By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, Nov 2 -- A change of setting to a bigger venue for this year’s Muzika Ekstravaganza (Muzika), an annual variety co-production by Singapore’s Mediacorp and Malaysia’s Radio Television Malaysia (RTM), was no hindrance as the show, in its 13th year running, still proved to be a big hit with the crowd here.
The latest series of the production, which both countries take turns yearly to host, was yet another testimony of the close and strong cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia in the field of broadcasting over the years.
Normally held at the Mediacorp Studio here, the producers opted for a change of scene this time around and hosted it at the Suntec City Convention Centre Hall, which was filled to the brim by some 1,000 spectators.
"This year was somewhat challenging as we had to take Muzika out of the Mediacorp studio to a larger venue to accommodate more people,” Mediacorp Malay Audience & Eaglevision head, Sabariah Ramilan said when speaking to Bernama and RTM.
She also hoped Muzika could be held in other states when Malaysia hosts it next year. “Kuching, Sarawak, perhaps," she said.
On ties between the two broadcasters, Sabariah said: “The friendship enjoyed between both Malaysian and Singaporean networks has long been established. We have been cooperating closely since 2004. So this is the 13th year running. Both nations are friends, and so are the broadcasting stations,” she said.
Sabariah said both MediaCorp and RTM were always working on churning out new ideas and types of performances for Muzika so as to attract a larger following.
Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran and his Malaysian counterpart Gobind Singh Deo were the guests of honour at last night’s show, which was televised live on Singapore Mediacorp Suria channel and RTM TV2 at 8.30pm.
Meanwhile, Broadcasting Department director-general Abdul Muis Shefii was happy with the response from last night’s production, and considered it a success, adding that it underscores how the close cooperation between both nations was capable of holding successful programmes.
He said despite the challenge of having it out of the Mediacorp studio this time around, good teamwork between staff from both networks prevailed.
"What came into fruition was a show that captivated the audience,” he said.
At the helm of this edition’s joint production were two musical directors - Syawal Kassim representing Singapore and Malaysia’s Luqman Aziz, while 12 artistes, six from each country, entertained the audience.
Yong Ying-I, Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information, and her Malaysian counterpart Datuk Suriani Ahmad, were also present.
Besides Abdul Muis, the officials from Malaysia at the event included Malaysian National News Agency (BERNAMA) chief executive officer, Nurini Kassim, Information Department director-general Roselindawati Abdul Rahman and National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) chief executive officer Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri.