Category Archives: Entertainment

Your Weekend Entertainment– Nat King Cole

May 23, 2015

Phnom Penh

Your  Weekend Entertainment– Nat King Cole

I turned 76 today. What better way to celebrate the occasion than to be entertained by one of dinat UC crooners of my generation, Nat King Cole, the man with a velvet voice and a heart of gold. I regret that I cannot be with my wife, Dr. Kamsiah, to share the occasion. Her duty to her patients prevents her from being in Phnom Penh for the occasion.

Seven decades plus 5 have gone too quickly and when I look back and take stock of my life and after my reflection in the dying hours of my 75th year, I find I have not achieve very much except for being a constant irritant to my widowed mother when I was growing up, and now for crossing swords with our corrupt and dishonest Najib regime and his UMNO predecessors. There is still much that remains to be done; it is never too late but I must now make haste slowly.

At The University of Cambodia, I will be able to do research  and write my memoirs with the help of some of my able research assistants and eager graduate students, catch up with my reading outside of my fields of specialisation. It has been quite some time since I read a poem, the classics and other novels, and books on history, religion and philosophy.

I remain forever indebted to my departed mother for giving me a priceless gift of a good education which enabled me to travel and work in many countries, for teaching me to know the difference between right and wrong and not to compromise on principles, and how to be humane and considerate to and do no harm to others. I am also grateful to my dear wife Dr. Kamsiah for allowing me to answer my call for service in Phnom Penh at the University of Cambodia in education and capacity building.

The environment here in Phnom Penh is liberating and quite inspiring since Cambodia’s leaders and Cambodians are busy rebuilding the civil war ravaged country. What Prime Minister Hun Sen has done to politics is to create a political culture based on dialogue and  win-win discourse, and cooperation among all stakeholders. He believes that politics should not be adversarial and confrontational if everyone is focused on development of the human character and mind and the economy. The much respected and admired Prime Minister Hun Sen is revamping the education system to make it world class so that his people can integrate and compete in ASEAN and the rest of the world,  and I am here at the University of Cambodia to partake in making his vision a reality. For this reason, at 76 today, I am perked up and excited.

Let me assure you that I will not lose sight of my beloved Malaysia.. I will be active on my blog to expose the rampant corruption and abuses of power of the UMNO-BN regime without fear, and keep a close watch on what the political opposition is saying and doing, not hesitating to criticise them when they fail to keep to their cause.

Thank you for good wishes on Facebook and look to your support and encouragement for this blog. To worth anything, a blog must be read by discerning readers and visitors. So keep those comments coming.–Din Merican

Weekend Entertainment from Phnom Penh by The Mekong

May 9, 2015

Weekend Entertainment from Phnom Penh by The Mekong

Yes, CLF, I have been neglecting my DJ duties for a quite a while. The reason is simple. Music depends on one’s mood. In Malaysia with all the nonsense happening under the leadership of the inept, dishonest and extremely  corrupt Jibby, there is no mood for enjoyment. But in Phnom Penh, I feel useful, energised and liberated.

Here I see Cambodians working hard daily to make decent living while their leaders are busy trying to attract foreign investment to create jobs for their people. The politics is stable with Prime Minister Hun Sen is fully in charge and the city by the Mekong is vibrant and booming. Economic growth for 2015 is projected to be 8 percent in real terms driven by construction, tourism and agriculture. The Riel is stable against the US dollar.

Din and Kam @KLIAI am in a celebratory mood right now and it is indeed appropriate to feature Neil Diamond. I dedicate this entire album of Neil’s hits to my dear wife, Dr. Kamsiah and all of you wherever you may be in God’s world. To my dear wife, I say be strong as I am only 90 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. Stay cool. Change is coming to Malaysia if we all can make it happen.–Din Merican

New Rules for Entertainers

April 18, 2015

COMMENT: My comment is short and simple. Just don’t come to Malaysia. Your Malaysian fans can go to Singapore, Bangkok, and Hong Kong, where the government is liberal and open minded. They can take the plane,train or bus to see you.

Visit Malaysia 2015Forget about Visit Malaysia, the Land of Endless Celebrations, Mr Tourism Minister, Dato Seri Nazri Aziz, because JAKIM, a unit in the Prime Minister’s Department, is sabotaging your efforts. It is sad that the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, is not cooperating  with you by allowing this to happen. Maybe Najib is too preoccupied with his own political survival to deal with this ruling and other matters.–Din Merican

New Rules for Entertainers

by Zurairi

Entertainers coming to Malaysia will now have to adhere to new rules prepared by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM), which impose limitations on stage performances, dress and behaviour codes and gender segregation for attendees.

The rules, which were released by the department this week, also stipulate that an artist should not have a criminal record, whether in a Shariah or civil court, and should maintain a “noble personality” and “good morals”, even outside the performance.

During a performance, the artist must “dress decently” in attire that covers their “aurat”, which refers to the “intimate body parts” that Muslims must cover with clothing. Performances, songs, events and music videos must not insult religious sensitivities, the nation and any race, while the use of any symbolism that go against Islamic teachings and faith is also forbidden.

For stage performances, JAKIM insists that jokes told should be “sparing”, must “toe the line”, and should not lead to “extreme laughter”. Entertainers are also forbidden from making light of “serious and mournful matters”.Meanwhile, song lyrics should contain “goodness and pure values”, in addition to “bringing awareness” and “leading to repentance”.

The music accompanying the lyrics, on the other hand, should “motivate positive atmosphere” and “bring peace”, instead of evoking “negative emotions that contradict Islamic teachings”.Finally, the rules also ban interaction between men and women attendees of any performance.

The new guidelines were drafted last year but were only approved in the 107th convention of the National Fatwa Committee on February 10 and 11 this year, and superseded the first version which was published in 2007.

The previous guidelines, which included none of the abovementioned rules, were focused on prohibiting elements of vice and idolatry in performances, in addition to ensuring that entertainment events “benefit the well-being of the public”.

According to JAKIM, the new list is meant to assist the authorities in ensuring that entertainment programmes are based on the Islamic faith and codes, and moral values.

Although the guidelines are not considered as binding law, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, had in January, advised approving authorities to remind event organisers to adhere to the list made by Jakim.

The new guidelines also specify that any entertainment events must be referred to the authorities for guidance.

Following a controversial mini-concert featuring South Korean band B1A4 which saw three-tudung clad Malay fans hugging on stage, Jakim had said that the Federal Territories Islamic Department (Jawi) was empowered to act on the organisers as it was under its jurisdiction.

“Did all the agencies and the organiser of the event take heed of this guideline? This concert was not referred to JAKIM, in fact JAKIM had no idea about the event,” said JAKIM Director-General Datuk Othman Mustapha.

Dame Shirley Bassey at The BBC

March 21, 2015

Your Weekend Entertainment –Dame Shirley Bassey at The BBC

We all have been through a lot this whole week and the week before. We have wtinessed the passing of the Hudud Bill (with amendments) by PAS and UMNO politicians at the Kelantan state assembly. They did it for purely political reasons. We read that at LIMA 2015, our beloved Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has bought himself a new toy which will fly him and his consort around the world, costing nearly half billion ringgit at our expense. The Police continues to arrest and persecute opposition politicians like Nurul Izzah, Rafizi Ramli while in our homes, we are not secure from night raiders who will rob us clean when we are less vigilant.


The 1MDB scandal continues with the Auditor-General in action while attempts to divert our attention from this mother of scandals continues unabated. On April 1, GST comes into effect leaving citizens burdened with the rise in the cost of living. So far, we know taxi, bus and train fares have gone up. We are sure  that  the prices of tosai, chapati, roti canai and tea tarik will rise as well, and we know salaries have not increased.

Let us put all that behind us at least momentarily and take a break.  We hope will enjoy the company of  the incomparable Dame Shirley Bassey who sings with such emotion and virtuosity.– Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

Weekend Entertainment–Barry Manilow: My Dream Duets

March 7, 2015

Your Weekend Entertainment–Barry Manilow: My Dream Duets

A. Kam DDM

For this weekend, Dr. Kamsiah and I are pleased to share  Barry Manilow’s latest release titled  Barry Manilow: My Dream Duets with you. With technology, imagination and creativity, Singer-Composer-Arranger, Barry is able to “sing” with singers long gone. Listen him do that with Mama Cass Ellioit, Whitney Houston, John Denver, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, and others. Enjoy yourself with this album. –Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican


ASTRO: Customer Unfriendly Cable TV Network

February 27, 2015

ASTRO: Customer Unfriendly Cable TV Network

by Marion Tharsis (02-26-15)


Today, ASTRO enjoys an unwavering dominance of the cable television network  in Malaysia. Consequently, we have to follow, and accept, any implementation changes to their existing packages whenever they feel like doing it.

They no longer have the courtesy to call you to seek your acceptance or offer any explanation as why these changes need to be implemented.Their current trend of operation is, just splash the news about imminent changes on television and expect us to ‘swallow’ it.Call their customer service and you will get a ‘dumb’ reply.

I just want to highlight two recent encounters that I have been subjected to. Firstly,Ananda Krishnan ASTRO increased its high-definition channels that are included in the package I subscribe to. By doing so, I have to pay more without any consent of mine or prior formal advisory. Secondly, out of the blue, ASTRO splashed a news banner on television to advise all Sports Package subscribers that the Golf Channel will no longer be included in this package, effective February 26, 2015. Pay more – if you want channel back!

And if we wish to view this popular sport, we have to pay for it as and when we want it. Here again it, this was done without any formal advice or consultation with the subscriber.One if the main reasons why I subscribe to the Sports Package is because of this Golf Channel and now I am deprived of it.

Want it back, I have to pay more – which I think is absurd and ridiculous. Logically speaking, the cost of this package should be reduced, but this is not the case. You still pay the same amount. But then again, if monopoly exists, then we are ‘slaves’ to it, without any other choice.

I am sure there are other cable television operators who want to establish their networks in Malaysia and I think they should be given an opportunity to do so, just to allow some competition and break this monopoly.

Otherwise, ASTRO will get bolder, and change and implement according to its whims and fancies, without due respect or concern for the subscribers. As it is, we are given channels that are of no use to us, but ASTRO says it is “under the package” and you have to accept it. What a rip-off!