I used to be Siti Nurhaliza’s hardcore fan. Like a real hardcore fan. Where no one could say bad things about her, etc. But everything transpired as I grow up, and after she got married (Haha!). I still like her and enjoy her music but not as hardcore as I used to be. As a Middle Class Malay, it is understandable why Siti Nurhaliza has been part of my “auditory solaces” over the years. Her music represent the Middle Class people – the genre where Upper Class Malays and Westerner-Wannabe Malays look down upon; the typical “Jiwang Melayu” (lovey-dovey Malay) and “Kampung” (backward). But it is her music that really reminds you the essence of Malay. If you were abroad and suddenly you are craving for Malay ambiance just for a while – all you have to do is just to get yourself a dosage of Siti Nurhaliza’s traditional or Malay songs and that longing will be alleviated (from my own experiences).
Her image as goody-two-shoes Malay poster girl was slightly smeared when she wedded the widower, Datuk Khalid. But over the years, we have seen how sincerity prevailed everything. Their marriage is blessed and even with the exes – they form a large family. Still, audience who have never been in contact with the chanteuse doubt her personality, including me, the ex-hardcore fan. But when you peruse all the interviews involving her family members and her stepsons, you know that that is the real her. She is “born polite” – so said Zainal Alam Kadir, the renowned reporter in Siti Nurhaliza’s Special in History Channel. And the way she speaks about her husband – even during interviews, she never talk ill about her husband; even when she was joking relating about how her romantic relationship with Datuk K wasn’t a love first sight (she profusely apologized for saying that she wasn’t attracted to him at first sight! Haha!).
It was quite a controversial news back then. And reporters were excited to “dig” more on the news. And conservative Malays were left bewildered. How could the innocent, Malay poster girl to be connected with a widower?
Initially, I did have an intention to study her speeches from rhetorical criticism point of view (I am studying speeches). I planned to study her interviews and how her guarded persona was somehow “shaken” when she was questioned on sensitive issues in regards of her fertility (she blatantly fired up to an insensitive reporter from Galaksi TV Programme for poking on her discreet visitations to a fertility hospital). I planned to mould the Pregnancy Issue as the exigence of my PhD research but after submitting the proposal (My Supervisor was very open to any of my suggestion. He let me explore any possibilities. Haha!), I felt that the scenario wasn’t really that strong to be scaffolded as a research; so I abort the topic and resort doing Angelina Jolie’s speech. You guys can check my blog entry dated 5th October 2016 : https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/gggoooodbbyye-sitii-nuurhaliza-the-country-bumpkin-diva-the-ph-d-revolution-new-discussion-new-direction-image-restoration-image-persuasive-rhetorical-communication/.
Siti Nurhaliza and I have gone a long way in my blog. I have written about her for quite sometimes :-
- 18th July 2006; Siti Nurhaliza’s rumours on her wedding with Datuk K (mind my topsy-turvy language! I was young and so not matured in my writing and thinking; but it was what it was!!) at https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2006/07/17/the-darling-of-malaysia-siti-nurhaliza-is-getting-hitched/ and the second episode at https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2006/07/18/the-darling-of-malaysia-siti-nurhaliza-part-ii/;
- 25th November 2008; Siti Nurhaliza’s picture at a private event. My ex-banker colleague Kak Khairina Datuk Hussin’s event : https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2008/11/25/picture-from-facebook-siti-nurhaliza/;
- 30th December 2008; Siti Nurhaliza’s traditional album entitled “Lentera Timur” (The Eastern Lantern) review at https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2008/12/30/scheherazade-of-voice-siti-nurhaliza-the-eastern-lantern-a-firefly-the-nymphs/;
- 29th September 2011; Siti Nurhaliza first English album debut “All Your Love” at https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/100000-jubilee-views-all-your-love-siti-nurhalizas-english-debut-album/;
- 6th July 2014; Siti Nurhaliza’s “Fragmen” album review at https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/the-15th-musical-fragments-of-a-malaysian-chanteuse-fragmen-by-siti-nurhaliza
My hardcore craze days are already over but I still admire her personality. I like that she still have that Middle Class Malay Muslim essence in her despite now that she has already elevated her social status (she represent me and the rest of my childhood friends). I also love the idea that she now is a devout, practicing Muslim as she always get herself affiliated with Islamic events such as Usrah and performing Umrah and Hajj – whenever I read about her and MizzNina, it sort of giving me the thump on my back saying, I need to detach myself from the Wanton alter-ego (guilty as charged) and get myself in touch with that Malay Muslim side of me.
Coincidentally, I went there the month after Siti Nurhaliza went there with ALCC Travel (last year’s March!). Perhaps, Siti Nurhaliza’s prayer at Mihrab Zakaria (Zechariah’s Sanctuary) was answered by ALLAH SWT? You guys can read my Al-Aqsa’s visit at https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/hymn-for-the-soul-the-land-of-the-prophets-my-spiritual-journey-at-the-promised-land-palestine-israel-al-ar%E1%B8%8D-al-muqaddasah-eretz-hakodesh/. I remember that I prayed for someone there but unfortunately he passed away right after I came back to Malaysia. God bless him.
And lastly, I also admire her patience – her positive outlook in life and put her faith to God. I remember watching one of video interviews (for the sake of my PhD Proposal!) where a foul-mouthed local entertainment reporter harshly asked her what if she is destined not to have a child forever; she calmly replied that she gave everything to the hands of God but deep down, she believed one day she would have a child. And it is, what it is. Kun Fa Ya Kun, if God wants it, let it be. God is Great. And congratulations to Siti Nurhaliza, the Malay icon for having a baby girl!!!! Feeling overwhelmed and amazed by your patience. Inspiring for me.
You can’t separate Siti Nurhaliza from Malayness – so said Asia Bagus’ Najib Ali. And it’s true.