Siti Nurhaliza speaks up for singers in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR • The fivemember Council of Eminent Persons, appointed by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has met many people in its role to get the country's economy humming on a brighter note.

On Thursday, they met singer Siti Nurhaliza, who turned up to argue her case for a national arts council to be formed, The Star reported.

Talking to journalists after her one-hour pitch in Kuala Lumpur, she said: "I cannot discuss (details). I am representing the industry as a singer, (there will be others to represent) theatre, performing arts and such. I will have to resubmit my (proposal) on what I had voiced out for the council to look into it."

On May 23, Siti, 39, had asked the new government - after the Pakatan Harapan coalition swept into power in Malaysia at the elections - to look into the welfare of artists.

"And, if possible, to have a building dedicated to artists, like a one-stop centre... So whether you're a singer, actor or painter, you can hone your craft there. It can become a tourist attraction too," she said at a hotel event then.

Even as winds of change blow through Malaysia after the May 9 elections, the singer, who gave birth to her first child in March, has also had to make adjustments in her own life.

"I am more breathless when singing, plus if you listen to my singing closely, my voice no longer sounds as smooth," she was quoted as saying in newspaper Berita Harian.

"Maybe the change happened because it has been a long time since I sang."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2018, with the headline 'Siti Nurhaliza speaks up for singers in Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe