Monday, February 22, 2010


Sudirman Haji Arshad -- a singer cum entertainer extraordinaire, a polished pearl in the Malaysian entertainment scene, and a precious product of the state of Pahang is, sadly, long gone. He died at 4.00 in the morning on the 22nd of February 1992, aged 37 stricken by a mysterious disease..18th years gone !

Sudirman was stricken with a disease that was more of the spiritual kind rather than physical. In the Malay world, such illness is believed to be generated through black magic or witch-craft by a bomoh. Modern medical and specialist doctors (including his medical doctor brother Dr. Ruslan) couldn’t remedy or find the source of his ailment.

It is said that during his illness, while under the care of his sister, Datin Radiah, he would scream every time the clock strikes twelve midnight.

And during those times, at his sister’s house, they would find some strange things like a dead rat or strips of colored papers and other unexplained items strewn into the house compound.

In the Malay world, the art of black magic is still alive although not as active as in the old days, and it is still possible to do misery to people.

These bad practices are done by those with dirty, uncivilised hearts, without faith in religion and who will only live to regret in later life.

But he lives in the hearts and memories of those who knew him, in his lively and delightful performances and in the beautiful songs he wrote and sang.

Every year during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri festival, we will hear his popular songs, "Balik Kampung" and "Dari Jauh Ku Pohon Maaf " on the radio and television, and sung and hummed by the young and old -- really everlasting favorites that characterize the happy go-lucky but sometimes sad persona of the singer himself.


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