Friday, September 28, 2012

Ghani Minhat - Malaysian King Of Football

Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Minhat passed away after a long illness today.

His death is a great loss to Malaysian football and he will go down in history as Malaysia's King Of Football, together with the late Datuk Mokhtar Dahari among others.

Read all about him from Wikipedia.

Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Minhat (23 December, 1935 - 28 September, 2012) will always be remembered as one of Malaysia's greatest footballers.

He played for Selangor from the 1950s until the late 1960s as a striker.

Ghani hailed from Seremban and was the top scorer of Malaysian football - 106 goals in 15 games.

Besides representing the national football team, he also underwent training in the UK and Germany.

After his retirement he coached the national football team.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Andy Williams - The Family Man's Crooner

Andy Williams, the legendary family man's crooner passed away today after a long battle with cancer.

He will be missed.

Read all about him from Wikipedia.

Andrew Howard Williams (December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012) was an American singer who recorded 18 Gold and three Platinum-certified albums.

He hosted The Andy Williams Show, a TV variety show, from 1962 to 1971, as well as numerous television specials, and owned the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, named after the song Moon River with which he was closely identified.

Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa and performed in a children's choir at the local Presbyterian church.

Williams and his three elder brothers Bob, Don and Dick formed the Williams Brothers quartet in late 1938.

The Williams Brothers appeared with Bing Crosby on the hit record Swinging On A Star (1944).

They also appeared in four musical films, Janie and Kansas City Kitty in 1944, and Something In The Wind and Ladies' Man in 1947.

After landing a spot as a regular on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1954, Williams became a popular solo singer.

He released the song Canadian Sunset in 1956 and Butterfly in 1957.

During the 1960s, Williams became one of the most popular vocalists in the United States and at one time earned more gold albums than any solo performer except Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Elvis Presley.

By 1973 he had earned as many as 18 gold album awards.

Among his hit albums were Moon River, Days Of Wine And Roses, The Andy Williams Christmas Album, Dear Heart, The Shadow Of Your Smile, Love, Andy, Get Together With Andy Williams and Love Story.

Williams forged a collaborative relationship with Henry Mancini, although they never recorded together.

He sang Mancini's Moon River which became the Oscar Best Song 1962 (from Breakfast At Tiffany's).

Williams hosted the most Grammy telecasts, from the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971 through the 19th Annual Grammy Awards in 1977.

In the early 1970s, when the Richard Nixon Administration attempted to deport John Lennon, Andy Williams was an outspoken defender of the former Beatle's right to stay in the United States.

In 2002, he re-recorded Can't Take My Eyes Off You as a duet with British actress and singer Denise Van Outen.

In 1961. Williams married French singer and actress Claudine Longet. They had three children and split in 1975.

In 1991, he married Debbie Meyer.

A Democrat during his early years, Williams became a Republican after being converted by his friend Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tee Hui Yee - An Inspiration To Millions

From New Straits Times.

HEART transplant patient Tee Hui Yee who passed away on September 18, 2012 will always be an inspiration to millions of Malaysians.

She gave them hope that there is life after organ transplants and that one should live life to the fullest.

Tee, 19, was a kindergarten teacher in her hometown Batu Pahat, Johor.

She was the youngest of four siblings.

In 2007, she touched the hearts of millions when she pleaded for a donor heart while having to survive on a mechanical heart.

She had used a mechanical heart for about a year before she underwent surgery at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur after receiving a heart from a youth who died in a road accident in Perak.

She was discharged from the NHI in 2008 after spending 15 months under observation.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah - Veteran Cabinet Minister

From New Straits Times

Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah, who passed away at 88 today, was a long-serving cabinet minister of Malaysia.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia's honorary life president hailed from Pekan, Pahang and was related to second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein (he was married to Abdul Razak's sister Toh Puan Zainon Hussain and they have seven children).

Apart from being a cabinet minister until 1980, Hamzah was the president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (1976-1998) and vice president of the Asian Sports Federation (1988-1998), Olympic Council of Asia (1982-1986) and Commonwealth Games Federation (1982-1998) and honorary life president of the Southeast Asian Games Federation (1977-2012).

He was also the president of the Football Association of Malaysia (1976-1983), honorary president of the Football Association of Malaysia (1983-2012), president of the Asian Football Confederation (1978-1994), honorary president of the Asian Football Confederation (1994-2012), vice president of FIFA (1982-1990), honorary executive member of FIFA (1990-2012), president of the Malaysian Cricket Association (1969-1990) and president of the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (1987-1999).

Hamzah studied in the Malay College Kuala Kangsar and graduated with a law degree from Gray's Inn, the United Kingdom in 1953.

During Britain's Queen Elizabeth's visit to Malaysia in 1972, Hamzah was the minister assigned to accompany her.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Michael Clarke Duncan - Versatile Actor

Multi-talented Michael Clarke Duncan passed away of a heart ailment on September 3, 2012.

His death is a great loss to American cinema.

He will be missed.

Read all about him from Wikipedia.

Michael Clarke Duncan (December 10, 1957 – September 3, 2012) was an American actor, best known for his breakout role as John Coffey in The Green Mile, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

He is also recognised for his appearances in motion pictures such as Armageddon, The Whole Nine Yards and Daredevil, as well as voice acting roles in Brother Bear and Delgo.

Duncan was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in a single-parent household with his sister and mother.

Duncan's large frame — 196 cm and 142 kg — helped him in his jobs digging ditches for the People's Gas Company and being a bouncer at several Chicago clubs.

Duncan stated that one of his many jobs had been a stripper and that his stage name was Black Caesar.

In 1979, he participated in the Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox.

He was among the first 100 people to run onto the field and he slid into third base.

During the ensuing riot his silver belt buckle was stolen while he was stealing a baseball bat from the dugout.

Clarke would later provide the narration for the 2005 World Series film.

Duncan took other security jobs while in Los Angeles while trying to get some acting work in commercials.

During this time, he worked as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J and Notorious BIG, all the while doing bit parts in television and films.

When Notorious was killed in 1997, Duncan quit this line of work.

In 1998, Duncan was cast as Bear in the film Armageddon, where he struck up a friendship with castmate Bruce Willis.

It was Bruce Willis' influence that helped him to get his breakout role as John Coffey in the Frank Darabont-directed The Green Mile, a role which netted him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor In A Supporting Role and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture.

Duncan then acted in a string of films that helped to establish him as a star - The Whole Nine Yards, Planet Of The Apes, The Scorpion King (where he starred alongside his friend Dwayne Johnson), The Island and Daredevil as Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin.

In 2005, he starred in the film Sin City (again alongside Bruce Willis) as Manute, a powerful mobster.

Duncan appeared in a minor role in the 2006 movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby as Lucius Washington.

He also guest starred in numerous television shows - The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody and CSI: NY.

Hal David - Iconic Songwriter

Hal David passed away at 91 on Sept 1, 2012.

Read all about him from Wikipedia.

Harold Lane "Hal" David (May 25, 1921 – September 1, 2012) was an American lyricist.

He grew up in Brooklyn, New York City.

He was best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach and his association with Dionne Warwick.

David was born in New York City, the son of Lina Goldberg and Gedalier David.

He was Israeli by descent.

From the 1940s, he wrote lyrics for Sammy Kaye and Guy Lombardo.

In 1951 he wrote music for the film Two Gals And A Guy.

In 1957, David met composer Burt Bacharach in New York.

They wrote their first hit The Story Of My Life recorded by Marty Robbins in 1957.

Later that year Perry Como had a hit with their Magic Moments.

In the 1960s and early 1970s Bacharach and David wrote some of the most enduring songs in American popular music, for Dionne Warwick, The Carpenters, Dusty Springfield, B J Thomas, Gene Pitney, Tom Jones and Jackie DeShannon.

Bacharach and David hits included Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head, This Guy's In Love With You, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Do You Know The Way To San Jose, Walk On By, What The World Needs Now Is Love, I Say A Little Prayer, (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me, One Less Bell To Answer and Anyone Who Had A Heart.

The duo's film work includes the Oscar-nominated title songs for What's New Pussycat? and Alfie, The Look Of Love from Casino Royale and the Oscar-winning Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head from Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.

Don't Make Me Over, (They Long To Be) Close To You and Walk On By have been inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame.

David and Bacharach were awarded the 2011 Gershwin Prize For Popular Song bestowed by the Library Of Congress, the first time a songwriting team was given the honour.

David's work with other composers includes Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias' To All The Girls I've Loved Before with Albert Hammond, Sarah Vaughan's Broken Hearted Melody with Sherman Edwards, the 1962 Joanie Sommers hit Johnny Get Angry also with Edwards and We Have All The Time In The World written with John Barry and sung by Louis Armstrong for the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

29 Februari - A Malaysian Button And Gump

KRU's latest movie is 29 Februari.

It is the story of a Selangorian man named Budi Halim Kamal born on February 29, 1896.

He ages slowly and he becomes a year older every four years.

He lives through history.

He grows with Malaysia.

He spends his lifetime pursuing Lily Ho, the love of his life whom he met on August 31, 1957, Independence Day.

While he loses many people dear to him because they age faster than him and go before him, he also becomes wiser and more mature as a result of his longevity.

He dedicates his life to caring for his fellow orphans in the orphanage where he grew up.

Produced by KRU.

Directed by Edry Abdul Halim.

Written by Amir Hafizi Mohd Sood.

Starring Remy Ishak (Budi), Jojo Goh (Lily), Izzue Mazlan (Razak), Munif Isa (Ariff), Ramli Hassan (Halim), Dian P Ramlee (Halim's wife Sakinah), Nam Ron (Salam), Chew Kin Wah (Ho), Adleena Nordin (Khadijah) and Fizz Fairuz (Johan).

Budi Halim Kamal (Feb 29, 1896 - Aug 31, 2012) was born in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor on February 29, 1896 and was a special child who aged slowly.

A year was three months for him.

He only became a year older on the next February 29.

According to his grand nephews Johan and Ariff, he was born following the fall of a meteor.

His father Halim Kamal was a respected and distinguished civil servant of the Federated Malay States who hailed from Taiping, Perak.

In 1941, Budi's parents Halim and Sakinah were beheaded by the Japanese who invaded Malaya and executed the high ranking civil servants who were slavishly loyal to the British including Halim.

Budi was sent to an orphanage founded by Salam and his wife Fatimah.

He became best friends with Razak, a blind orphan and they learnt to weave rattan balls and baskets.

On August 31, 1957, the day Malaya became independent, a 10-year-old mute girl named Khadijah joined Salam's orphanage in Kuala Lumpur and took an instant liking to Budi, who was the big brother of the orphanage.

Budi also met and fell in love with Lily Ho, a 16-year-old student of The Methodist Girls' School in Kuala Lumpur.

They met in the Merdeka Stadium where first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra officially proclaimed Malaya independent from British rule.

Budi and Razak helped retrieve Lily's handbag from a snatch thief.

Budi and Lily dated for four years.

She briefly went to a teacher's training college in Kuala Lumpur after completing Form Six in 1961.

Lily actually went for teacher training on her father's orders.

He had always objected to her relationship with Budi and forced her to marry Alex Hew, a childhood friend's son.

Lily tried to keep her relationship a secret from her father but sadly her prejudiced younger sister Julie let the secret out.

Lily left home in 1961 to become a singer and actress in Radio Television Malaysia in Georgetown, Penang.

She chose not to see Budi again and she also blamed him for souring her relationship with her prejudiced father.

Salam kicked Budi out of his orphanage as he did not approve of his courtship of Lily.

Budi put up with Mariappan or Ayappan, a barber who was his close friend.

He also learnt that his father had left him his old house which the Japanese had razed.

With Ayappan's help, Budi obtained legal ownership of the house.

In 1969, during the violence of May 13 in Kuala Lumpur, Budi and his boss and friend Ayappan sheltered Lily's businessman father Ho in Ayappan's barber shop.

Ho and Budi made peace and Budi promised Ho that he would look for Lily in Georgetown.

Ayappan kept in touch with Budi until his death in 1985.

He helped Budi renovate Halim's house and make it the new premises for the Salam Orphanage.

Ayappan regularly kept Salam in touch with Budi until their deaths in 1985.

Lily Ho migrated from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor to Georgetown, Penang in 1961 to become a Radio Television Malaysia singer and actress.

She met Razak the foster brother of her lost love Budi Halim when he migrated to Georgetown in 1965.

He had been adopted by a rich businessman who was later one of the founders of the national car company Proton.

Razak got married to the businessman's daughter in 1966 and a year later they had a son named Khairuddin.

Lily became a tenant of the family.

She changed her identity to Elizabeth Ho to avoid detection by her family and Budi whom she blamed for making her estranged from her family.

In 1986, Khairuddin married one of Lily's fellow RTM singers Natasha Lim.

They had a son Ariff a year later.

In 1997, 10-year-old Ariff lost his father in a car accident.

His grand parents died later that year of cancer and Natasha and Lily looked after him.

Budi resumed his friendship with Razak and his family after they were reunited in 1985.

He became an uncle of sorts to the late Khairuddin and also met the newborn Ariff.

However, Lily still kept her identity a secret from Budi.

Lily retired from singing in 1997 and with Natasha, became the owner of a boutique restaurant.

Natasha died of cancer in 2007, the year her son went to university.

After finishing his studies in the Indigenous People's Trust University of Technology in Shah Alam in 2009 and graduating with a business degree, Ariff became an assistant manager for Budi in De Flora, his flower company.

His cousin Johan also served as an assistant manager in the company.

Johan was the grand nephew of Razak and the grandson of Razak's brother-in-law.

Lily was by now terminally ill with cancer, as was Budi.

Lily and Budi were reunited when he visited her in Georgetown Hospital on Ariff's invitation.

It was her birthday, March 1. She was 71.

By now Lily had decided to revert to her original name and make peace with Budi.

During this time Budi made a will that his property would be inherited by Lily and later Ariff.

Lily had made peace with her parents and her sister Julie in 1975.

She also made peace with her onetime fiance Alex in 1985 when he and his wife met her after a concert performance.

Her parents passed on in 1985 as did Budi's and Razak's foster parents who owned the Salam Orphanage in Kuala Lumpur.

Ayappan, Budi's barber friend who helped him obtain ownership of his family home, also passed on in 1985.

Lily and Budi died on National Day, August 31, 2012 exactly 55 years after they first met.

Budi had been seriously injured when he was knocked down by a car in the midst of the annual National Day parade.

He died a few hours after Lily in Georgetown Hospital.

The cause of his death was not the injuries but cardiac arrest, the result of loss of will power to live after seeing Lily critically ill in the same intensive care unit of the Georgetown Hospital.

Ariff then inherited both their businesses and those of his grandfather and great grandfather.

Johan helped him manage the businesses.

The Salam Orphanage was renamed Budi Orphanage in memory of Budi on December 4, 2012.

It is operated by Ariff, Johan and Khadijah, the 65-year-old and once mute foster sister of Budi and Razak, who had miraculously regained her speech over the last 20 years.

The home of Budi's father Halim was renovated in 1979 and is now the orphanage's premises.

Budi lived for 116 years and six months.

In his own biological years, it was 29 years, a month and 15 days.

According to Khadijah, Ariff and Johan, his spirit appears in Budi Orphanage in the form of a firefly.

Sometimes there are two fireflies, the other being the spirit of Lily.

Both of them loved fireflies and dreamed of becoming fireflies.