On a humid evening in 1986, more than 100,000 Malaysians from all walks of life thronged the entire stretch of Chow Kit Road, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite singer. Alfred Chan was only 19 years old then, but he remembers the event like it was yesterday.
“My friends and I snuck out early from work when we heard he was going to perform for free, out in the open. The roads around the city centre were closed, so we walked alongside hundreds of Malaysians. We chatted and made many friends. When we arrived, there were already thousands of people there. Everyone was so excited, but no one pushed or shouted,” he recalls.
The performer they had all come to see was Sudirman. The concert they attended was one of the largest in Malaysian history. It was not only significant because of the large crowd it drew, but also because Sudirman was the first Malaysian artist to hold a concert on the streets. The concert showcased Sudirman's immense talent and charisma as he performed his popular hits like "Chow Kit Road" and "Balik Kampung" to the roaring crowd.
“He could speak to anyone through his songs and incredible showmanship. I cried when he sang “Balik Kampung”. I thought of my family in my hometown, especially my mother, who was a huge fan. The atmosphere was so alive, I felt so proud to be there to witness this historical moment with my fellow Malaysians,” says Chan.
Sudirman's 1986 Chow Kit Concert was not only a legendary event for Malaysian music history, but it was also a testament to his love for his country and his ability to unite people through his music.
Sudirman is long gone, but he is always in our hearts. Every year on Merdeka Day, his song “Tanggal 31” adorns the airwaves, reminding us that no matter what happens, the human spirit will always be free, and our bonds unbreakable.
Our strength in unity is what got us through the tough times before and since that historic concert. It’s reassuring to know that come what may, we can always rely on each other.
Giving local businesses a boost
When our parents and grandparents migrated from their kampungs to the city to seek a better life, they brought with them the communal spirit that has become part of our identity as Malaysians. We are one big family – kakak, abang, uncle, or aunty.
This communal bond fuels RHB’s #JomSapot BeliLokal campaign to get as many Malaysians as possible behind local businesses. We have the power to change lives by helping these small businesses grow, and it’s as easy as buying from your local businesses and spreading the word. It’s especially important as small businesses are the backbone of the economy, generating employment for 48% of the nation’s workforce. Support these businesses, and you’ll be supporting the livelihoods of millions of Malaysians, helping them thrive in the face of increasingly challenging macroeconomic headwinds. Whether it’s a new business just starting up, or an established one trying to turn around, every little bit counts.
Local celebrity and entrepreneur Sazzy Falak knows that. She has partnered with us at RHB and with Star Media Group (SMG) to drive visibility for local businesses, leveraging our customer base and SMG’s extensive readership to go all out to get Malaysians to BeliLokal. Join her as she rallies the troops behind the #JomSapot BeliLokal campaign and be part of something truly magical, just like Sudirman’s Chow Kit Road concert.
If you’re a business owner, here’s some great news to give it a little boost! Just fill in this form and get a AI video starring Sazzy Falak to promote your business at no cost. In addition to that, your video will also be served on our platform targeting customers in your area.
Here’s to the great Malaysian spirit of unity! Selamat Hari Merdeka from all of us at RHB.