Thursday, 13 August 2009

We've got talent

At the awards ceremony of the 22nd Malaysian Film Festival held last Saturday, the late Yasmin Ahmad won the prize for Best Director for her movie Talentime. This posthumous award is the final recognition that the local film industry can bestow to a talented individual who has given joy to many people who watched her movies and TV adverts over the years.

Through her work, Yasmin had long ago been a propagator of racial understanding in Malaysia, even way before the PM’s marketing people came up with the concept of 1Malaysia. This latest movie of hers is no different. It has a multi-racial cast but handles a seemingly simple theme. We may be different in skin tones but our aspirations are the same. I wonder now, when another talent such as she, will surface from among us Malaysians.

This subject of creative talent reminds me of the first time I had to perform on stage. I was a teenager studying at MRSM Kuantan. Life at boarding school was fun. In addition to the normal academic studies, everyday was filled events and activities of all kinds. Being teenagers, we were up to the usual mischief as teenagers are wont to do. But apart from the normal diversions, we were a creative and resourceful lot.

On nights prior to school days, it was compulsory for us to attend `prep’ sessions. But on Friday and Saturday nights, we were free to do what we like. To fill up the time on such weekend evenings, we would organize concerts, stage performances or plays. On alternate weekends, the school’s Movie Club would screen movies. The concerts would normally run along a theme, usually performances from all the classes of a particular year (or batch, as we like to call ourselves). Each class would perform two or three songs and the music is played live. There is always a few guys in each class who can play the guitars, keyboard and drums because music was also taught in our school. Once the roster for musical concerts was completed, we would go on to dramas and stage plays.

Main Hall of present day MRSM Kuantan where all the performances are held

All the events were handled and executed by students with minimal input from the teachers. It covers all aspects including stage decoration, lighting, sound effects, costumes and even the emcee. This was how we nurtured the talent among us in non-academic fields.

I am hopeless at playing musical instruments but I can sing fairly well and apparently, can act quite a bit too. So when it was time for our class to prepare for a performance, I was conveniently selected to take the lead or hero’s role in a musical drama. The heroine’s role was played by classmate Norhayati Shaharuddin, one of the prettiest lass in school at the time… so kira okay la tu :-)

Try as I might, I cannot recall what the storyline of our musical was about… but it must have something to do with a love story because I can clearly remember the song I sang that night. It was the A. Halim song called Kisah Dan Tauladan. Fans of 1960s Malay Pop Yeh Yeh will know this one in an instant. Nowadays, when I come across this song at any karaoke session, it will always bring back the memory of my stage performance.

Youtube video credit to malin7597

Yati, the heroine, also sang a song… but I can’t remember what it was. If I do get a chance to meet up with her again sometime, I think I’ll ask her. I’m sure she’ll remember the fun times that we had when we were teens. Kadang-kadang terasa macam kelakar pulak…

The last item of our performance was a group song by all the cast. Yours truly is the skinny guy on the right

That was about my only participation in acting. MARA then sent me overseas to study something else. Good thing too… because I doubt I can cari makan based on my acting skills alone.


mamasita said...

What a beautiful memory of your MRSM days..very touchingly sweet and full of laughter..those were the innocent days..hehehe

Anonymous said...

Ahaaaa.. MRSM Kuantan. Senantiasa dihatiku.
Batch 86~90.

HLiza said...

Bestnye masa experience of 2 years at a boarding school in Malacca was not that nice..and I dread going to any reunion events. During my time the school was more influenced by Arqam than acting! (kelakar kalau tnegok gambar dulu2..very the 70s! My cousin ada baju kebaya batik macam tu..sebijik)

Anonymous said...

Wahlau! Mr Oldstock.. still waters run deep, eh? *laughs*

Oldstock said...


Innocent days huh? Terlebih nakal pun ada juga, heheheh.

Oldstock said...

Anon 23:26,

You are my junior? Don't be shy to introduce yourself so that we can be friends. K90 ni sama batch dgn Md Noor ke?

Oldstock said...


Life at boarding school do have some unpleasant moments too. Maybe I'll write about that some time.

Looking at old pics can be quite amusing. I'm trying to fine the time to scan them.

Oldstock said...


You'd be surprised with the depth of talent that I have, heheheh ;-)

Aizan Suhaira said...

Hahahahha... I used to stage acting performances in school too. I actually loved to act. Too bad I have a face for radio, else I might just give acting a go :P

Chahya said...


Oldstock said...


Who says you have a face for radio? I'm sure it's not too late for you to give acting a try :-)

Oldstock said...


No need to be too surprised, heheheh.

Anonymous said...

You were MRSM Kuantan, bro? Wow, this open the floodgates. You are probably right to say that Norhatyati was ONE of the prettiest girls in MRSM Kuantan. The prettiest, of course, was... :-)

Oldstock said...


I'm wondering how you know about Yati.

There were many pretty girls at MRSM Kuantan and I'm sure there were many at MRSM Seremban too :-)