Triple treat for 6,500 fans

It felt like a rock concert. The emcee challenged the crowd with "awak sudah bersedia?" (Malay for 'Are you ready?')

And the thunderous reply from the audience, who were a motley crew of uncles, aunties and young people, resonated across the football field-sized Resorts World Ballroom at Sentosa during last night's Jamiyah Mega Charity Concert.

The three acts - Taufik Batisah, Datuk Jamal Abdillah and Indonesian rock band Noah - seemed to have the crowd covered.

The 6,500-strong audience got a warm-up with Taufik's Sesuatu Janji (Malay for A Promise).

The R&B maestro gradually upped the ante.

He tested the waters by asking the audience to sing along and later put a couple of Malay aunties in an awkward situation when he asked their partners to sing and look into their eyes.

Said Ms Rauhdah Ramli, 18, who attended the concert with friends: "It's touching and meaningful to have somebody you love do that."


The audience, particularly the young ones, went into a frenzy when Taufik ended his performance with the catchy and popular #AwakKatMane (Malay for Where Are You).

For some of the uninhibited members of the audience, it was difficult to resist their emotions.

They soon found themselves mesmerised and mounting the lyrics of Jamal Abdillah's Gadis Melayu (Malay for Malay Girl).

His powerful and soulful vocals brought back memories, particularly for Madam Zaleha Mahmud, 55.

She said his songs reminded her of the times when she was dating her husband.

The Malaysian singer, who last performed in Singapore in 2011, went back further in time with a cover of legendary singer-actor P. Ramlee's classic Berkorban Apa Saja (Malay for Sacrifice Anything).

The crowd, particularly the older ones, were even unashamed to shout out song requests, which he obliged by singing a cappella.

The last performance of the night by Indonesian rock band Noah took the crowd's energy levels up again.

But at first, Noah's frontman Ariel needed some assurance from the audience. He had asked if they were tired and if they were able to help him sing.

They replied with a resounding "bisa", which means "yes" in Bahasa Indonesia.

An enthusiastic group of fans in the corner of the ballroom cheered along excitedly to Noah's high-energy beats and haunting guitars.

The handful of women had even gone there prepared, with a banner with the words "Friends of Noah from Singapore".


They stood up and danced as "Mungkin Nanti" (Malay for Maybe Later) was played. It was a song that was popular when lead singer Ariel was in Peterpan, the band's former name.

Ms Sue Ajis, who is in her 30s and is a hardcore Noah fan, said: "I have followed the band since they were known as Peterpan.

"Their music makes you just want to let go. This is my 10th time seeing Ariel perform in Singapore and Indonesia."

This article was first published on May 25, 2015.
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