KUALA LUMPUR: The late composer Datuk Suhaimi Mohd Zain or Pak Ngah was popular throughout Malay-speaking countries for his musicianship.
Last Friday, Indonesia honoured Pak Ngah with a lifetime achievement award, Penghargaan Khusus Maestro Muzik Melayu (Special Award for Malay Music Maestro) at Anugerah Dangdut Indonesia 2018 in Jakarta.
The composer who served as a judge in reality talent show Dangdut Academy Asia’s (DAA) first three seasons, was honoured by television station Indosiar for his tireless efforts to promote Irama Malaysia music in the republic.
Pak Ngah’s son Megat Mohamad Syahrini, 31, said the award was the highest Indonesian honour received by his father, who died in Batam on Sept 25.
“Indosiar invited him to the awards, as a song that he composed, Putri Impian, which was sung by Indonesia’s Nassar, was in the running for Popular Dangdut Song,” he said in a recent news report.
He also extends his gratitude to Indonesians for paying a glowing tribute to Pak Ngah, with a special segment comprising video footage of his work and performances of his popular song Nirmala by DAA contestants Danang, Weny, Lesty and Wildan.
“We all salute Indosiar for working closely with my father in his efforts to promote Irama Malaysia in the regional music scene,” said Megat Mohamad, who joined his mother Datin Sharifah Mahani Syed Kasim in receiving the special award for Pak Ngah.
Megat Mohamad also revealed that his father had composed two new songs before his death — a solo number and duet.
“The solo song has been recorded, and the duet is on the way. For now, we’re not ready to disclose who the singers are.”
Pak Ngah, 60, became the first composer and lyricist of Irama Malaysia to win at Anugerah Juara Lagu in 1999.
In that year, his composition Hati Kama performed by Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza and Noraniza Idris won Best Irama Malaysia Song.
He also produced Siti’s album Cindai in 1999 which attained quintuple platinum sales of more than 250,000 units by 2000.