Staying alive but at a cost

Buy original please: Teh (right) with his artists and promoter showing the new Chinese New Year album.

SIBU: Although pirated Chinese New Year CDs are killing the recording industry, some are still in the business to keep the Chinese culture alive.

Hua Hua Entertainment Production managing director Robert Teh told reporters yesterday that while CD “pirates” were making a big buck, recording companies were made to suffer from their ill doing.

“There are not many recording companies now wanting to produce Chinese New Year CDs as the cost of production is very high. With rampant piracy, we would be happy if we can recover the cost,” he said.

Teh added that although the quality of pirated CDs was poor, consumers still went for them due to the low price.

“People used to call me ‘silly’ for continuing to produce CNY CDs every year when there is no money to make and after the celebration, many unsold copies will be returned. Am still doing it as I want to keep the Chinese culture alive and also to stir up the Chinese New Year mood. Chinese New Year CDs are still popular in Malaysia and Singapore but not in Hong Kong and China. If people like us do not come out with this album every year, this will be a dying culture,” he said.

Pirated CDs, he said, were sold openly in shopping malls in the state but secretly in Peninsular Malaysia due to tougher enforcement there.

“Two days ago in Miri, which is one of our stops for our state, wide promotion of our latest album, the CD shop, located just next to our stage was openly selling pirated albums,” he said.

The, whose company is in Selangor and has been in the business since the 1970s, said there was nothing much they could do to stop album piracy despite enforcement from the authorities concern.

“We can only appeal to the public to support us by buying the original one so that we can at least get back our cost,” he said.

On the latest album, he said, it involved nine artists – five women and four men. Of the women, two of them are Indonesians of Chinese origin, including Liana Tan and Lim Ai Qi. Male singer Eddy Liew is also an Indonesian.

The rest are Malaysians.

Both Tan and Lim have been with the company for over six years.

The album with 16 songs, he said, received good response in Indonesia where he had sold over 2,000 copies.

Their tour of the state includes Bintangor (Jan 27), Sarikei (Jan 28), Sibu (Jan 29) and Kuching on Jan 30.

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Courts & Crime , East Malaysia , chua


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