Patriotic song, video a first for TAR UMT

In the spirit of Merdeka: Dr Wee waving the Jalur Gemilang together with students at TAR UMT; with him are (from left) Liow, Chan and Prof Lee. — SIA HONG KIAU/The Star

MEMBERS of the Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology (TAR UMT) community recently came together for the institution’s first Merdeka celebration after its upgrade to university status last year.

Alumnus Lai Man Khong, 21, composed a patriotic song entitled “Kekal Berharapan” (“Stay Hopeful”, which he also performed at the “Malaysiaku Jiwaku” (“My Malaysia, My Soul”) celebration held at the university’s main campus in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, on Aug 22.

“This was the first time I had written a Malay language song. It is completely different from the genre of music I am used to writing, which is pop and Chinese music.

“It was definitely a challenge but I put in a lot of effort into crafting the song. It’s a refreshing opportunity to be able to explore something new,” said Lai, who composed the song especially for the varsity’s first official Merdeka celebration video entitled “WAU 2023”.

He added that he found a link between the diploma in broadcasting course he had studied and his passion to pursue music.

“I was able to utilise my broadcasting skills to appeal to the audiences with the theme music I composed,” he told StarEdu.

Corporate administration student Chow Qiao Ci, 20, who dueted alongside Lai, said they had practised performing the song for about a month, taking most of the time to perfect the audio recording for the video.

Talented duo: Lai (right) performed his self-composed song with Chow (left).Talented duo: Lai (right) performed his self-composed song with Chow (left).

Faculty of Communication and Creative Industries (FCCI) lecturer Yeap Thiam Hoong (Kenn), who directed and wrote the script for “WAU 2023” with his fellow colleague Kamarul Shah Bakar, said the characters portrayed in it reflect the six core values encompassed in the Malaysia Madani framework, namely, sustainability, prosperity, innovation, respect, trust and compassion.

A 10-minute film, the video revolves around a diverse group of TAR UMT students from different states and ethnic backgrounds coming together for a kite-making competition.

Through shared effort and understanding, they not only crafted a wau drone for the competition, but also forged bonds of friendship, proving the power of unity in diversity.

“The students who further their studies are aiming to build a better life for their future.

“They show sustainability in learning and applying the knowledge they have gained, prosperity and respect in finding ways to overcome their differences, innovation in designing their end product, trust in their capabilities, and compassion for their friends,” said Yeap.

Mohd Nur Izzad Hizam, 24, who played the main character Adam Yusof in the film, said while he had been involved in many theatrical productions, this was his second time acting in a short film.

“The video took almost a week to film but we mainly took most of the time filming my scenes since I was the main character. There were many scenes that needed to be rerecorded in case the original shots couldn’t be used.

“I was super anxious before watching the short film for the first time. What made our efforts pay off was seeing how beautifully the short film was put together.

“The cast and crew dedicated a lot of time and energy into making this Merdeka short film a success,” said Mohd Nur Izzad, who is also known by his stage name “Izzad Ben”.

Expressing pride in her students, public relations lecturer Josephine Ng Pei Yin, who oversaw the “Malaysiaku Jiwaku” programme, said she was glad that the students had the opportunity to showcase their talents to a wider audience.

Also present at the event were MCA president and TARC Education Foundation board of trustees chairman Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong; TAR UMT board of governors chairman Tan Sri Liow Tiong Lai; TAR UMT alumni council chairman and board of governors member Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy; and TAR UMT president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei.

Also joining the celebration were Tengku Rozani Putra and Tengku Norin Putra, the granddaughters of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj; and Datin Paduka Tan Siok Choo, the daughter of the late Tun Tan Siew Sin.

Both the Tunku and Siew Sin – who were the nation’s first prime minister and second finance minister, respectively – had played an instrumental role in establishing the institution, which started out as a community college in 1969 before being upgraded to university college status known as Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) in 2013.

Prof Lee said Aug 31 and Sept 16 were important dates to allow students and the campus community to understand how the nation was formed and the importance of living harmoniously.

“We left the event planning in the good hands of the FCCI students and staff. It’s a good platform for our students to put whatever they have learned into practice, since they are in the media, public relations and communications fields,” he said.

The Merdeka event was a culmination of a three-week-long celebration held in conjunction with the nation’s 66th National Day on Aug 31.

It was a first for the full-fledged university, which was officially formed upon receiving its certificate of registration from the Higher Education Department on Nov 7 last year.

The university has a branch campus each in Penang, Perak, Pahang, Johor and Sabah.

To listen to Lai’s full song cover and to watch TAR UMT’s “WAU 2023”, visit their respective YouTube channels at MK Lai and TAR UMT.

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