Siti gets cheeky

MALAYSIA - Who knew Siti Nurhaliza could be a dancer and a comedienne?

The 35-year-old Malaysian pop diva charmed the socks off the 4,000-strong audience at The Star Theatre in Buona Vista on Saturday night, in her first solo concert here since 2008.

For almost two hours, she sang, swished and sportingly made jokes about her personal life, at times speaking informally to members of the crowd, who shouted questions or praises at her from their seats.

One makcik (Malay for auntie) asked what her secret to keeping her looks was, and she replied that it was her skincare brand SimplySiti.

When popular local 1950s singer Nona Asiah told Siti she didn't recognise the latter's husband Datuk Khalid Mohd Jiwa - also known as Datuk K - sitting next to her in the audience, Siti cheekily told her: "If you want to know the secret to him looking young, you have to ask me."

As if her laugh-out-loud sauciness wasn't enough, Siti endeared herself also by stopping for several selfies with audience members when she came down from the stage to mingle with the crowd.

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She also made time to pay tribute to Singaporean personalities young and old.

Early in the concert, she thanked key DJs and personalities on the local music scene, like Fiza O and Hafeez Glamour, who were in the audience.

She also let Singaporean talents and music share the limelight.

The winner of last year's Channel 5 reality TV singing competition The Final 1, Farisha Ishak, was the show opener. Former Singapore Idol Taufik Batisah joined her on stage to sing through classic hits by Singapore acts, like Ramli Sarip and Khadijah Ibrahim's Doa Buat Kekasih and Black Dog Bone's Khayalan, which finally got the audience on its feet.

"I've always loved Singapore music, and my Singapore fans," she told the crowd. "I won my first major award outside of Malaysia in Singapore, and that feeling was very special to me."

Nona Asiah and fellow local singer Rahimah Rahim, who sat in the front row next to Datuk K, were also honoured with a performance of their songs Janganlah Tenung Tenung and Gadis Dan Bunga respectively.

Siti also made stars out of two Singaporean fans who were invited on stage to dance to her traditional Malay song Joget Senyum Memikat.

Mr Fauzan Dalik, 25, and his friend Khairee Mohd Karim, 24, not only drew peals of laughter with their sporting moves, but also got Siti to share even more personal tidbits.

Hearing that Mr Fauzan had become a fan of hers after being given her first album when he was just eight, Siti said she fell in love with music thanks to a hi-fi set bought by her late father on a monthly instalment plan.

Said Mr Fauzan, a security officer: "It's my first Siti concert. Just seeing her on stage was a dream come true, but getting to dance with her was amazing."

If you want to know the secret to him looking young, you have to ask me.

Siti Nurhaliza (left), to popular local 1950s singer Nona Asiah, who told Siti she didn't recognise the latter's husband sitting next to her in the audience

This article was published on April 14 in The New Paper.

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