An evening of repeat wins for Bintang P Ramlee songsters
By Jude Toyat
After most of the contestants battled it out for who could emulate the legendary Tan Sri P Ramlee the best, 33-year-old Merazan Mechang from Sibu reigned supreme in the 16th Bintang P.Ramlee (Sarawak Zone) final.
Held at Auditorium P.Ramlee, RTM Kuching on Aug 13, it’s the second victory for Merazan who first won the competition in 2012. He was also the first runner-up for the national-level of the competition held the same year.
This year’s first runner-up of the competition was Azrul Rambawi Sanusi. The 24-year-old Kuchingite was also the first runner-up for the same competition two years ago.
Second runner-up of 16th BPR Sarawak Zone was 39-year-old Jefry Ismail from Bintulu. Jefry was the first runner-up for BPR North Zone in 2012 and second runner-up for BPR Sarawak Zone in 2014.
The evening also saw women vocalists competing in the ‘Pertandingan Wanita Lagu Era P.Ramlee’ which saw 25-year-old Noorashikin Sekedar from Saratok crowned as the champion.
Noorashikin was crowned champion in the same competition in 2012.
First and second runner-ups went to Azelina Othman (38, Sibu) and Siti Azliyani Jasini (33, Sibu), respectively.
This was Azelina’s first year of participation in the competition, while Siti Azliyani was the first runner-up
for BPR Sarawak Zone in 2010. Siti was also the second runner-up for Wanita Lagu Era P.Ramlee competition in 2014.
Champion, first runner-ups and second runner-ups brought home cash prizes of RM3,000, RM2,500 and RM2,000, respectively.
Also competing in the 16th BPR Sarawak Zone and Wanita Lagu Era P.Ramlee were Zainal Bojet (Kuching), Mohd Zain Jaafar (Sibu), Mahathir Zailani (Samarahan), Masitah Mohd Airani (Sibu), Maimunah Yusuf (Sibu), dan Siti Norhidayu Jahili (Saratok). They received RM1, 000 each.
Participants also took home trophies and certificates.
The contestants were assigned to deliver one solo song, and a duet between the male and female participants.
The songs were selected by the production team to test their vocal abilities and see whether they could outshine other participants.
Among the songs that brought back sweet memories of the P.Ramlee era included ‘Hamidah’ sung by Merazan, ‘Kata Dari Kalbu’ (Azrul), ‘Madu Tiga’ (Zainal), ‘Tiada Kata Secantik Bahasa’ (Mohd Zain), ‘Gara Asmara’ (Mahathir), ‘Rantau Selamat’ (Jefry), ‘Tidurlah Nanda’ (Siti Azliyani), ‘Jalan Bersama’ (Noorashikin), ‘Burung Pungguk’ (Masitah), ‘Bintang Hati’ (Azelina), ‘Darah Muda’ (Maimunah), dan ‘Sejakku Bertemu Padamu’ (Siti Norhidayu).
All the participants of the 16th BPR Sarawak Zone performances were accompanied by Kombo D’Aspirasi RTM Kuching led by Eugene Clifford Suboh.
As champions, Merazan and Noorashikin will be paired to represent Sarawak in the 16th Bintang P.Ramlee National Level which will be held at Stadium Perpaduan here on Oct 26.
The 11th edition of the national-level competition which is being held bi-annually since 1993 was organised by the state government and RTM Sarawak.
During the event, members of the audience were entertained by energetic performances from singer and actress Farahdhiya who delivered two songs from the P.Ramlee era including ‘Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti’ and ‘Pesta Muda Mudi’. The champion of Bintang P.Ramlee National Level 2014 Abu Zahid Ibrahim performed ‘Hanya Dikau’ and ‘Azizah’ leaving the audience in awe.
The show was broadcast live at Sarawak FM and online radio www.rtmsarawak.gov.my/SARAWAKfm. It will be broadcast on television before the national level competition.
Also present at the event was Assistant Minister for Land and Air Transportation and Safety Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who represented Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem at the event.