Monday, March 13, 2006I wanted to give Saturday's Anugerah Seri Angkasa a miss but Mimi wanted to feel the ambience of being among the VIPs. She would probably write about her enchanted evening in her blog sometime soon.
There were many awards that night some would dispute. I shall not go into that, more so because there are many of friends in the jury. There were a few decisions that gladenned my old hardened heart. Among them was the choice of V.Prema as the Best Radio DJ. The fact that she can beat even the Malay djs speaks volumes for her command of the National Language and her mastery of the art of chattering. Prema can even effortlessly remind her Muslim listeners to do the solat and at times automatically responded to a caller's salam with a sincere "Walikumsalam!" Sometimes listeners forget that Prema is not a Muslim. This of course does not make Prema less Malaysian. Well done girl! I can imagine her usually quiet and reserved husband smiling a little bit.
I have personal reasons to agree wholeheartedly with the choice of Wan Hanafi Su as the Best TV Drama Actor even though I seldom watch Malay TV dramas. I do know that Napi is a good actor and would be in the same circle as my friend Ahmad Yatim, Khalid Salleh and other accomplished actors. Napi's family is part of my extended family. I call his father, the famous wood carver Tok Su.
The only choice of the evening that no one would dare dispute would be the award for Broadcast Personality of Year. Tan Sri Dol Ramli totally deserves this award just as he deserved the numerous other recognitions earlier. He was a broadcaster's broadcaster and a fine human being to boot. I did not have the honour to serve under him as I joined RTM after he was no longer the Director General. I do know though that he was the composer for the song "Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa" that I sang endlessly as a school boy. Tan Sri Dol Ramli is the only broadcaster alive that was at all the places in the history of RTM. He started in Caldecott Hill, Singapore, came to KL (Young Road and Federal House) and retired in the complex that he helped to create - Angkasapuri. Tan Sri also had a hand in the creation of the Asian Broadcasting Union as well as the Asian Institute of Broadcasting Development. After retirement, Tan Sri Dol Ramli headed BERNAMA and later worked for UMW as Head of Corporate Communications when, in his own words "I had to deliver big birthday cakes to sultans." Tan Sri Dol Ramli is a director of many companies and was active in many voluntary organisations such as the Historical Society. He is still the Adviser to the Persatuan Veteran RTM. For an association that does not collect monthly (or even annual) subscription, PVRTM survives on the annual dividend from Amanah Saham Mara that Tan Sri Dol transferred to the association.
A few days after he was awarded Panglima Setia Mahkota last year, a few of the veterans visited Tan Sri Dol Ramli's house in Bukit Ampang. He already had difficulties moving about because of a torn cartilage. Note the walker in the snapshot (taken with my Zire71 PDA) below.
That evening I had a peek at the genius of the man. He was telling us how RTM, especially Suara Malaysia countered Indonesia's salvos of psy-war during Confrontation. One of the rumors spread by the Indonesian media was that we were running short of butter. Why butter? I did not ask because I did not want to interupt. Tan Sri did not ask radio announcers to say that the rumours were not true. He did something more subtle. He instructed Siti Hawa Majid or one of the other Women's Programme producers (he wasn't sure, can Nurfarahin confirm?) to air recipes that use a lot of butter.
Tan Sri Dol Ramli penned his experiences of his broadcasting life as articles in the occasional newsletter of PVRTM. I hope the then Editor, Zulkarnain Hassan still have them in safe custody. They are valuable insights that might not be available from the current crop of broadcasters. Tan Sri Dol graduated from Universtity Malaya, Singapore not with a degree in Boradcasting or Communication but he did an excellent job as a broadcaster and communicator.
I wonder how he would handle the communication on the current fuel crisis.