Posted (admin) in International, the star online, Career on August-1-2008

HERE’S a look back at some of the top personalities that have managed to leave a lasting impression at the MTV Asia Awards down the years. And the winners for Best Appearance at an MTV Asia Awards Ceremony are?

Best Celebrity Host: Alicia Keys may have been coolness personified when she hosted the 2005 edition of the MTV Awards, but Irish pop legend Ronan Keating (right) had everyone charmed to bits with his easy-going nature. Cohosting the inaugural MTV Asia Awards in 2002 along with Mandy Moore, Keating stole the show with his repertoire of dry wit, cheeky banter and the sort of boyish charm plenty of thirtysomething women must find irresistible. This year’s host, Jared Leto, has big shoes to fill.

Best Performance: Over the years, the MTV Asia Award has seen plenty of thrilling, elaborately choreographed performances from likes of Rain, Black Eye Peas, Korn, Robbie Williams, Avril Lavigne, Jay Chow, Sugababes, Simple Plan and Linkin Park among others. But Daniel Powter’s moving appearance on stage at the 2006 MTV Awards in Bangkok topped them all with subtle but persuasive power. Singing his hit song, Bad Day, with no props, no sexy dancers, props or pyrotechnics, it was just a moving one-man-and-hispiano performance with the music and the emotion of the song doing all the talking.

The Star Power Award: There can only be one winner for this award and that distinction goes to the divine Mariah Carey, who turned up at the 2004 MTV Awards in Singapore to pick up her Lifetime Achievement Award looking like she had just beamed down from Planet Superstar. It’s just a shame that the diva didn’t see fit to treat everybody to a song.

Best Collaboration: Malaysian songbird Siti Nurhaliza and Brit pop sensation Gareth Gates; duet on the latter’s smash hit ballad Say It Isn’t So at the 2004 MTV Asia Awards.East meets West = Pop Nirvana.

source : the star online

Posted (admin) in the star online, Career on July-24-2008

Thursday July 24, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Professionals have been urged to work harder and continue to help enhance human capital for the country’s future development.

In stating this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said professionals are capable of adding value to services and products and their expertise would help the country develop further and improve the quality of life.

“Professionals represent an important group in society as they are not only responsible to thrust Malaysia’s name in the global front, but to also contribute to the country’s development.

Abdullah presenting an award to Siti Nurhaliza in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday night as BIM president Isacc Sunder Rajan looks on.

“Our future progress depends on human capital development and thus it must be of high value and quality. We must continue to improve and professionals can help add value to our services and products,” he said last night at a dinner organised by Balai Ikhtisas Malaysia (BIM) of which Abdullah is a patron.

Abdullah also said it was important to improve the quality of the education system and for universities to work with the private sector so that graduates had the necessary requirements for the working world.

“We will also rope in professionals to contribute their expertise and ideas to increase the quality of human capital and for the country to progress further,” he added.

Abdullah also gave out BIM awards to outstanding professionals in recognition of their contributions to the country. Recipients included Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican and popular singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin.

source: the star online

Posted (admin) in the star online, Career on May-4-2008

Top winners: Siti and Faizal showing their awards at the AIM awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur Saturday night.

KUALA LUMPUR: Singer Faizal Tahir, who caused a controversy when he took off his shirt during a concert early this year, was the big winner at last night’s 15th Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) awards held at the Putra World Trade Centre.

Faizal beat Datuk Siti Nurhaliza by grabbing four awards, including the Prestigious Album of The Year award for his debut album Aku.Muzik.Kamu.

He also won the Best Vocal Performance in an Album (Male), Best Rock Album and Best New Artiste.

“It is still hard for me to believe I have won. I never expected to win especially since I was competing with Datuk Siti,” he added.

Siti finished a close second, winning three awards: Best Vocal Performance in an Album (Female), Best Pop Album and Best Musical Arrangement in a Song (Bahasa Malaysia).

source: the star online

Posted (admin) in Datuk K, the star online, Personal Siti on April-14-2008

MALAYSIA’S pop darling Datuk Siti Nurhaliza has declared that she is in no rush to have children but if given the choice, she would not discount the possibility of using in-vitro fertilization (IVF), Kosmo! Ahad reported.

Siti, who has been married to Datuk Seri Khalid Mohd Jiwa for about two years and constantly harassed by the media about whether she was pregnant, added that she has never been pressured.

Siti said she was optimistic about having children and said they would continue to try and not give up.

“Adopting children is not wrong but I would prefer to put in effort to have a child, including using IVF. As long as it is not against Islam.”

source: the star online

Posted (admin) in Datuk K, the star online on April-14-2008


KUALA LUMPUR: Canadian singing sensation Celine Dion lived up to her top billing right here last night with a power-packed performance in the open.

The petite 39-year-old Dion performed 22 songs, almost non-stop, as over 10,000 fans at Stadium Merdeka followed her every move, and tune.

The show kicked off at 8.50pm with vignettes of Dion’s many music videos shown on two large screen placed at the sides of the stage.

The singer got things going with the fast-paced I Drove All Night, followed by one of her smash hits, Power of Love.

Thrilling concert: Dion performing in front of more than 10,000 fans at Stadium Merdeka last night.

Dion then extended her apologies to Malaysians for postponing the show, which had initially been scheduled for April 8, saying that she had fallen ill while performing in Australia.

“Thank you for being understanding and for giving me another chance to perform here tonight,” said Dion, as the audience cheered her on.

She also said that the rain began to worry her when she arrived here earlier yesterday.

“But I was told that it usually rained in the afternoons here, so that was all right,” she quipped.

Backed by an ensemble that included four guitarists, a drummer and a pianist, Dion also belted out her other chart-topping hits like Because You Loved Me, All By Myself, Alone and a French number, Pour Que Tu M’Aimes Encore.

Also on stage with her were three backing vocalists and eight dancers, who entertained the audience during short intervals.

Dion reserved the best for last, when she sang her monster hit My Heart Will Go On, which was the theme song for the movie Titanic.

The concert, part of her “Taking Chances World Tour” with Kuala Lumpur being the only South-East Asian venue, ended at 10.30pm.

Also present were Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, and singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza and her husband Datuk Khalid Mohd Jiwa.

source: the star online

Posted (admin) in the star online, Career on January-30-2008

A great show, surprise winners, magic and lots more made the 22nd instalment of the Anugerah Juara Lagu memorable indeed.

It was a night full of surprises at TV3’s 22nd Anugerah Juara Lagu on Sunday. And the night undoubtedly belonged to the “underdog” finalist, four-piece outfit Estranged, which emerged champions taking home both the Song of the Year award and Best Pop-Rock song with Itu Kamu, taken from the band’s debut album In Hating Memory.

The AJL had been aptly themed “magic” and it was almost magical to see Estranged – comprising Azwin Andy Malik (drums), Solihuddin Hormat (guitars), Nor Hanafi Noor Hadi (guitars) and Rich (vocalist), – defeating bigger names in the industry such as Audi Mok, M. Nasir, Aidit Alfian, Hazami and Ajai.

Itu Kamu, a beautiful composition by Estranged and lyrics by Rich, seemed nowhere near in terms of popularity compared to other songs competing in the Pop-Rock Category, performed by the illustrious likes of Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, Misha Omar and Andy Flop Poppy, and Mawi.

Champs: New band Estranged comprising (from left) Din, Andy, Hanafi and Rich surprised everyone by emerging tops in last Sunday’s Anugerah Juara Lagu.

The odds were even higher when it came to competing against songs from the ballad and ethnic creative categories; but Itu Kamu emerge Song of the Year nonetheless.

When interviewed before the AJL, seasoned star and competition finalist Nora had said: “?. the night’s results depend entirely on the judges and what they are looking for? Some judges are looking for something new and different from what we already have in the market.”

Perhaps it was in Itu Kamu, that the judges found that something beautiful, something new and fresh. The judges were Fauzi Marzuki, Syafinaz Selamat, Helen Yap, Farihin Abdul Fatah, Amran Omar and Arab.

Apart from Estranged, Nora also had a victorious night. After being listed seven times in the finals of past AJL competitons, Nora’s Samudera (composed by husband Johan Nawawi and lyrics by Ahmad Fedtri Yahaya) won the best song in the Ethnic Creative Category. Nora took home RM12,000 and a trophy.

Samudera beat Aishah’s for Kasihnya Balqis and Ramlah Ram’s Dirgahayu.

In the Ballad Category, melodious Izinku Pergi (composed by Azlan Abu Hassan, lyrics by Sulu Sarawak and sung by Shahri) won top place and took home the trophy and RM12,000.

Still the best: Jaclyn Victor and Lah Ahmad won for Best Vocal Performance.

The song defeated strong contenders Fazli Zainal’s Harapan, Faizal Tahir’s Mahakarya Cinta, Faizal Tahir’s Kasih Tercipta and a duet by Lah Ahmad and Jaclyn Victor in Ceritera Cinta.

As expected Mawi, who sang Angan dan Sedar in the Pop-Rock Category bagged the best performance award. He received RM10,000 and a trophy for his entertaining show complete with a magic act and costume change! It was truly “hebat” (fantastic), as emcees Cheryl Samad and Farah Fauzana pointed out. Also on hosting duties that night were Ally Iskandar and Faizal Ismail.

The Best Vocal Performance award went to Jaclyn Victor and Lah Ahmad who received RM10,000 and a trophy for their powerful duet in Ceritera Cinta.

Audiences who had turned up at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil – which incidentally was packed to the brim – had the time of their lives; the night was filled with good music and top singers who went all out to show their vocal prowess and creativity.

During the two-and-a-half hour show, music lovers were treated to 14 songs. From rocking with Jinbara on Farhana (Puteri Bumi Kenyalang) to traditional influences on Aishah’s Kasihnya Balqis, Nora’s Samudera and Ramlah Ram’s Dirgahayu, it was a grand show complete with elaborate costumes and dancers, and there was definitely something for everyone.

Energetic: Datuk Siti Nurhaliza performed Destinasi Cinta but failed to take home any awards.

It was extra special to watch Fiq’s Mahakarya Cinta and Bob AF2’s Kasih Tercipta (who replaced Faizal Tahir), and Lah Ahmad and Jaclyn Victor’s Ceritera Cinta as these four held their audiences under their spell with superb performances.

And after all that is being said about the “sad, sorry state of our local music industry”, it was so nice to see so much talent on stage, and a fresh new band emerge the winner.

source: the star online

Posted (admin) in Datuk K, the star online, Gossip, Career on January-17-2008

Hit list


MALAYSIANS were more interested in Datuk Siti Nurhaliza than Paris Hilton last year, according to Google’s Malaysia Year-end Zeitgeist 2007. 

Malaysia’s darling: Siti Nurhaliza was more popular than Paris Hilton (bottom, right) in searches for famous personalities last year.

Hot off the stove, the Google Zeitgeist highlights the most popular and fastest-rising search terms that Malaysians typed into last year.  

Released on Monday, it found that Siti Nurhaliza was more popular than Hilton in searches for famous personalities and that Genting Highlands and Langkawi topped the list for destination searches. 

The Zeitgeist also showed strong growth in searches for social networks and video sites. 

Originally a German expression that means “the spirit of the age or times”, Zeitgeist describes the intellectual and cultural climate of an era. 

The survey is thus named because, according to Google, people use the search engine to look for new and interesting subjects. When that is viewed in volume, it tends to be a good reflection of what’s on everyone’s mind. 

The Google Zeitgeist, which revealed that up to 25% of search queries received on any given day were new, is calculated by looking at the aggregate of the most popular and fastest-rising search queries typed into the search box.  

Results showed that the top 10 searches in 2007 were friendster, youtube, berita harian, myspace, harian metro, utusan malaysia, wikipedia, airasia, maybank2u and jobstreet. 

On the other hand, the fastest-rising searches were youtube, facebook, firefly, esnips, mobik, veoh, transformers, friendster layout, heroes and tudou (largest video-sharing site in Mandarin). 

Besides Siti Nurhaliza and Paris Hilton, Malaysians were also interested in celebrities like Britney Spears, Akon, Avril Lavigne and Megan Fox. 

Other people that were most searched online were Paul Tan (a blogger who writes about cars and the automotive industry), Nurin Jazlin, Jeff Ooi and Altantuya. 

Top destinations googled last year were Genting, Langkawi, Singapore, Penang, Bali, Cameron Highlands, Malacca, Port Dickson, Bukit Tinggi and Kuala Lumpur. (Looks like Malaysians really opted to “Cuti-cuti Malaysia”.) 

In terms of online entertainment activity, topping the list were friendster (social networking), youtube (video site), myspace (social networking), games (free online games), naruto (Japanese anime), metacafe (video site), facebook (social networking), imeem (music, photo, video site), photobucket (photo and video site) and lowyat (Malaysian tech enthusiasts’ resource community). 

Football fans mostly sought out soccernet, epl, manchester united, arsenal, liverpool, chelsea, uefa, fantasy premier league, fantasy football and fam. 

Top searches for movies, TV programmes or radio were gsc, tgv, transformers, heroes, radioblog, era, prison break, cineleisure, hitfm and high school musical. 

For games, the hottest topics included miniclip, barbie, maplesea (cartoon games), pokemon, sudoku, gamespot 305 (source of games from playstation, xbox, wii, etc), runescape, utopia, ghost online and animax. 

MP3 135, iphone and Nokia 6300 topped the list in terms of tech gadgets googled. 

Finally, the Google Zeitgeist also showed that the majority of searches done in Malay were jawatan kosong, resepi, akademi fantasia, mat rempit, cuti-cuti malaysia, kamus, lagu, lirik, portal pendidikan and cerita.

source: the star online

Posted (admin) in Datuk K, the star online, Personal Siti, Career on January-13-2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian pop diva Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin celebrated her 29th birthday with her husband at the Le Meridien poolside – wearing a headscarf.

She had promised to wear a headscarf after marrying businessman Datuk Khalid Mohamad Jiwa, 49, on Aug 21, 2006.

“For the time being, I am comfortable with my latest look. It would be all right if I change gradually, and not too drastically,” she said.

As lovely as ever: Siti Nurhaliza with husband Khalid at the birthday party.

“I hope this will not create a big issue. I always knew that one day I would be wearing the scarf. I am doing this sincerely without forcing myself. What I need is time.”

“I wish I could reach higher levels of achievement in my career and fulfil my plans for the year,” she said, adding that she hopes to have a baby to complete the family.

Siti Nurhaliza would be competing at the Anugerah Juara Lagu Ke-22 organised by TV3 on Jan 27.

source: the star online

Posted (admin) in Datuk K, the star online, Brand on January-5-2008

The weddings of celebrities or high-profile individuals are among the most glamorous and elaborate around.

You can expect an extravagant affair, with anything from an exclusive venue to diamond-studded shoes. For them, money is no object.

A Bollywood fairytale in France
Estimated cost: US$78mil

Said to be one of the most expensive weddings the world has ever seen, the grand nuptials of Vanisha Mittal, 23, daughter of billionaire steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, to investment banker Amit Bhatia, 25, took place in June 2004 over a period of five days in some of France’s most famous settings.

Around 1,000 guests from all over the world received 20-page-thick, silver-encased invitation cards to the lavish event, which included feasts at the world’s best hotels, partying at fancy nightclubs, top-of-the-line Kristal champagne, exclusive performances by Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan and pop kitten Kylie Minogue, and a splendid fairytale wedding at 17th century Vaux le Vicomte, described as the “finest chateau and garden” in France.

Apparently, it took Lakshmi Mittal over a year to get the requisite permission, as this was the first time the palace allowed a private function to be held there.

Double extravagance
Estimated cost: US$2.5mil

One wedding was not enough for model-actress Elizabeth Hurley, 41, and businessman Arun Nayar, 42, as they wed in two lavish ceremonies with festivities spanning eight days.

The first league of their marathon celebration was set in the medieval Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, England attended by some 300 guests, before the couple flew off to Mumbai for the Indian leg of the festivities, held at Meherangarh Fort, a lavish 18th century palace in Rajasthan.

The groom trotted down the aisle on a horse amongst a backdrop of thousands of orchids and daffodils flown in from the Netherlands, dancing white horses and walkways lined with millions of red chillies. Female guests were dressed in pink saris while the men wore Kesariya safas, all of which were chosen from a shop opened by the wedding couple a few days before the event.

Malaysia’s ‘Wedding of the Year’
Estimated cost: RM12mil

The wedding of Malaysian pop darling Siti Nurhaliza, 27 and businessman Datuk Khalid Mohamad Jiwa, 47 – said to be Malaysia’s 2006 “Wedding of the Year” – was held in September 2006 at a lavish garden-themed reception.

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s hall was spectacularly decked in fresh roses and white carnations while white drapes and green creepers adorned the ceiling.

Siti’s gowns included a RM50,000 Khoon Hooi cream Italian duchess silk gown studded with South Sea Pearls worth RM400,000, a diamond-studded Radzuan Radzwill songket kebaya paired with a RM2mil diamond-studded platinum tiara, a RM35,000 Michael Ong off-white and pink Christian Lacroix lace Swarovski-studded gown with a matching RM1.5mil pink sapphire ruby tiara, a Radzuan Radziwill traditional Malay attire encrusted with diamonds and Swarovski crystals, and custom gowns by Indonesian designers Natrah Hisham and Ana Avanti.

Most of the items were sponsored by various companies and individuals.

Simple yet costly
Estimated cost: RM3.5mil

The wedding of Datuk Roslan Hashim, 49, and Pahang royal Puteri Shahanaz Hazlin Hamdan, 24, took place with less fanfare at Dewan Jubli Perak Sultan Ahmad Shah, Kuantan, also in September 2006.

Gifts for the bride included RM444,444.44 in cash, RM22,222.22 in dowry, a BMW 320i worth RM250,000, a RM150,000 jewellery set, a 20-carat diamond ring worth RM20,000, a RM25,000 Rolex watch, and other designer items.

The bride reciprocated with 20 trays of gifts which include a Rolex watch worth RM84,000, a wedding ring and other designer items.

The couple filed for divorce a year later.

source: the star online

Posted (admin) in the star online, Career on January-3-2008

IT IS only a four-page black and white brochure but visitors to Kuala Lipis would surely appreciate the efforts that had gone into its production.

There is a brief history of the town, its attractions and maps in the brochure. It even identifies the best banana fritter.

We did not get our brochures from a Tourism Authority office, or a tour agency, but from a hawker at the Alamanda Food Court.

Vincent Chong knew immediately that we were new to Kuala Lipis, and gave us the brochures when we started asking him about the town.

He piqued our curiosity when he told us that the brochure was written and updated by a local dentist, Dr Chan Chun Keat. We called Dr Chan, and he met up with us.

The dentist was inspired to come up with a brochure on Kuala Lipis because “there is so much more to this town.”

Most visitors see only a one-street town with Straits Eclectic shophouses, like those found in small towns all over the Peninsular Malaysia.

This town though has an interesting history. It flourished during the gold prospecting heydays of the 1920s, when the British extended the railway line to Kuala Lipis from Gemas.

However, its promise as a gold mining town and trading centre did not materialise, and the town remains a quiet stop in Pahang.

It was nevertheless the Pahang state capital from 1898 to 1955.

Locals like to point to the zero milestone in town. They claim that it marks the centre point of Peninsular Malaysia.

These days, Kuala Lipis is most famous for being the birthplace of popular pop singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza.

She built her family a house in Kuala Lipis that costs millions of Ringgit. There are signboards to lead diehard fans to her family home, and even parking spaces for tour buses.

Kuala Lipis is also the birthplace of deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

Dr Chan, however, was not born in Kuala Lipis. He did not even grow up here.

He is actually from Bidor, Perak, and only made Kuala Lipis his home 20 years ago. He is married with two children.

“I came to Kuala Lipis after graduating from University Malaya in 1987,” relates Dr Chan.

Since then, he has strove to contribute to the community in Kuala Lipis.

“It is my Christian faith that made me believe that we should help another human being as long as we are able to help,” says the lay leader of the Wesley Methodist Church in Kuala Lipis. He also preaches, sings and plays the piano in the church.

Apart from producing the brochures promoting Kuala Lipis, Dr Chan also holds photography exhibition in his home in Desa Perwira.

“It’s my way of touching base with the people,” says Dr Chan who enjoys sharing how photographs can transform the ordinary into extraordinary.

Dr Chan is also involved in other community projects such as |holding health talks for the older residents, and organising an annual piano recital for the children.

source: the star online