love you.
    =D

  2. CT meh..the youngest malaysian yg memegang title datuk?? aku rasa ada lagi yg lebih muda dari dia kan tuan rumah?? pls la..wartawan ni semua main pakai hambat je..janji assignment siap dah…betul ke tak lantak org ramai cari sendiri ke wartawan semua???..kasahihan berita yg di sampaikan susah nak percaya di percaya lebih2 kalau bab memuji CT selalu tinggi melangit, sampai sudu selalu melebih dari kuah.

  3. kalau kau x shopping kat mall atau x makan kat public restaurant kat mana lagi nak p CT…lainlah kalau kau macam Micheal Jackson ada Neverland atau ada Mansion sendiri..barulah aku percaya kau x perlukan tempat umum atau tempat org awam lagi..janganlah kau mimpi…sedarlah..kau tu cuma artis melaya je…habis2 tempat kau famous pun kat asia itu pun indon yg banyak minat kat kau..since kau famous kat asia tu aje so janganlah bermimpi macam artis hollywood pulak ada private place or watever private stuff…

  4. alahai, baru berapa bulan lepas ada artikel pasal dia pi makan kat fave restaurant dia. kelakar seh, cakap lain buat lain.apa, restaurant tu nenek dia punye ke?

  5. syazwan morron… if u wanted to came here dont simply2 call pengkritik kat sini stupid… i think sengaporian people like u yang sebenarnya bodoh… u call malaysia stupid that is mean u call tok kembang lu juga bodoh.. kelakarlah lu mamat singaporinggek… gua dulu cukup anti betul dgn org singapore yang berlagak mcm lu ni.. masuk tanah org berlagak pandai tapi bodoh jugak… selama ni lu duduk spore ke mamat??? cakap kat gua mana area lu duduk…?? kalau takat spore tuh gua suruh sultan johor roboh jambatan tambak johor tuh tenggelam le lu org.. tapi gua bukan bodoh mcm lu punya… APM pun tak tahu kat negara mana???? kesian dohhh

  6. bro… ni le org kata hipokrit besar. setinggi mana pangkat lu pun tok kembang lu tak patut kata megah dgn statement lu “i still go shopping at the malls and eat at public restaurants,’ she says. ‘As long as I am accompanied by my husband, family or staff.’ ” who the hell r u??? setakat public figure dan bertitle datin sri is nothing… org yang dah bertitle lebih tinggi pun tak kata mcm tuh… ur statement byk buat org bengang dgn lu… kalau lu bg statement low profile dan tak kata mcm statement perasan bagus tuh, masyarakat tak kisah. diorang tahu lu ada duit tapi berpada2 le dgn personaliti lu… makin hari lu ni makin terserlah tru colour lu… syabas tok kembang….. kita tunggu dan lihat selanjutnya apa yg berlaku kat lu berdua… 😈

  7. tu la aku naik bengang mustang, dia ingat dia tu siapa…ni baru famous kat bumi melaya dan paling hit pun indon..kalo famous kat hollywood aku x tau apa pula yg dia akan cakap kat wartawan..jangan2 mimpi nak beli tanah kat bulan kot…piirahh buat aku meluat je..kak anita yg lama duduk kat oversea dulu pun masi mengaku makan sambal belacan tok kembang oooiiii..makin naik meluat aku dengan statement dia semenjak dah kahwin ni..action je lebih..taulah banyak duit dari aku tok kembang..tapi org kenamaan yg lebih ternama dari kau pun x lah cakap lebih2 macam kau ni..

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