Read: How The MediaCorp Malay Division Merger Can Be Good News For Us


A few days ago, we shared an announcement made by the government-owned broadcasting corporation that the 3 Malay media units are joining to become one single force to be reckoned with. But before we get to see any positive changes to how our community is fed with news, information and entertainment, let’s imagine how this merger can be great both for the corporation and us, the consumers! Here’s our first ever #5Things post.

1. Radio On TV Part 1: Ria’s Long-Running Chart Show Will Finally Get its Own TV Show
Ria Chartz is unheard of to the age-group that it should be targeted to. That is because young Twitter-driven teenagers do not listen to radio. They do not even watch TV! But their favourite artistes and their favourite songs might help change this. Practised around the world, a partnership with local offices of Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Life Records and little, lesser known labels will ensure up-to-date hits get played on radio, and fans can get in on the action (tweeting, live voting, hashtagging) to make sure their favourite artistes stay on top of the charts at the end of the week when a Ria DJ announces it on, you guessed it, live TV. If Black Eyed Peas can stay more than a year on the weekly charts, and have up to 3 singles on the year’s Top 100 in the US, Hady Mirza, Sezairi and Hyrul Anuar can achieve the same, if given the chance. How about CD/MP3 giveaways? Concert tickets give-aways ai mai?

2. Radio on TV Part 2: More DJs on TV!
In the case Suria still can only broadcast in the late afternoon daily, now they can not only “show” the audio on TV, but they can broadcast it live. It is not uncommon that radio announcers such as Fiza O, Nity Baizura and Nona Kirana are seen on Malay television regularly so we don’t see the harm to putting a static camera on-site in the radio studios and literally, put on a show. Web crawlers with Malay headlines and even allow pay-per-SMS for dedications on a right hand column that are so popular with the Malay community during Suria’s live TV shows. Oh yes, we all know this too well, the love stories and emotional issues and that drives Fiza O’s “Girlfriend” and “The O Show” are the stuff that makes television. Give her a TV talk-show already! (And don’t kill it after 13 episodes like most Suria series do!)

3. Better Advertising:
The merger sets off a wake-up call for Malay-language or Malay-targeted advertising. Where we have heard “minyak kapak” ads on radio for a long time, and saw plentiful 80’s-styled property ads on TV propelling the real estate industry into campiness, the division sure came at a right time to bring about better advertising standards; reach out to better clientele, and can now reach out to a bigger audience simultaneously. How come only property agents advertise anyway? What about the real needs and wants of the Malay community? It holds such a big potential to reach out to our people who are always willing to try new things. MediaCorp has the power to make brands that don’t available here to become popular here! Forget about First Lady and Golden Chance already, bring the Malaysian Halal market here and the international health, beauty and leisure products. The possibilities are endless. “You never know when you need it!”

4. New Faces (And New Voices):
Before Dzar Ismail, can you name just one new radio announcer on Malay radio? Just one. Nope. It is because Ria and Warna have exchanged vocalists amongst each other for the longest time and not often take in fresh new blood, despite having a Radio Academy and Suria have had a string of reality programs that spawned at least 100 new names in the past decade. (Malaysia’s media giant, Astro, turns Akademi Fantasia (and Malaysian Idol) finalists into announcers for their radios since year 1; did you know Nana Mahazan, Adifashla, Reza Mohamad, Dina Nadzir were all singers before they became DJs?) Just saying, we could use a few new voices on radio, every now and then, just to spice things up. And with this division happening, better get them to look TV-friendly too.

5. A Partnership with Printed Press:
We don’t know how Manja comes in, in all of this, coming from MediaCorp Publishing. But just for the sake of it, bring Manja into the picture, the more the merrier. So that Ria Chartz doesn’t only get a TV show but also an updated listing on the magazine, current TV show stars are featured on the covers and no longer Siti Nurhaliza (again and again), and get the radio announcers on Warna who speak, literally all day, about health and lifestyle, to write! This is only natural. If only this merger can also extend a helping hand to Berita Harian (owned by Singapore Press Holdings), only then, can a true dynamism and synergy in Malay entertainment be achieved, with updated TV listings, different actors interviewed about their craft (and not their clothes) every other day, and definitely fresher news that appear on both on TV and in the papers on the same day. When Ria, Warna, and Suria read headlines from Berita Harian, it shouldn’t be called “keratan dari akhbar tempatan” anymore. It should be “keratan dari Berita Harian“. It is not a conflict of interest if the objective is the same. It is the 21st century after all. If TV3 and Astro can mention each other and mention unrelated print press on a daily basis, why not us, with the smaller Malay audience?

One can only wish!


Gossip: Putera Gemilang To Form Boyband

If you have been watching DuaM’s Gemilang on Suria, you might be familiar with these boys. Each week, they have paraded and answered questions on preserving Malay cultural values on TV and it looks like they are set to get together to form a boyband. This is not official, as we only gather this by them setting up an official Facebook page, and also updating it with pictures in the studio set.

This video too came from the page. How many were there in total? Singapore could try a song and dance boyband. It might shake up the scene a little bit! How about it? Seen in this video are Ahmad, Fikri, Luqman, and holding the camera is Afiq Arsyad. Another Raya song? Bring it on!

Watch: SOULMSTRS #RoadToHollywood Part 1

SOULMSTRS or pronounced “SoulMisters” brought three friends Farhan Shah, Jules Jumari and Faridzuan Faris to Hollywood to take part in the World Championship of Performing Arts 2013. Guess what, they won quite a bunch of awards. They got 3 Gold Medals for R&B,Soul,Jazz category and also for the Open (Original Composition) and Finalists category. They also received 2 Silver Medals for the Pop and Open category. The original composition is an English song written and composed by Faridzuan Faris, Sahalif Abu Bakar and Farhan Shah himself.

We last heard of the Singapore Idol finalist, Farhan Shah, with his own Malay single, “Mengapa Kau Harus Pergi”. Is the trio permanent? Sounding good though from the snippets we got from the video above. Looking forward to hearing their original composition together!

World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) is an annual music and talent competition held in Los Angeles, USA where participants from around the world gather to put out their best talents, aiming for the recording and management contracts offered by prestigious companies in the States. The last time Singapore took part was in 2009 where Imran Ajmain won 3 medals himself; 1 Gold for Open Category (Original Composition) and 2 Bronzes for R&B,Soul,Jazz and Broadway respectively.

Congratulations SOULMSTRS! Hope to hear more from you guys. The 2nd part of this video comes on live eve of Raya. Looking forward.

News: Suria, Ria & Warna Merges To Form MediaCorp Malay Broadcasting Division

We were expecting trailers from the Rentak Komedi 2013 as the DVD release is ready for purchase as tweeted by radio announcer, Aura Shai, on her Twitter account earlier today. But little did we expect this piece of news. Suria, Ria and Warna merges to one division under MediaCorp, it says so on the snapshot of a press release hand in Aura Shai’s hands as she posted it later onto her Twitter account. Great news, yes? What does it mean? You be the judge of it. The letter reads:

“MediaCorp announces key management and structural changes to better align itself to changing business needs. As part of the changes, TV channel MediaCorp Suria as well as radio stations Warna 94.2FM and Ria 89.7FM will be merged to form the Malay Broadcast Division and will now come under Zakiah Halim, in her new role as Senior Vice President of Malay Broadcast Division. The new organizational structure respond to the diverse needs of our customers more effectively.

Zakiah Halim who has over 28 years of experience in broadcasting adds “With this new combined structures, it will definitely provide a compelling 360° content experiences that cater to the needs and lifestyles of our consumers in this digital age. We will build on our production and multi-platform capabilities to yield efficiencies and synergies that will ultimately benefit our audience and partners.”

Also with this change, Suhaimi Jais who has led Suria for more than 6 years will join MediaCorp Studios to drive government-to-government projects.

Issued by MediaCorp Suria, Warna & Ria.”

Are you ready for it? What about Manja Magazine?

Teaser: Sezairi’s Room To Breathe Episode 3

Sezairi Sezali previews the 3rd episode of his Room To Breathe series where he teases his new single “Sayang” now available for Pre-Order on iTunes. The actual single drops on his birthday, on the 6th August 2013.

Official Site:
Follow on Instagram/Twitter: @sezairi
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Legendary Actor S.Samsudin Passes Away

Astro Awani interviews Rahimah Rahim and Suhaimi Yusof about S.Samsudin’s passing.

Selamat Datang ke Gumbira, Kawan-Kawan!

Good morning Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei & Indonesia. We at Gumbira used to blog on a much simpler platform back in 2007 and since 2011, we have stuck to only the social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Now we are BACK! We want to give focus to Singapore-Malay entertainment; sometimes in Malay and most of the time in English; so that everybody can enjoy the scoop.

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