By Malaysians, for Malaysians.
If you lived through the late 80s, you might remember the famous patriotic song ‘Setia‘, which aired on state broadcaster RTM for many years.
The Francissca Peter classic was just one of many nationalistic tunes that were composed to instil patriotism among Malaysians.
Recently, the iconic tune was given a fresh spin – in the form of a mash-up with ‘Negaraku‘ no less – to reflect what many Malaysians felt after the 14th General Election.
Composer and music director Vale V Wong was searching for a patriotic song after the GE14 results to capture his emotions but he couldn’t find one.
“Our patriotic songs don’t reflect the struggles we went through as a nation and that bittersweet feeling, a lot of it felt childish so I thought why not make one?” said Wong who works as a choir director with EcoWorld.
He then decided to rework ‘Setia‘, recalling how its lyrics and melody would never fail to mesmerise him when he was a child.
“I came up with the idea of mashing up ‘Setia‘ and ‘Negaraku‘ because it felt right. ‘Setia‘ is a patriotic song but when you combine it with ‘Negaraku‘, it really encapsulates our patriotism – everyone was feeling it on GE14 weekend.”
The song, titled ‘Setia Negaraku‘, features 16 volunteers, most of whom are amateur singers, except for Samantha de Lune, Anrie Too, Cheryl Tan and Wong himself.
They recorded it on May 13, four days after Pakatan Harapan’s historic win, in a mere four hours with zero budget.
“The song that we wanted to share is for all Malaysians, not for any party in particular,” he said.
“It felt like for the first time, the people had a bit more power.”
Launched on July 9, ‘Setia Negaraku‘ has gained over 116,000 views and 2,300 shares at the time of writing.
‘Setia‘ was composed by Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat, affectionately known as Tok Mat, Mat Setia and Mat Mr Propaganda, and was launched in 1987.
He assumed the position of Minister of Information twice, under Tun Hussein Onn from 1978 to 1982 and under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad from 1987 to 1999.
“When I listen to the version we came up with, it’s not just happy emotions, it’s almost as if there is more depth to what being Malaysian means and somehow that resonates with a lot of people,” Wong said.
Wong said he would love to write a patriotic song in the future. – Malay Mail