For the love of country and music, friends organise own National Day choir


PETALING JAYA: Despite all the bickering Malaysians engage in on social media, at the heart of it, there is deep love for this country they call home.

Looking away from what is displayed on mobile phone screens, Malaysia is a generally harmonious country.

This is especially true for a group of Malaysians made up of various races who frequent a certain food outlet, here, at The Curve in Mutiara Damansara.

They come together mostly during weekends to enjoy good music played by a live band and dance the night away, much to the delight of shoppers at the mall.

Among the signature tunes they dance to that put a smile on the faces of people who walk by are Anak Kampung, Gadis dan Bunga as well as international tunes such as Oppa Gangnam Style, Carnaval and Achy Breaky Heart.

However, with it being the National Day month, this group of dancers, who refer to themselves as the Asam Pedas Family, so named after the restaurant they hang out at, is organising a choir to welcome August 31.

Set to take place on Aug 30 as well as on National Day itself at The Street section of The Curve, the group is planning to sing Tanah Pusaka, Tanggal 31 and Setia.

Lyricist Cahaya Pena, part of the Asam Pedas Family, who first mooted the idea for the choir said patriotism is a spirit that should be instilled in every Malaysian and one of the ways to do it is through music.

Having been in the music industry since the 80s, Cahaya Pena is particularly fond of Tanah Pusaka as it tells the story of an auspicious nation made up of many races and is peaceful and aims to achieve great success.

"It also tells us to be proud of our own land, a land we inherited from our forefathers," Cahaya Pena who co-wrote the lyrics to Innuendo's Selamanya said.

Among those who will take part in the choir are retired marketing project manager Amirrudin Yusof, former investment banker August Ang and his wife Alice, husband and wife who are both former teachers Alan Lee and Susan Yeoh, sales executive Mohd Neziam and his wife Ros Ismaliza who is a former banker, medical assistant Faizal Habib Ahmad and wife Haryati Salleh.

Backing them up is a band called D'Cuatro Calientes made up of husband and wife Danny and Connie Olivera as well as their son Billy and wife Liza, from the Philippines.

With rehearsals taking place several nights in a week at The Curve, the group is already generating some interests with excited onlookers cheering them on as they practise.

What makes the endeavour meaningful for them is that it was their own initiative, sacrificing their own time to get together and rehearse, all in the spirit of showing how much this country means to them.

The group expressed hope that people would support their street choir performance and be there to sing along with them as Malaysia grows another year older.

However to them it is still a country very much young at heart, with a raging desire to become a highly sucessful nation. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd