Musicians eager to help composer with Alzheimer’s

PETALING JAYA: The music community is ready to rally around 80-year-old composer Datuk Ooi Eow Jin and his family in their time of need.

Karya­wan president Datuk Fred­die Fernandez said members from the organisation are planning a visit to Ooi’s home on Monday.

“We are going to see what he needs in terms of funds and other items. Members from Finas (Natio­nal Film Development Corporation Malaysia) will also be joining us,” he said.

He shared that Karyawan, an NGO that looks after the welfare of artistes in Malaysia, had raised RM50,000 for Ooi through a charity concert in 2015.

“This visit is going to help us come up with new ways to raise more funds for Ooi. We’re happy that more people are aware of his condition. He is a living legend who has contributed a lot to the Malaysian entertainment industry. Now, he needs our help,” he said.

The president for Yayasan Artis 1 Malaysia (YA1M) Datuk DJ Dave said the foundation would also be looking at helping Ooi.

“We plan to visit Ooi on Tuesday. There is going to be some contributions for him,” he said.

YA1M was launched in 2012 with the goal of caring for artistes in the local entertainment industry.

Dave explained that the foundation has provided aid for hundreds of artistes throughout the years.

“Our initiative works both ways. Sometimes people come to us for help. Then there are times we reach out to those who need help,” he said.

Ooi collaborated with entertainers such as Tan Sri P. Ramlee and Datuk Sudirman Arshad in an illustrious career that spanned four decades, starting from the 1960s.

Most recently, he played the piano at the Ritz Carlton and Majestic ho­tels in Kuala Lumpur. As a resident pianist at the E&O Hotel in 1963, Ooi was spotted by his would-be mentor Alfonso Soliano who invited him to join the RTM Ochestra.

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