The Price of Weddings


“WEDDINGS ARE EXPENSIVE!”

How many of us have heard of that phrase before? I’m sure most of us have and damn right you are.

‘The global wedding industry is now a $300 billion dollar industry. $55bn of that is the US wedding market, according to an IBISWorld report, and includes over 500,000 businesses, putting 750,000 people to work.’ – THIS WAS IN 2015. Imagine how much more the industry is worth today.

That said, that industry is one that is overarching and differs between places and customs.

An Indian wedding, for example, is traditionally paid for by the bride and her family. And the weddings are extremely elaborate consisting of not just the extravagant clothings and jewellery but also because it lasts between five days and a week. The average Indian couple will spend one-fifth of the money they make in their entire lives on the event’.

Traditional Indian weddings have several events happening before the wedding, during the wedding and after the wedding. Each one, unique and significant, holds a lot of meaning to it.

Chinese weddings on the other hand, usually have two key events – the traditional ceremony in the morning and the wedding banquet which takes place usually in the evening on a weekend. For two years as a young teen, I worked at a hotel on weekends as a banquet waiter serving guests for wedding banquets. So, I often gawk in awe at how much it’d cost to hold such a wedding there.

So, how much?

As of 2016, banquet prices at top hotels are on the verge of hitting the unprecendented $2000 mark for each table of 10. And that is before the addition of the Goods and Services Tax.

What do you get for paying that much?

An 8 course dinner and a 1-2 nights’ stay at the hotel is quite the standard. And the price for inviting 500 guests in 2015 at a top hotel is about $112, 396.

So, if you don’t get invited to a Chinese wedding at a hotel. I don’t think you’d beat yourself too badly for it cause you’d need to put in about $200 for the red packet to pay for your meal.

So, what then of Malay weddings?

Are they really ‘$50 void deck weddings’? A term famously coined by one Ms Amy Cheong.

Malay wedding invites are typically for 1000 guests on each side of the wedding couple. So, when you put two families together, average guest list for a typical Malay wedding is 2000 guests. Having 2000 guests to be seated at the hotel is a crazy affair and if we’re going by the same rates as how the Chinese community pays for it, for 2000 guests at about $2000/table, it’s going to cost the both sides of the family a total of SGD$400,000!

Thus, void decks are a more sensible option to accomodate the large number of guests invited. That said, the cost for void deck weddings aren’t $50.

Perhaps, what is more appropriate is that $50 is the amount that should be paid by a couple attending since the price range of a void deck wedding ranges between $14,000 to about $20,000 depending on the range of food served, the type of entertainment engaged and the other professional services that accompany it.

But today, we see more Malays holding their wedding in hotels or in venues owned by the wedding companies themselves.

Regardless which culture you belong to, weddings are typically an expensive affair but they can also be affordable IF you’re willing to scale down the pomp of the whole event or to just stick to, what’s necessary only.

If you’re planning towards an outdoor wedding, I’ll share with you in my next post how you can go about it and save money along the way.

References:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/andre-bourque/technology-profit-and-piv_b_7193112.html

http://uk.businessinsider.com/inside-the-12-billion-indian-wedding-industry-2017-1/?IR=T/#but-thats-not-all-according-to-shah-the-desire-to-have-a-unique-wedding-means-that-more-and-more-couples-are-opting-to-travel-abroad-for-their-nuptials-9

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/price-of-wedding-tables-hits-new-high

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/police-report-filed-against-amy-cheong-over-racist-facebook-post.html

https://www.weddingwire.in/wedding-tips/indian-wedding-timeline–c167

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/malay-couples-paying-more-for-alternative-wedding-venues

 

 

 

Eventful March and April


March was a really exciting month and seems like April is going to look like a very long one as well. Every Saturday in March, I saw at the judges table, on invitation from National University of Singapore’s Persatuan Bahasa Melayu Universiti Kebangsaan Singapura or better known as NUS PBMUKS, to judge quatrains for a Pesta Pantun competition.

This year was the competitions’ 20th anniversary and aside from the regular local teams/schools that took part to compete, this years’ competition was opened to teams from across the causeway, Malaysia, and what a competition it was.

Competition was tough and clearly, standards in language and delivery were different between the two countries.

Nevertheless, one thing remained in the world of quatrains, ENTERTAINMENT VALUE.

Quatrains, always had one thing that I enjoyed the most, was its’ ability to send out subtle messages in the most entertaining manner. Of course, some messages aren’t so subtle but take pot shots at the other.

These days, not many people speak in quatrains and well, while we may have lost a small part of our daily culture, I am also thankful that we no longer speak in quatrains except on certain occasions or otherwise, it’d be really tiring to get a message across and if you’re someone who is unable to read between the lines, quatrains will leave you lost.

Pesta Pantun

Pesta Pantun 2016 judges (seated) with NUS PBMUKS Pesta Pantun Adviser (Standing Left) and NUS PBMUKS President (Standing Right) and Vice President (Standing Centre)

Aside from Pesta Pantun, By Definition Pte Ltd was also busy judging for a Storytelling competition organised by Tiong Bahru Youth Executive Committee (YEC). So, that’s two events in March.

No, I couldn’t do it so got one of the #TeamByDef family members to do it instead!

Story Alive

Hidayah (in hijab) together with the winners and judges from Story Alive!

And just yesterday, in support of a collaborative effort between Chong Pang CC MAEC, Woodlands CC MAEC, and Woodlands Galaxy CC MAEC together with Masjid Darul Makmur and Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang, we took up two booths at Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang, the last standing kampong mosque in Singapore for a ‘Jom Balik Kampong’ event, selling cold drinks and our traditional games.

JBK018

Awesome friends volunteering their time to help out with the booth!

Response from the crowd was very encouraging as we marketed and sold many of our traditional game items, games that we usually conduct in schools. So yes, we are now also plying our wares to ensure that our traditional games can continue to be played even at home.

JBK009

A very sporting Grassroots Adviser, Amrin Amin, who decided that he’d give the Tapak Gajah a try in socks, watched on by fellow Grassroots Adviser, Khaw Boon Wan.

So, if you’re looking for traditional games to play at home, look no further.

JBK017

Tapak Gajah, Gasing Buluh (Bamboo Spinning Top), Batu Seremban, Yeh Yeh, Gasing and Lagu-Lagu Rakyat book all available for sale at the event and now, will be made available for public sales.

Of course, as these items are personally sourced out, we always keep a limited stock in supply. So, if you’re keen to get your hands on them, drop us an email (info@bydefinition.net) to order and once the games arrive, we’ll let you know!

And finally, I’m really excited for the end of the month.

From Pesta Pantun in Singapore to PISMA, a regional pantun competition in Melaka held over 4 days and yours truly has been invited as one of the judges. All praise to God really for the opportunity. Without Pesta Pantun, I don’t think I would have received the invite at all.

So, I’m really looking forward to the 5 teams from Singapore Polytechnic who will be representing Singapore! That’s happening from 29 April to 2nd May. And yes, I’ll be sourcing out for more traditional games in my travels.

Teater Pelajar 2014


Teater Pelajar 2014 Trophies

Teater Pelajar 2014 Trophies

I haven’t written much this year in view of my busy schedule but the next few posts deserves an entry.

Going into the competition, I was only informed a month before the auditions date by a friend of mine, who teachers at Tanjong Katong Girls School. The information for the competition was just received then and she wanted to send a team to the competition and had sought out for my help, knowing that I train students for drama and have also taken part in competitions as well as sent students for competitions and have also judged drama competitions.

But this competition, was new for me. I’ve never watched the competition much less know what it’s all about but as with most things I do in life, I do it because it’s a challenge and because I know I will enjoy the process.

Training the girls was a challenge, for all of us – Teacher in Charge, Students and Myself. My friend was juggling between her work and this, the students were juggling between school, CCA and tests and performances and me, well, I was pretty much just trying to see how much time I can have with them.

My minimum time required – 6 Days, I ended up with only 5 days.

With the theme made known as Storytelling focused on Folklore, that made me feel at ease since I’ve been doing so much Malay Folklore over the years of teaching drama and I also run ‘Pentaskan Ceritamu’ under By Definition Pte Ltd to schools. So, there was absolutely no way I was going to let this out of my sight.

Meeting the girls for the first time, I had a plan in mind. An idea of sort with nothing concrete but I really needed to know what the girls knew and understood about Malay Folklore. Apparently, not much with the exception of one person who seemed to know almost every single story because she had been helping her teacher previously prepare slides on them. I guess that worked to our advantage.

Ideas aside, I took a few days to prepare my script and on the day I was to pass the script, it rained so bad my motorcycle broke down in the middle of the expressway! So, that’s how I lost ONE PRECIOUS DAY.

But all that aside, I was lucky because these girls were already drama trained. I could skip the basics and jump right into the script and directions. But I had another challenge, not everyone was present at the same time and my rehearsals were often only 1hr long with them since most of the time, they’d be chatting away BUT these girls were committed and dedicated to giving the best that they can.

And that’s what they did with 4 days of rehearsals with me before the preliminary rounds, followed-up by another two days of rehearsals with me, with the final script that had an additional character in. With that, the school holidays set in and they were left on their own to prepare with preparations with their teacher in charge.

The next time I saw them, was during the Finals.

I never had the chance to do any final rehearsals with them and off they went on stage, and perform they did. While they didn’t get as much applause as another group did, they sure did score the right amount of points because they walked away the winners.

Teater Pelajar 2014 Champions

Teater Pelajar 2014 Champions

With the Guest of Honour

With the Guest of Honour

This victory for them was sweet for me as well as I walked away with the ‘Best Scriptwriter’.

Best Scriptwriter

Best Scriptwriter

I hope these girls will continue to put in the same amount of effort, commitment and dedication to their studies as well as their life.

And I must say, that I am impressed by them because when they began, they admitted that they grasp of the Malay Language was not as good compared to now. Imagine how much of a difference drama can make to any student if they had the opportunity to explore the many uses of the Malay Language beyond the classroom.

Because the Malay Language, just like any other language, needs to be used often in order for it to come alive. And for schools which do not believe in sending students for such competitions, I do hope they’d reconsider because the experience, though cumbersome for you as teachers, will bring greater benefit to your students in the long run.

Best Actress

Best Actress

The experience they get just from participating alone, will bring out the best in your students.

You’ve got to trust me on this because I was a student that enjoyed taking part in such competitions/performances.

Ask Your Member-of-Parliament


If you’re living in Singapore and you belong to the community that is affected by Malay/Muslim policies that the government rolls out. You’d probably want to carry on reading this.

As of last Friday, 11 April 2014, Minister for Communications and Information, and Minister for Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, will be going ‘LIVE’ on air, on Warna 94.2FM from 5pm – 6pm, every fortnightly to answer your questions or listen to your views on the state of the community, on a new programme called, “Tanya AP anda” (Ask your MP).

This initiative is only going to run for 11 episodes ONLY, and since the first episode has passed, you only have 10 more episodes to go.

So, how can you contribute to this segment?

  1. CALL 6691-1942 when the show is on air.
  2. Comment on Warna 94.2FM Facebook page, http://www.fb.com/warna942
  3. EMAIL warna@mediacorp.com.sg

Personally, I think it’s a good outreach that the government and Malay Minister is trying to do, although of course, it’s intentions are questionable as how most of you sceptics would think so too with the only one being:

  • Politics at Play
    You’re a politician, your party has lost a GRC and an SMC to the opposition for the first time in history. Your community is famous for being swing voters, which may give a win or lose result to the constituencies. Ground sentiments are anti-party, your party. So, obviously, some work has to be done on the ground and best way is still through the mass media outlets and radio, as a channel where people still listen and get emotionally connected to/with has proven to still be one of the best media channels.

Otherwise, I would say that regardless of the political strategies in place, to win votes in the next General Elections (which I strongly this is part of the outreach strategy), it’s a good initiative nonetheless.

It provides an opportunity for the captive audience (home-makers and the elderly), to air their views and concerns since most of them are probably less IT-savvy and wouldn’t use the internet as much as the young. 

There is no doubt that there is plenty of misinformation and misinterpretation on the ground with regards to policies and this gives them a good opportunity to try to understand and learn about what policies mean. I can only hope that there is sufficient enquiries to air these concerns because otherwise, it will only be another under-utilized platform.

So, if you’re a Muslim and you’ve got questions to ask or opinions to share, I hope you understand the Malay language enough to be able to understand what is being shared on radio. Otherwise, perhaps you could just surf on to Warna 94.2FM facebook page to air your views and hopefully, get a reply in English there.

On a sidenote, I think it’s also a good opportunity for those of us who’s Malay Language isn’t that good, to be listening to this, so we are forced to listen and understand.

Touching Lives


Earlier this evening, I received a message from a client (teacher) wanting to provide me some feedback on one of my trainers.

Apparently, there were some words used in class which were deemed to be insensitive and was a cause for concern. Well, I take feedback seriously and when it affects the morale of the students, it’s of even greater concern because I believe in developing others and if my trainers aren’t developing the receipients of this knowledge, I’m very very very worried.

I’ll get back to what happened to this entire feedback situation but allow me to divert away from the situation on hand to the real focus that the client wanted to address – “The students were comparing me to the other trainers”

This comparison couldn’t have been bad because that would mean a few things:

  1. I’m very good at engaging students in class
  2. It’s a standard that teachers who have worked with me expect from any other trainer

I wasn’t sure what to make out of it so I told the teacher that where possible, I would love to make 10 duplicates of myself to serve at her school.

She then opened up to say that “I have a very good rapport with the students”.

This then got me reflecting on my training methods and its effectiveness because in the 3 years that I have conducted programmes at that school, I’ve seen students whom I taught in P1 still remember me and calling my name out from across the corridor and when I step into a familiar class, the students start clapping their hands or beam a smile on their face.

AND THAT’S JUST FOR THAT ONE SCHOOL

I have another school where the students will run up to me to give me a hug before and after every single class. I know there’s a rule about no physical contact and all but how can I possibly try to run away from students who come from all directions to express their joy in having me teach them (besides, I might end up causing more hurt and damage if I tried to run and knocked them down).

Of course, these hugging incidents all happen under the full view of the teacher-in-charge who takes a backseat and laugh at me from far.

If that’s not bad enough, I even have students crying because THEY ARE SO HAPPY I’M BACK TO TEACH THEM AGAIN! 

I COULDN’T EVEN BELIEVE IT! 

I was even invited by the school’s vice-principal to give a talk to the parents during one of their key school events on the topic of “Engage Your Child, Successfully!”

So yes, perhaps, the training methods I employ in class is extremely effective because it not only delivers results but it also ensures that my students and clients are extremely happy and pleased.

Now back to that story.

So, I explained to the teacher that these trainers were my trainees. In fact, before I started By Definition Pte Ltd, I used to train the new trainers at Mini Monsters and these trainers subsequently now train for D’Rama ArtsFunplay Workshop and ACT 3 as well as a few other companies which I don’t even know exist, teaching both Malay and English drama programmes.

But one thing I can’t possibly do, is to make clones of myself, as much as I would love to, to satisfy the needs of the industry. 

In the words of one of the bosses that I used to work with, “I want all of you to become like Abdillah. Learn from him, absorb as much as you can from him”

It’s humbling to know that I have such an impact on companies I work for and I honestly hope that I can develop more competent trainers to serve the needs of the industry because there are some companies in the market who hire trainers who have absolutely no experience and provide no training whatsoever and leave them to figure out on their own.

It’s disgusting when such companies only want to make a quick profit out of the misery of the trainer (because the trainer suffers in the classroom having no skills, knowledge nor experience)

Yes, so I clarified the issue with my trainer and resolved it with the teacher but of course, this could only mean one thing – there is an effective way to engage students and teachers whilst at the same time deliver results and I need to ensure I can equip my trainers with it.

And now, I’m thinking that perhaps the best way to go about doing it, is to document it down in a book which I can then share with more than just my trainers, but just about anyone who is interested in what works and how I do it.

So, if you are interested to be a part of my pool of trainers, send me your CV to abdillah@bydefinition.net okie! I’m constantly on the lookout for talents to develop and grow!

Or if you are an organisation looking for a specially customized programme to be delivered, send me an email as well, I look forward to challenging myself in developing new programmes all the time! 

RATU Suria Ep 6 Recap


It’s already episode 6 and that means there’s only 2 more episodes to go before we will uncover the first and possibly, one and only RATU Suria.

As I’m typing this down, I’m watching StarWorld and watching a re-run of 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Yesterday, for the first time, I finally saw the girls walking down the catwalk and look like they were really enjoying it, as how I would enjoy when I watch VS Fashion Show. Except of course, the girls were covered up in every department.

Fauzie and Marina opens the show

Fauzie and Marina opens the show

Never mind with my Victoria Secret fantasy, this is a family show after all.

But the girls were definitely strutting the catwalk with so much more energy in their feet and smile and much more movement on their shoulders during the poses (aka CONFIDENCE). I can remember very clearly Wan Anisah flipping her hair before she took the walk. I thought, “THAT WAS HOT!”

The Question and Answer session this week was also a bit different, the girls didn’t know what question they’d be asked although I have a feeling the list of questions were listed and given to them because all of them jumped at the question, as if they had studied for it.

Nonetheless, most of them had answered well. Questions were mostly about Communication and whilst most questions were easy, I thought that the question that Tiara Atyra got was the hardest of all – Emotional Awareness.

Even I had to pause for a bit to think, and I think that should be how all future Q& A should be.

The audience should be allowed to see how the contestants undergo the thinking process. I figure that it would be important to be able to see how the contestants ‘think on their feet’ since the challenges have all been edited and we are also entering the last two episodes. We need to be able to see more of them.

Nevertheless! I was impressed with most of the answers because most of the answers would have been something I teach in my Public Speaking class anyway.

The girls had a very service-oriented challenge.

Split into two groups, Fauzie’s group went to Spa Jelita whilst the other went to Sedap Corner.

I think it was a very good challenge and I thought that it would have been much better if the audience would have been able to see and hear the contestants interacting with the customers and amongst themselves. On the whole, the challenge would have been advantageous to some since the individual task given varies and if the girls were given a task they were extremely familiar with because they have done it before (been in the service industry), it would have been a breeze.

But well, this is a competition anyway and life’s not fair.

Then we had the final walk.

The girls had to catwalk in their kebaya batik in high heels (surely not barefoot right?). Having seen them look so stunning in their first catwalk, I expected the same for this last one but alas, it was a bit disappointing. Some of the girls look like they were in a rush and it was just oh so disappointing.

I think at this point of time, the girls need to realise that they are in a competition to win and they must do what’s best to make them look good. The catwalk is their time on stage, just like a performers’ time on stage. Regardless what the director has instructed to be done, the performer determines what and how the audience judge.

No Elimination

No Elimination                  sa

No one got eliminated this week but that only means that we will see FOUR girls booted out next week because we can only have FOUR girls for the finals.

Looking Back On 2012


Looking back on 2012….

It was definitely better than 2011! An improvement in a few areas whilst I cut loose on what weighed me down.

By Definition Pte Ltd

By Definition

If you don’t already know, I run this company with two other friends of mine. This was a year better than 2011 in more ways than one. (If you haven’t gone to our FB, go and ‘Like’ it!)

For a start, we had more business rolling in. That’s always good for business. I mean, why would you run a business if it didn’t make money right?

We also moved into an office cum warehouse to share a space with our trusted alliance company to ensure that we can have better collaboration and maximization of resources.

Not just that, we also had our first business trip to establish working relationship with partners overseas and also began sourcing out for materials and artefacts to help us deliver our programmes better!

Lastly, we’ve been receiving great *feedback from our Clients about our Products and Services, and most importantly, the people who help to make it happen – OUR FRIENDS, OUR TRAINERS!

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

*Between Feb 2011 – Aug 2012:

Primary School Programmes Statistics
(Based on criteria of ‘Tidak Setuju’ (Don’t Agree), ‘Tidak Pasti’ (Not Sure) and ‘Setuju’ (Agree))
 
‘Suka Dengan Program’ (Like The Programme)
73.2% Setuju
 
‘Belajar Ilmu Baru’ (Learnt New Skill/Knowledge)
78.8% Setuju
 
‘Tertarik Dengan Kandungan’ (Attracted To Content)
62.4% Setuju
 
Secondary School Programme Statistics
(Based on criteria of ‘Tidak Memuaskan’ (Not Satisfying), ‘Kurang Memuaskan’ (Less Satisfying), ‘Sederhana’ (Satisfied), ‘Cukup Memuaskan’ (Quite Satisfied), ‘Sungguh Memuaskan’ (Very Satisfied))
 
Programme Objectives:
86.9% feedbacked ‘Cukup Memuaskan’ and ‘Sungguh Memuaskan’  
Participants Expectations:
77.5% feedbacked ‘Cukup Memuaskan’ and ‘Sungguh Memuaskan’
Interesting/Unique Programmes:
89.2% feedbacked ‘Cukup Memuaskan’ and ‘Sungguh Memuaskan’
  • Community Work/Volunteering – YEC

Seems like some of my friends aren’t aware that I have been volunteering with People’s Association. Well, can’t blame them since I don’t talk about it cause I don’t really know who’s interested to know about what I do and I also don’t like to end up talking about myself. It’s enough that I have to bore people about what I do for a living (business), don’t think I want to bore people more with what I do without getting paid for it.

So, I’ll make this one as short as possible.

My Youth Executive Committee (YEC) organised the first ever run at the Gardens By The Bay at Marina Bay. Called the ‘Singapore Garden Run’, it was also a GRC event whereby we synergised with a few other YECs within our GRC to carry out this event. My YEC was in-charge of the run and the concert.

Singapore Garden Run

Singapore Garden Run

We know there were feedbacks about how it was conducted but nonetheless, for an event that big to have been organised by a group of youths made up of working professionals and students, I think we can afford to give ourselves a pat on our back for that. Nevertheless, we will work to address the issues raised and hope to be able to deliver a better run in the future!

  • Community Work/ Volunteering – SSEAYP

Yes, another type of volunteering.

I was really happy to have been able to contribute for this one not just in Singapore but again, in Indonesia!

Ship for South East Asia Youth Programme

Ship for South East Asia Youth Programme

Emcee for the Home Stay Matching Ceremony held at Orchid Country Club! I was initially asked to help take photos but I had to say no to that cause I really have no skill and I don’t want to screw photos up. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it too. I’m not quite the camwhore. I’m more of the motormouth and yes, I definitely enjoyed myself emceeing the event. To those who were there, I hope you enjoyed it as well.

Liaison Officer (LO) for Country Program Indonesia (CPI). My second year as LO in Indonesia for the CPI and I cannot be happier to have been able to contribute especially since my SSEAYP batchmate is also now the President of SSEAYP International Indonesia.

Not only did I get to contribute as LO, I was also the Emcee for the Welcoming Dinner hosted by the Governor of Daerah Kabupaten Indonesia Jakarta (Jakarta Province). It would have been awesome if I would have been able to meet and take a photo with the new Jakarta Governor, Joko Widodo, but alas, he didn’t attend.

Nonetheless, what made it more sweet was that some members of the Ministry of Youth and Sports who were in attendance later commented that they enjoyed my emceeing and loved my voice and would love to have me emcee their events in the future! Woohoo!

  • LOVE

I think this deserves a section of its own.

Yes, I am in love.

I don’t think I have ever loved God this much in my life. I’ve been reading the Quran more often albeit translation, to have a better understanding of God’s revelations to Muslims beloved Prophet, Prophet Muhammad.

If you’re wondering about love in the other segment.

Well, to answer that, it’s really connected to God. As my name suggests, Abdillah – Servant of God. I really need to serve him more diligently in 2013.

My dad has already told me to get married in 2013. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m not financially nor emotionally nor spiritually prepared for it. Anyway, my dad is very specific about who he wants me to marry – an Indonesian from his hometown. I think that will take time.

  • MEDIA APPEARANCES/ INVITES

I don’t think the year can be complete without media appearances/invites.

I happened to appear on the news when BERITAonSURIA decided to cover my company’s programme during Bulan Bahasa (Language Month).

I was also interviewed in a discussion with then, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Law, Sim Ann on TODAY on the topic, ‘Of Dreams, Realities and Opportunities’.

That aside, I’m still covering stories/events and giving reviews on my blog. Currently, I’m writing the reviews for MediaCorp Suria’s latest reality TV competition, RATU. So, if you have an event related to Arts and Education, feel free to drop me an email! If I have time, I will definitely cover the event and provide my most unbiased comments on it.

And lastly, my friends and relatives can officially call me, “Poster Boy”. The next time you visit or walk past a Community Centre, look closely. You might spot a familiar face.

RATU Episode 5 Recap


Did you catch RATU Episode 5?

I was there at the studio once more to catch the show and here’s what I thought of it.

‘Mother’ was the theme for this week and holy guacamole! It was heart-wrenching, tear-gutting and poetic.

For the start of the show, the ladies were dressed to ‘Mother Nature’ and looked absolutely gorgeous and I loved it even more when they made their reappearance in their kaftan dress which totally blew my mind away.

It would be outrageous but I would have loved to see the ladies dressed to look like Amazonians… now, that would have been ‘Mother Nature’ but would have probably resulted in the channel and a few heads to roll since it would have been pretty skimpy. Nonetheless, the ladies were gorgeous in what Azni Samdin had put them up for.

I absolutely also love that this week, they had their hair down and all the more they looked more at ease with themselves.

But well, here’s what I noticed about their catwalk, I think they need to move the body a little bit more especially during the pose. The shoulders need to have bigger movements cause it’s usually so subtle, looks very stiff I think.

Watch this video, the shoulder moves are gorgeous, provides more angles and lets you see more of them, no pun intended!

Okay well, I’m not sure if the ladies are allowed to move like that although I really hope that they would for the next show and well, I’m no supermodel to dictate.

Moving on to the comments…

For the most part, it was good. They just need to remember not to rush through when they deliver and probably, to hear themselves repeat it a few times so that it would sound more natural.

Mother Nature

Mother Nature

IMG_3051 IMG_3055

Khairul, my ex student

Khairul, my ex student

IMG_3062 IMG_3067 IMG_3070 IMG_3075 IMG_3079 IMG_3084 IMG_3092 IMG_3095 IMG_3099 IMG_3104 IMG_3108 IMG_3112

The Ladies with Guest Judge, Rita Zahara

The Ladies with Guest Judge, Rita Zahara

What’s even more exciting about this episode was that the first person to greet me with such excitement was a young man who looked so familiar and kept calling me, Cikgu Abd. I didn’t recognize him at first until a bit of memory jogging later and voila! My ex-student whom I taught Public Speaking and there he was to do a little bit of singing during the recitation of a poem, ‘Ibu’ (Mother), by the ladies.

And since we’re at it, this was indeed an emotional piece. The emotions just built up bit by bit until Wida Alisa finally took to the mic and delivered her lines just the way I imagined it and broke down.

A perfect ending to the entire segment.

But well, another two got booted out this week.. Jannah Jakasha and Elfiana Ismail.

RATU Episode 4 Recap


This is a little late but better than never for my first studio coverage of RATU.

So, here it goes for RATU Episode 4.

First and foremost, I must applaud the girls for how they delivered their comments. It was a stark improvement from the previous episode and they ought to maintain it whatever they did for the this episode. 

The challenge they had for this episode was re-enacting scenes from photographs at Maya Gallery. The photographs were then taken by The Big Shot winner, Affandy Razak.

I’m no photographer or model so I can’t quite give elaborate comments other than “Gorgeous!”, “Beautiful!” and “Nice!”.

Of course, photographers would hate to hear the word ‘Nice’, cos ‘Nice’ is just a 4-letter word for all the effort that has been poured into bringing the picture alive.

So, enjoy the photos!

With Pujangga Malam, Eddy and Wilson

With Pujangga Malam, Eddy and Wilson

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RATU Episode 3 Recap


This would officially be the first recap I’m doing of any RATU episode since I wasn’t around for the first two and thus, the only episode I managed to catch and have time to make comments on would be for this 3rd one.

This being the first one that I watched, I didn’t know what to expect and I have for the most part, avoided reading comments or posts that others may have uploaded about to not tarnish my viewpoints.

So, whatever you read here and from now onwards with regards to RATU is based on my observation as an audience who enjoys watching Victoria Secret’s Fashion Show (who doesn’t right?) and my experience and knowledge within the context of what the episode is about.

I’ll begin with the CATWALK.

I think the ladies need to slow it down and enjoy the time they have on the catwalk. They looked like they were rushing, probably that’s how I look like when I walk since EVERYONE who goes out and takes a walk with me says that of me.

Then again, perhaps the ladies were being rushed, although I hope not because the point of the catwalk is to let you show your stuff down that runway. 

So, in gist, a few things I hope to see in the next episode will be:

  • A more patient catwalk 
  • And perhaps each girl to develop their own style/personality on the catwalk 
  • FLIRT with the camera! 

Moving on next will be on the Silat segment.

I’m no national Silat exponent but I used to practise Silat when I was much younger and I didn’t think that the kind of Silat display that the girls performed did them justice. If anything, they looked like kids who decided to wear their parents oversized bathrobe and perform Silat moves after watching some Jackie Chan or Karate Kid movie.

I thought that it would have done them more justice if the ladies were given more time to show what they had cause it was just a bit too rushed during the individual Silat performances. It was the Seni segment but because it was so rushed, it didn’t look Seni enough, nor did it look Silat enough. 

Soccer next! 

Well, what can I say? They really were having fun! I had lots of fun watching them kick the ball around! Maybe if they were asked to juggle the ball, that would have been more fun to watch! Can’t imagine how it’d be like if they began heading the ball.

And last but not least, I’ll talk about their prepared comments.

I hope the ladies have watched and listened to how they sound and look like when they give their personal comments on the questions. These questions, aren’t thrown off the cuff and I’m sure the ladies would have had time to Prepare and Practice beforehand. 

I will be honest that I squirmed when I listened for fear that they would sound anything but natural. So, I shall not go into details but shall instead throw a few tips that I teach my own students. Since my company, By Definition, didn’t get the opportunity to sponsor free Public Speaking classes for the ladies, this is perhaps the best way for me to go about it.

  1. PREPARE once you receive the question.
  2. PRACTICE at least 3 times.

PREPARE

  • Conduct your own research for facts
  • Write down what you want to say. Take note on the length of time given to you. For such comments on TV, don’t take more than 20-30secs. That’s about 40-60 words.

PRACTICE

  • Practice at least 3 – 5 times to help you get the flow of words out easily.
  • Read it, Memorize it, Believe it, Deliver it.
  • No one is a better judge than yourself. So record yourself practicing and then listen to it. If you hate it, what more others.

Okay, those are just about what I can contribute based on what I observed. 

If there’s something that I wish I could control about the show, it definitely has to be the comments section.