nation pays tribute to kak pah

by Aliza Shah & Ben Tan  (New Sunday Times – 6 July 2014)

KUALA LUMPUR:  The loss of songstress Datuk Sharifah Aini Syed Jaafar drew wide attention from Malaysians from across all walks of life.  Outpouring of condolences for the legendary singer, who was famous for her ballads such as Seri Dewi MalamHapuskan Airmatamu and Kasih, was overwhelming as many took to the social media to express their grief for the artiste, who had captured their hearts for more than four decades.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed sadness over the death of the legendary singer, who was fondly known Kak Pah.  “I’m also saddened by the death of Biduanita Negara (national artiste) Datuk Sharifah Aini.  May her soul be placed amongst the pious.  Al-Fatihah,” he tweeted yesterday.

Sharifah Aini, who turned 61 last Wednesday, died of lung infection early yesterday morning after being admitted to the intensive care unit of Damansara Specialist Hospital since Tuesday for breathing difficulties.  She was diagnosed with fibrosis of the lungs, also known as interstitial lung disease, two years ago.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his wife, Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman, also extended their condolences to her family. Muhyiddin, in a statement, described the death of the legendary singer as a major loss to the country. He said the songstress helped boost the local entertainment industry and that her name was synonymous with entertainment excellence.  "May Allah bless her soul and place her among the pious and the blessed.  Al-Fatihah.  I hope the family members will remain strong in the face of grief."

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, through his Twitter account, also conveyed his condolences.  "My heartfelt condolences goes to the family of the nation’s songstress Kak Pah. She has contributed greatly to the country’s entertainment industry."

Also expressing his condolences to Sharifah Aini’s family members was Deputy Education Minister II P Kamalanathan, who said Malaysia had lost a talented singer and actress.

Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, who paid his last respects to Sharifah Aini at the mosque, said a great talent like her was hard to find.  "I don’t know if we can ever find someone who can replace Sharifah Aini as the national singing and performing art legend.  As a Biduanita Negara , Sharifah Aini was special in so many ways. She had her own style.”

Sharifah Aini, he said, was not only popular among her Malaysian fans but had once penetrated the European and West Asian markets with her contemporary classic music.  "Her songs are evergreen, of high quality and timeless ... that is why Sharifah Aini is deemed a national legend.  She was also the artiste who released the most number of albums.”

Farewell, Sharifah Aini

The passing of Datuk Sharifah Aini Syed Jaafar brings to an end another episode in our rich cultural heritage.  Her voice and songs that kept many of us enthralled are now gone.

We will not see her perform any more.  Only her songs and memories will linger on.  In that sense, Sharifah Aini will be with us forever.

It is only when such treasures are gone that we bgin to appreciate them.  Mark my words we will hear her songs more often.

Malaysians shared news of her death and videos of her music, as well as photos on social media to pay tribute to the legendary singer.  Twitter user “Kesuma” said he would always remember Sharifah Aini’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri songs.  "My deepest condolence goes to the family and relative of Sharifah Aini and may you rest in peace.  Al-Fatihah.  Her Raya song will always be in my memory.”

Rajasundram, who shared the video of Sharifah Aini’s song Seiring Sejalan, said all Malaysians would be missing the presence of the great singer.  Another Twitter user, Ann Lim, said Sharifah Aini was one of her idols during her heydays and would miss her.  Nur Asma tweeted: "I feel sad with the passing of Datuk Sharifah Aini because I grew up listening to her songs.  May Allah grant her Aljannat Firdaus (highest level of heaven).”  Sharvinkumar, who felt that the country has lost a true artiste, said: “Rest in peace.  #Godbless.”

In Johor Baru, the state government acknowledged the contributions and efforts made by the late songstress in promoting ghazal music here.  Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, in a Facebook posting yesterday, said the state government appreciated the efforts of Sharifah Aini in promoting ghazal music, which is also a state heritage.  Ghazal, which is influenced by Arabs, is considered a time-tested traditional art of the state’s Malay community.

Born in Yishun (Nee Soon) in Singapore to Syed Jaafar Syed Sahil and Sharifah Noor Syed Ahmad Al-Attas, Sharifah Aini’s childhood was spent mainly in Johor Baru.  In his posting, Khaled said Sharifah Aini was raised by her grandparents at Kampung Majidee here.

Family, friends pay last respects

KUALA LUMPUR: Throngs of relatives of Datuk Sharifah Aini Syed Jaafar’s as well as friends and fans came to pay their last respects to the singer at the Bukit Kiara Muslim cemetery here yesterday.  The songstress, who died at 1.26am at Damansara Specialist Centre, was laid to rest at 12.15pm.  Her body was earlier taken to At-Taqwa Mosque in Taman Tun Dr Ismail at 9am.  The final prayer was led by her only son Aliff Omar Ali, 33.

The 61-year-old singer was diagnosed with lung fibrosis two years ago.  Among Sharifah Aini’s friends who came to pay their last respects were singers Uji Rashid, Datuk Khadijah Ibrahim, Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Taruddin and Datuk D.J. Dave.  Also seen were Herman Tino, Nassier Wahab, Rohana Jalil, Jeffrey Din, Mas Omar, Datuk Hattan, Zaiton Sameon, Azlina Aziz, celebrity chef Datuk Redzuawan Ismail or Chef Wan and actresses Ellie Suriati and Datin Paduka Umie Aida.

Khadijah said she did not just lose her friend but also a caring and loving sister.  "She died before we could fulfil her dream of performing in our ‘3 Diva Concert’ (Kak Pah, Khadijah and Uji Rashid)."  Uji Rashid, who had known Sharifah Aini since the 1970s, said she would always remember the sweet moments they had gone through together in the entertainment industry.

Aliff, who is pursuing his studies in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, said he hoped that everyone could forgive whatever wrongs his mother might have committed and hoped that everyone would pray for her.  "I thank everybody who had cared for her.  I hope they pray for her and also for her family."

sharifah aini   images 

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