Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Thursday, December 16, 2004
Tomorrow is Hari Q in Angkasapuri and my thoughts turned to the various radio stations in RTM and the personalities made famous by those stations. One of the personalities is Zainal Din Zainal. In my opinion, Zainal Din was the first dj in RTM. The rest then were announcers.

Zainal Din joined RTM as Broadcasting Assistant Grade 4, the bottom rung of the ladder. He was given a chance to be an announcer but could not satisfy the powers that be and he was transferred to Schedules & Programme Operations Division, a support service. He kept himself busy shunting tapes, scripts and jaduals while waiting for another break to go on air.

The break came in 1981 when my friend Hj. Yusof Awang took over as the head of Radio Malaysia Ibu Kota (RMIK) now known as Radio Malaysia Kuala Lumpur. The first boss of RMIK is Hj. Zulkarnain Hassan who was the first Radio man to be stationed in Terengganu. I used to see him on his Lambretta.

Hj.Yussof, a former teacher, joined RTM the same day as I did and we were even posted to the same unit albeit to different language services. He was in the Schools Broadcast Malay Service while I was sent to the English Service. Hj. Yusof had some idea of what to do with RMIK and he was looking for fresh talent. He got Zainal Din Zainal out of Schedules & Programmes Operation, gave him some guidelines and let him loose on air.

With the gift of the gab, a sense of humour, lots of creativity and an indulgent boss, Zainal Din became a hit with the metropolitan listeners. He had a trademark bell, not unlike the bell used by the kacang puteh sellers, that he rang in between banters and songs. Zainal Din communicated well with his audience, sometimes with silly riddles like this:

"Kalau 2 orang kawan, sorang di JB dan sorang lagi di Padang Besar, berjalan undur kebelakang, agaknya di mana mereka akan berjumpa?"

(Answer: Tanjung Rambutan. They would be mistaken as lunatics for walking backwards.)

Zainal Din was given the morning show which was so popular that he could not go on leave. His supervisor would not allow him. After a while, Zainal Din decided to take matters into his own hands. He found a replacement and took off on a much deserved holiday.

As soon as he came back he was brought on the carpet. Hj.Yusof is from Kedah and Zainal Din Zainal, although from Kuala Selangor, spoke to his boss in Kedah dialect too. So read this dialogue in the dialect of the North:

Hj.Yusof: Ada Encik Abu (The supervisor) beritau apa pasai aku panggil hang?

Zainal : Ada...aa

Hj. Yusof: Awat hang cabut lagu tu?

Zainal : Saja..aa!

Hj.Yusof: Sajaa, sajaa! Kena tindakan tatatertib macam mana?

Zainal : Tak apa aa.

Hj.Yusof: Tak apa? Nanti aku rekomen potong gaji hang, macam mana?

Zainal: Naya...aa.

Hj.Yusof made Zainal Din promise not to go A.W.O.L. again and let him off with a stern warning. Both are retired now but I suspect they still have an occasional chuckles whenever they remember this incident.

| 12:04 AM :: ::
25 CommentsOldStyle:
  • angkasapuri... angkasapuri... (tempat jatuh lagi dikenang!) do they still recruit people for the news room? im kinda interested lor! ;)

    By Blogger part time bride, at 4:29 AM  
  • LOL, what a guy! Yes I remember Zainal on air back then. It needs lot of sense of humour to be a good DJ.

    By Blogger Honeytar, at 6:29 AM  
  • Pasai apa la kan, DJ kat radio di Mesia... suka cakap berulang-ulang?
    "hari ini, ya hari ini"
    "selamat pagi, ya selamat pagi".

    By Blogger Atok, at 7:30 AM  
  • Salams.. hehehhe.. cerita disebalik langsir i guess :) ..even masa tu duk skoloh at KT..mana boleh dengor RMKL kan... but i remember & knows this En. Zainal..famous tu..

    By Blogger ceklong, at 9:12 AM  
  • Salams.. hehehhe.. cerita disebalik langsir i guess :) ..even masa tu duk skoloh at KT..mana boleh dengor RMKL kan... but i remember & knows this En. Zainal..famous tu..

    By Blogger ceklong, at 9:12 AM  
  • I concur with you. Zainaldin is one of the best DJ that we have ever had.

    I remember during my schooldays how we envy those who are in KL, who can tune in to RMIK and FM Stereo. Listeners in other states can only listen to Radio 1 and Radio 4!

    By Blogger Jiwa Rasa, at 9:16 AM  
  • I think one of his strongpoints is also his matured, smooth baritone voice.. not like some of the squeaky young voices we get today.. ;)

    By Blogger elisataufik, at 9:46 AM  
  • Yeah Zainal Din Zainal memang femes ya memang femes. Semua orang kenal dia ye semua orang kenal dia. Selamat pagi wargakota semua, selamat pagi.

    By Blogger Lollies, at 10:55 AM  
  • I like the way he provoke questions to the guess of his morning show. i.e. "Errr.. Dato', ni ada "orang kata" la , Dato' ni dah bla..bla....", but I think he's asking on behalf of himself. --md

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 AM  
  • Pok Ku,

    I thot his morning show was the first in M'sia where listeners could call in. Bukanke? I remember that people would call to vote for the most popular song. And the girls who called semuanya manja-manja.

    By Blogger seri, at 11:52 AM  
  • Pok Ku, are you still working at Angkasapuri or are you already retired? How long have you been working there ya, if you don't mind me asking? Wanna see if you know some of my relatives who used to work there.

    Also, do you recall a certain radio deejay on 95.3, his name is Rodney Fernandez. Is he still deejaying, do you know? He used to spin the coolest jazz collections. I used to call in lots & lots of times when he had competitions on his show, nak menang jazz cd's. Think I won no less than 5!! :)

    By Blogger Ms.B, at 12:58 PM  
  • gosh! LollieS made a good impression! i can almost hear zainal saying that. hahahaha!

    By Blogger Buaya69, at 2:44 PM  
  • kupu-kupu:
    Most recruitment exercises are publicised over the media. Watch out for the next one.
    Aaah, one of the fans!
    There are various reasons for that. One is the mannerism/style of the personality (like Yasmeen's "Good Morning! Good Morning! Good Morning!").
    The other is the characteristic of the medium. People cannot go back and check (like with a page of neswpaper/magazine) so repetition is necessary on radio unless it is highly irritating.
    Kat KT pong ada Zainal jugok-Zainal Mustaffa whom I recruited and trained.
    Now even RM Ipoh has personalities.
    Yes, a good voice is part of the attraction.
    Heheheh. Peminat ya.
    Dia cakap berlapek tu.
    You are right.
    Blabarella: I retired in August 1999. I remember Rodney. He worked for Radio Muzik when I was the boss. He had a jazz slot too.
    I take it that you are a fan too. Cool!

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 3:08 PM  
  • Ingat-ingat lupa Zainal Din ni.

    Sekarang suka dengar Richard & Shaz.

    By Blogger Aku Tak Reti, at 3:49 PM  
  • 2nd round comment .. aci dok Pokku? hehehhe.. Zainal Mustapha dok ingat.. but for Wan Abdul Rahman Hayat tu ingat..hehhehe..falling for his voice tu Pokku..maklumlah budok skoloh..hehehheh.... sorang tu Khalid.. (lupa full name dia) sbb dia ni pernah sound direct "beli album seniri la" biler caller mintak dia play one song....then one case biler one of female DJ (lupa la nama dia kena carut, tak silap skrg dia kat Radio 1) ...havoc RMKT.. masa tu.. :)

    By Blogger ceklong, at 4:37 PM  
  • Yup.... I kinda remember him and I think that he became a bit of a cornerstone for Malay DJ's because everyone else tried to imitate him/his style after that! Betul tak?

    And I see you've been very busy in the last month Pok Ku... with several honourable mentions! *grin* Congratulations!

    By Blogger DaisyBoo Blacksheep, at 5:09 PM  
  • AkuTakReti:
    Richard Ng ke?
    2 tiga raun pun ok. Wan & Khalid masuk selepas saya dah ditularkan ke KL.
    Yes, he was. I wasn't busy but thanks.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:21 PM  
  • ummm, dulu.. Radio Muzik dan RTM memainkan peranan yang teramat-amat penting di tempat saya ni sebelum ketibaan stesen2 radio yang 'fofular' skarang ini. Err, should I say, not just 'dulu' but sekarang jugak.... sebab stesen2 radio 'fofular' tu tak semua sampai siarannya di kawasan pedalaman di tempat saya ini.. :)

    By Blogger hana_kirana, at 5:22 PM  
  • Seronok tau ada peminat setia Radio Muzik.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:25 PM  
  • Haa.. cakap pasal DJ and radio..dulu saya pon memang la slalu call Radio Muzik..ye la masa tu, tgh2 malam kan best...seronok bila dengar our own voice on radio..rasa macam DJ lah pulak...

    PokKu, actually DJ ni mmg cita2 saya dulu..hehehe

    uih..."terkenang semasa dulu...."

    By Blogger zaireen, at 5:56 PM  
  • this brings me back to the days when i worked as a PR of a recording company.. turun naik angkasapuri, jumpa and pass cd to all deejays...minum2 kat canteen..heheh, i can't believe i survived that!!

    By Blogger hyphenated L, at 6:03 PM  
  • I remembered sometime in 1985-86 bila Zainal Din menerima panggilan from a young caller - I think she was 4 or 5 years old. Sungguh cerdik budak tu and everyday they will call each other, until one day when Zainal asked her about her parents, she told him over the air that her mother had died. Zainal Din hilang kata-kata, and the little girl instantly became a celebrity over RMKL.

    I wonder what happen to the little girl now...

    Pokku ingat lagi tak..

    By Blogger MA, at 12:41 PM  
  • Pok Ku, I was once interviewed by Zainal Din not because it was pre arranged but rather he hijacked me on the way to the studio of Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Thus I found myself sitting right in front of the Zainal Din, laughing and giggling throughout the interview. Needless to say, my husband who was driving and listening to the interview was so disgusted. He could not understand why I was laughing so much. Of course, he could not see the funny faces Zainal was making at me, and he could not see what Zainal looked like wearing the pair of ear rings that I had taken off to wear my headphone for the interview! It was quite an experience!

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