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Heart and Soul: Schooldaysports with Sudirman and Yasmin

2022-8-30 13:27| 发布者: sjAga3nbbSFfWF| 查看: 26| 评论: 0

摘要: There was a time when Sudirman told us that he would like to participate in the Bintang RTM competit
There was a time when Sudirman told us that he would like to participate in the Bintang RTM competition. Most of us scoffed at his intention. We were made to eat humble pie when he did become the champion in 1976. To get an opportunity to study in Form Six was the in-thing at that time. Everyone looked up to those in Form Six. From then on, Sudirman's career soared to great heights. He became a household name in Malaysia. His innova sport tive and unique brand of entertainment drew in the masses. I am honoured and blessed to have shared a small portion of my schooldays with him. Having performed well in his SPM examination, Sudirman continued his studies in Form Six in the science stream. Sudirman Hj Arshad, hailing from the small town of Temerloh, plucked up the courage at the age of 16, in 1970, to pursue his studies at SABS, in Form 4, as there were no pure science classes in Temerloh schools then. At the end of the first year, I sat for the Subsidiary Exam, which would decide if I could be absorbed into the day school the following year. In 1986, Sudirman, a true patriot, held his free mega concert at Jalan Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur. It drew a crowd of nearly 100,000 people. With that, his name was successfully included in the Malaysia Book Of Records. The name Sudirman is synonymous with entertainment, and he is as popular as the legendary P. Ramlee. It was decided unanimously that it was to be a play titled Cinderella, in pantomime form. Sudirman, with his vast experience in the Kuantan Arts Theatre, where he had taken part in many plays, was the one who would be pulling the strings. The whole class rallied around him. Sultan Abu Bakar Secondary School, Kuantan, fondly known then as SABS (now SMK Sultan Abu Bakar), was the premier school in Pahang during the 1960s and 70s. It was the school that students from all other districts had to go to, to study Form Six. Only Pahang's cream of the crop had the privilege to study there. Sudirman, whose birthplace is Temerloh, which coincidentally is mine too, is revered by the folks there. A few roads have even been named after him. Sudirman resided at the school hostel, away from the comforts of home and family. He was a charming and soft-spoken person, very friendly to all. In school, he was active in s slot ports too, especially athletics. Sudirman's career-defining moment came after he was declared winner of the “1989 Asia's No.1 Performer”, which he won during the “Asian Popular Music Awards” competition held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Besides school, he was active in the Kuantan Arts Theatre, where his passion for acting blossomed. I was doing great in primary school, but when it came to secondary school, my grades simply dipped, and I was just a mediocre student. I was fortunate that there were night poker classes at SABS, known as Further Education Classes. Since my grades were not good enough for me to qualify to do Form 6 in the day school, I had to do it the hard way. It was a lesson well learnt. Mr Chew and Sudirman took care of the entire choreography of the play. Sudirman himself narrated the whole show. I, having just started attending the class, was roped in to be Prince Charming. Being new to the class, I couldn't say no. n Looking back, I can proudly say that I got to participate in an event with the legendary Sudirman. To top it off, I even got a facial make-up from none other than Yasmin Yusoff, another legend, on the day of the event. She was in Lower Six then. Sudirman, being ever obliging, together with the class monitor Kong Lan Ha and committee members, were given the task by our form teacher Mr Chew Jong Chen of coming up with an item. It was in 1973 that I became his classmate in Form Six – in Upper Six, to be precise. However, perseverance and hard work later helped me pull through in my professional life, and life in general. In my career, I managed to grit my teeth and cross the finishing line at the mandatory retirement age of 60, whereas many others had opted out much earlier due to stress-related reasons. That's how I got to be a classmate of Sudirman for about six months. He had a charming personality while I was an unassuming person, overwhelmed by the presence of bright sparks around me. It was not too long before we both had something to chew on. The school Speech Day was an important annual event on the school calendar. It was traditionally celebrated on a grand scale. My class had to put up an item for the occasion. I still vividly remember that Sudirman was the editor of the school magazine, which was no small feat. I noticed that he would be deeply engrossed in his work, busily cutting and pasting photographs to form a collage. That was the “cut and paste” method of the 70s. The patriotic song Tanggal 31 Ogos, popularised by Sudirman, is often sung during Merdeka celebrations throughout the nation. Thankfully, I passed, and got admitted into the day classes of Form 6 in May 1973.

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