KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 ― Local singer Muhamad Shahmeer Mohd Nashrul, better known as Meer Nash, did Malaysia proud when he finished second place at the 16th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in Beijing on Saturday.
The annual competition, organised by the Confucius Institute Headquarters, promotes the development of Chinese education overseas and enhancement of students’ understanding of the language.
The 22-year-old said he was happy with the win and had a great time preparing for the competition.
“It was stressful, but I learnt a lot of things about China and its rich heritage,” Meer told Malay Mail upon his arrival at KLIA on Tuesday night.
The top five winners were awarded full scholarships to study in China.
However, the Universiti Teknologi Mara accounting undergraduate has his heart set on finishing his studies locally.
“It’s great to be given this scholarship, but for now, I have not thought about studying there.
“While I had a great one month exploring the country, I still miss Malaysia.”
In the first round of the competition, the Penangite of Malay-Chinese parentage gave a speech in Mandarin, followed by a Chinese-related art performance where he sang You Are My Eyes by Taiwanese singer Ricky Hsiao.
And finally, a quiz on China’s history, culture and general knowledge.
His success caught the attention of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who congratulated him in a tweet.
Meer also wants to build his singing career here.
He signed up with On Muse Sdn Bhd after his previous group VoteZ disbanded last year. VoteZ was known for songs like Propa and Mana Dulu.
Meer often performs with Maisarah Ukulele, who was at the airport to welcome and congratulate him.
Maisarah, who is also signed to On Muse is set to release a Mandarin song featuring Meer.
On Muse founder Ong Peng Chu said there are plans to push Meer’s music in the most populous country in the world.
“China is a huge market,” Ong said. “To tap it, we have to offer them something different from what they are used to listening to.”
Several Malay songs have been identified for Meer to sing as cover versions in Mandarin.
With stronger political and economic ties between the two nations, Ong felt it is the perfect time to export Malaysian music to China.
Many local hits have been sung in Mandarin including Search’s ballad Fantasia Bulan Madu, and Datuk Siti Nurhaliza’s Cindai and Betapa Ku Cinta Padamu.