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Siti Nurhaliza Takes Indonesia By Storm
By Azman Ujang
January 23, 2005 15:40 PM

Siti Nurhaliza

JAKARTA, Jan 23 (Bernama) -- Malaysian singing sensation Siti Nurhaliza has taken Indonesia by storm, with people from all walks of life, including the ulama, describing her as a "model entertainer" who has achieved huge success despite holding fast to Eastern values.

Siti Nurhaliza's name also spontaneously cropped up in discussions between Indonesian officials and Malaysia's Information Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir during his visit here last week.

Indonesia's Minister for Information and Communication Dr Sofyan A. Djalil cited Siti Nurhaliza as a Malaysian icon whose popularity has brought both countries closer together.

"Siti Nurhaliza is not only beautiful, she's so well-mannered and her shows are very popular, the tickets are sold out everytime she performs in Indonesia," Dr Sofyan told his Malaysian counterpart.

Nurhadi Purwosaputro, director of television station Indosiar, said: "She's pretty, her presentation is exceptional and her songs very good.

"Siti Nurhaliza is also very polite and this is the attraction."

Triandy Suyatman, Indosiar's programme manager, said: "Her presentation is different from others. Her presentation portrays the Malays."

Siti Nurhaliza, who makes regular appearances in the world's fourth most populous country which has the largest Muslim population, also has a contract with Trans TV, where she has a twice-a-month show.

Suyatman said the Malaysian lass now commands at least US$10,000 (RM38,000) per performance in Indonesia.

The managing director of RCTI, Indonesia's leading TV station, Sutanto Hartono said: " Siti Nurhaliza is a big name indeed in Indonesia.

"What warms her most to the Indonesian hearts is her beauty and her discipline".

The state-owned TVRI's director of programme Alex Kumara said: " Her poise is so elegant.

"She's very popular in Indonesia. Among the entertainers, she has a stronger sense of character," " he said.

Asked to compare her with top Indonesian singer Kris Dayanti, better known here as KD, Kumara said Siti Nurhaliza is one of a kind.

"She's so well-mannered. Many of her songs are so popular in Indonesia. In terms of song selection, KD is not as selective as Siti Nurhaliza".

The head of programme of TVRI in Bandung in West Java province, Anna Anggraeni, described Siti Nurhaliza as "an extraordinary star" whom even the ulama in this country have cited as a "model entertainer".

According to her, even Indonesia's highly influential young ulama, Abdullah Gymnastiar or Aa Gym, often mentioned Siti Nurhaliza in his lectures as someone whom the entertainment industry could emulate.

"Aa Gym likes to say Siti Nurhaliza has proven that one does not have to resort to sexy gestures or wear sexy clothes in order to be popular," said Anggraeni.

"In Indonesia, everyone, young or old, is captivated by Siti Nurhaliza. She's a complete package. In fact she's a gift from God.

"She dresses well, is polite and observes the eastern mores. All the young people in Indonesia talk about her. It's oft said that they want their prospective wives to have Siti Nurhaliza's characteristics," said Anggraeni.

The director of the Malaysian Tourism office here, Roslan Othman, said that because of crowd control problems, the authorities only allowed organisers to hold Siti Nurhaliza's concerts indoors.

"The security people really have a problem with crowd control when Siti Nurhaliza performs. So, some of the concerts are held for exclusive audiences only, like credit card members of certain banks," he said.

Hamidah Ashari, the counsellor at the Malaysian embassy here, said Siti Nurhaliza had done Malaysia proud by being an idol among the Indonesians.

"Everybody is talking about her, including the ulama," she said.

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