21 September 2012 Friday | 21:55 | Pass Me the Mic
I never thought I would say this, but I totally enjoyed myself at the MediaCorp Long Service Awards Ceremony on Friday afternoon. I had imagined it to be some stuffy affair featuring a speech by the chief, and a snooze-inducing parade of award recipients. I was wrong.
The event was staged like any variety extravaganza you see on television — complete with fancy lighting, audio and visuals. It was shown ‘live’ on the internal network, which meant that anyone within the MediaCorp premises could watch the proceedings from the comfort of his/her own office. CEO Shaun Seow’s address came with a clip — Seasons of Love — dedicated to the longtime stalwarts of the company, and was peppered with rib-tickling anecdotes that only insiders would appreciate. The senior management team gave out awards in the various categories — 5, 10, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years. I was glad to receive mine from Radio’s managing director — the fabulous Florence Lian.
I was pleasantly surprised with the performances. “Wah! Long Service Awards also got performance one ah? We are really a media and entertainment company hor? ”
MediaCorp has a whole stable of TV artistes and radio personalities, but the committee kept all of us away from the limelight and featured instead our administrative colleagues. Jasmine Kok — former Love 97.2FM deejay and presently administrative manager with the ad department — took to the stage with a Mandarin song and got everyone rocking. Vimala from Oli 96.8FM was seated beside me and kept repeating, “I don’t understand what she’s singing, but she’s really good!” I whispered into her ear that Jasmine has a famous sibling — Ann. Later on, two girls — sorry, the company is so big, I don’t have a chance to know them yet — brought the house down, singing Edge of Glory in full Gaga gear. I laughed out loud when the hosts, Divian and Jacqui from 987FM, asked if they usually reported to work in that sort of attire.
The stars of the day were, of course, the veterans who had been with MediaCorp for 40 years. The publishing folks gave them a makeover and created mock magazine covers (8 Days, I Weekly and Manja) with corresponding headlines, while the production team came up with heartwarming video tributes. The love, and the admiration. 40 amazing years!
As we walked into the foyer for the post reception, I was expecting coffee and tea, and some tiny sandwiches or curry puffs. This was an internal event after all, right? No way. There was a full buffet spread. I wryly remarked that it would be another five years before I receive the next award, but I would definitely attend the event every single year for the F&B. Can someone please tell the committee that the laksa was very good? Haha!
LSA recipients from Chinese Radio:
Zigan (40 years), me (only 10 years), and Shengyang (30 years).
Oh man, I listened to their radio shows when I was a kid. Can you imagine how awestruck I was when I first met them? In recent years, I’ve became an informal advisor to the affable Shengyang da-ge, as he is determined to keep up with social media trends. That in itself sends a vital message — you’re never too old to learn something new, and you become obsolete only if you allow yourself to.
When I came on board as a freelancer in 1996, Zigan was my primary mentor. Someone cautioned me that he was a very stern person. Not true. Everyone calls him Ah Gor — or elder brother in Cantonese. I refused to comply, and calls him Big Brother instead. To which, he would reply, “Simi daiji, Small Brother?”
And he has tried this on every single person in Radio.
ZG: Orrhhh. 年紀小小講粗話⋯⋯