Thursday, February 26, 2009

In Defence of Karaoke (and Bad Singing)

What's with those people who have taken up arms against us karaoke ‘kakis’? My diatribe is actually directed at some of the inconsiderate blockheads who masquerade as members of a club we belong to.

Intense lobbying, not to mention outright scoff and ridicule of the karaoke crowd (which rightfully landed one such toff in front of a disciplinary committee), has resulted in our usual karaoke venue being shifted to an unlikely spot in the next block quite a distance away.

One has to climb two flights of stairs to get to the new venue, which is hidden between the squash courts on one's right and some obscure nook filled with junk on one's left.

And one must remember to duck one's head when climbing the second flight of stairs for there's a mean wooden plank there, waiting to hit any unsuspecting member on the forehead. Such indignity they put us though!

What I fail to comprehend is that the club has been in existence longer than any human lifespan (except those in Biblical times, I guess), yet they have never seen it fit to have a proper karaoke lounge.

This club has a decent karaoke following and has been winning interclub karaoke competitions for years, yet its karaoke enthusiasts are forced to use one corner of the main bar once a week to indulge in their passion.

When asked about having its own karaoke lounge, the answer is a pat "no space lah". I don't know; the Malays have a saying "kalau hendak seribu daya, tak hendak seribu dalih".

[In a nutshell it means if you really want something, you'd go out of your way to get it, but if you are not interested, you'd create a thousand excuses to avoid it]

The saddest part is this is not some 'chekai' club we are talking about. I won't go into details, but I do know that you know and that's good enough for me.

I guess the bar patrons won for now. From April onwards, the club's karaoke enthusiasts will have to make do with singing in the mini-theatrette, facing rows and rows of seat.

It's like auditioning for a talentime; that was how I felt when I went there a couple of days back to test the system. I sang facing those empty seats, with the lyrics monitor in front of me and the big movie screen behind.

I don't know what the strategies are to lure the club's young crowd into the place (that was the plan, I heard) when the mini-theatrette is as soulless and dry as the Sahara.

Worse, neither food nor drink is allowed in there (the club by-laws say so), a truly unfriendly set-up if ever there is one. It's like the club wants to drive us karaoke fans away!

Sure, the audio-visual system is a class above compared to our little corner at the bar (it better be, the place's a mini pawagam after all), but the total lack of ambiance is disheartening.

If I know young people, I can bet my bottom dollar that none will patronise a place where the only seats available are those arranged classroom-style and firmly screwed to the floor, and where you can neither eat, drink nor smoke.

Karaokeing is socialising; I don't see this happening in the new set-up. How do you socialise when you are sitting upright, eyes to the front, like a bunch of collage kids attending lectures?

I don't know how long the cinema will double up as a karaoke lounge, but I do hope the club can come up with something more concrete to ensure our rights as members are not trampled on.

All I can say for now is that this half-measure is not doing anyone any good. I, for one, may not be a regular after this. I truly don't like the environment.

What really pisses me off is this; what have these people got against karaoke singers? So what if some of us can't even tell the difference between a sales pitch and a singing pitch?

What's there to bitch about even if some sound as horrible as a person in need of Heimlich maneouver? Got people holding a knife to your throat and forcing you to listen, meh? Just keep your distance and stay away from us lah!

Anyway, let's be honest with ourselves. Bad singing doesn't kill, not that I know of (except for one fluke incident as illustrated below), but drinking, smoking, drug-taking and/or random fornication might just do one in.

We all have our passions and pastimes; for some, their lives revolve around the bottle, or snorting some of those illegal stuff up the airways, or practising jaded one-liners at anything in skirt in the hope of getting laid.

For us, we stick to what's safe - karaokeing. (I certainly hope it IS a safe hobby here in Malaysia, because one karaoke lounge patron in the Philippines was shot dead when he sang "My Way" one time too many!).

You know darn well that bottle-dependency can lead to excruciating hangovers and a hanging gut, the white stuff can, if wrongly handled, lead to a long prison term or even the gallows, and indiscriminate bonking with every Tammy (or Tom, you never know these days) may pave the way towards STDs if you are not careful.

The way I look at it, the biggest harm we can do to ourselves by indulging in karaoke is a sore throat. It definitely doesn't harm our lungs like smoking does. Nobody has ever suffered from lung cancer due to karaoke.

Our pockets may be slightly lighter, that I agree, because we tend to prowl for karaoke VCDs wherever we go. But those VCDs won't bankrupt us for sure; they are dirt cheap!

The most expensive I had ever paid for one is RM19.90, and that for an original compilation too. All those cover versions only set you back RM12.00 each.

Like this, the club can count me out lah for karaoke...


MrsNordin said...

Sorry to hear about that. You must be really pissed. Why did they do that? I'm sure ada orang complain tu ~ because they cannot sing when you & other karaoke crooners are there?

Hmmm... try Red Box lah.

Kama said...

they don't want to share the bar with karaoke, that's all. karaoke is only once a week, btw, every sunday from 7pm to 12.30 midnight. tu pun kecoh.

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, boycottlah. Take your business somewhere else. Am sure they will lose business and try to lure you all back.

bergen said...

I listen Kama At Tarawis sing one time in a club. Can't remember the name of the song but it was a Mandarin song and if you closed your eyes, you'd think it was a mainland born Chinese singing that beautiful song. And that beautiful song still plays in my head whenever I think of a Chinese song that reflects the elegant era of ballroom dancing, Shanghai, nice cheongsam, and men in Fedora hat and nice suits, and nice shoes.

Take it away, ma'am. Sing it away. You've gotta the right to sing. But don't ever ask me to sing because it's a sure way to close down a club.

Tommy Yew said...

Wah Puteri, what happened to the ‘shy & demure kampong mali gal’ I tot I knew. Man, u have come a long way with your ‘meh’, ‘got or not’ Ah Soh type of boisterous ranting…hehehe…

I see u got a message for ‘lobster type’ ppl like me; ‘All hands & legs & a head full of sh*t’, fornication & indiscriminate bonking with every Tammy (or Tom, u never know these days). I can assure u, mem, I’m all neat & straight………… drinks I meant…hahaha…No lah, I’m very discerning; got class oso mah! Yes mem, u go & show them not to mess about with STF gals!

I did it my way too, albeit a very special way,

Cheers & good luck with your quest,

P/S – My fav karaoke song is “Ain’t no way to treat a lady”. Ah Soh always sing “You’re So Vain” to me. Gee I love myself too much, not if there’s anything wrong with that what, right or not?

Pi Bani said...

Adalah kaki complain tu. Kalau I yang berkaraoke (croak-ok), mau ada yang lodge police report terus. Sekarang ni kan ke zaman police reports and saman-menyaman?

Kama said...

Kak Teh - actually we like our little corner at the bar. the system that they hv set up there is also good and fair. you come in, write your name down on a whiteboard and send in your song choice (can either bring yr own disc or can refer to their songbook), then wait for our turn. everyone gets a turn at the mic. very fair. only once a week. tu pun bising.

Bergen - Teresa Teng's "The Moon Represents My Heart" is such a beautiful song. I hv been singing it so regularly that I can memorise the lyrics oredi.

Tommy - hehehe Tommy, the shy and demure bit sudah gone with the wind. Btw, I like the 'rantings of Ah Soh' part.. betullah. I hv an affinity with Chinese. For as long as I can remember, Son No 2 (now 32) has been dating a long list of Chinese girls that I think soon we're gonna end up with a Chinese menantu (cool leh!)

Pi - Life is so short, buat apala komplen2. All these saman menyaman buang masa ajalah, kan?

Tommy Yew said...

Hi Puteri,

Wah I tell u, business is bad nowadays man. I'm sitting here chasing & swatting flies in my char kway teow shop, mati lor!

Anyway chinese menantu oso ok la, but u must take control on the word go, else these modern younger girl got no respect la, especially those latuk 'siew chei'ones with oversea education. Trust me.

Wishing u well,

Aida said...

Kak Puteri,

Why not u petition (with all the other karaoke regulars) to reinstate ur lil spot in the bar like it was.

Good luck.

wanshana said...

Hmmmm, that's not fair, is it? As a member, you have the right to all the facilities promised by the club when you joined dulu. And by facilities, this means facilities with decent and acceptable standards, not like how you described the new joint is now!

Kak Puteri, you and the rest of the karaoke enthusiasts at the club must protest. MESTI! If they can give those frequenting the Bar an exclusive space, the management should provide an exclusive space for a karaoke room/hall, too.

Yes, write and sign a petition you all must! Good luck!

The Ceramic Designer said...

redbox is good kak.. the one in pavillion is handy after shopping or watching movies.. there's also redbox in the curve, tapi mungkin berhantu, my girl-friend said, mmm..

thank you for the music, the songs i'm singing.. thanks for all the joys they bring in.. who can live without it, i ask in all honesty.. what would life be..??

keep on fighting kak.. ;)

Ĺaptop™ said...

Mau depa tak kecoh.
Asik dok keryau keryau kay.
Noise pollution.

Mai keryau kat kola kedah.
Kawasan lueh.
Tak dak ganggu sapa2.

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Nasib baik la Kelab Kama kat sini, kata Pak Malim sambil berenang di Tasik Chini. Kalau di tempat lain, karaoke boleh jadi punca pergaduhan, kata Pak Malim sambil berpaut atas dahan.

Salt N Turmeric said...

Club tu takde proper karaoke lounge ke Kak Puteri? Macam tak percaya pulak. Kesian you guys. Dah lah kena pindah. no drinking/eating pulak tu. Gila ke apa diorang tu? Tekak mesti kering lepas nyanyi kan?

I agree w Kak Teh, kena boycott or sign petition for better treatment.

Anonymous said...


That room in particular is haunted.

Don't forget, the Japanese used the club during WW 11 as some sort of headquarters and it also became a place where quite a number of heads roll (so to speak).
I should know as I play squash in the adjoining court. I just ignore those howls and scream that strangely comes out loudest after 8p.m.

The only way to appease them, I should think is to sing more of the Yu Liang Tia Pau Theresa Teng's number. And better still have the singer be all dressed and dolled up in the tightest of cheongsam ala Suzie Wong.

Jay Aye

Oldstock said...


The next time the club presidency is up for voting, you need to vote in a guy who likes to sing. Only then you would have a chance to get a better karaoke lounge.

But karaoke fans are a hardy bunch... I'm sure you'll find a way to either get back the old spot or improve the new one.

Like the song from Starship that goes,`Nothing can stop us...'

Queen Of The House said...

For now, just imagine you are performing in American/Malaysian idol whenever you are karaoke-ing in the theatrette.

I am not much into it (I croak, ok?) and will only feebly try to karaoke at my SIL's place - they have a soundproof karaoke room at home. Cool eh?

Your club should be made to have an allocation for a soundproof room too, maybe with it, the spoilsports won't complain of the sounds (I think that could be the reason for the protest). They're sourpusses really, I bet they all can't sing!

Kama said...

Tommy - I'll keep this 'siew che' advice in mind for sure. The ones I've met so far, ok la..

Aida - no la, I'd rather petition gomen not to hike toll..LOL

Shana - we gonna give the karaoke sub-committee chairman an earful, dont worry..

CD - I think I can try to 'tekel' the chairman somehow cos i'm sleeping with the guy..hehehe

Laptop - naynyi tepi laut angin bawak melodi sampai indonesia... lap..

Ray - kama tak suka gaduh, ngomel slalu...

Farina - tak pernah ada. weekly thingy tu ajalah, kat bar corner.

AJ - hisyyy AJ, terkejut I sat.. hehehe. kalau all the ahso and tokcik2 cina yg suka karaoke tu pakai mcm suzie wong, me included, hantu pun lari. tak lalu dia nak tengok!

Oldstock - we want to regain our spot back for sure. tengoklah how..

Qoth - the bad ones memang bad betul, Qoth, I pun penin! LOL

The Ceramic Designer said...

hehe sleeping with the chairman can certainly get you places kak.. my ex-goodfriend once said that i am where i am 'because of sex'.. she meant, by sleeping and being married to my hardworking husband ie not through my own hardwork!! mmmm.. definitely a sourgrape??!!

Roslan said...

Puteri, as a karaoke fan, I can understand how you feel. If I am a member of the same club, I would be furious as you too, if not more....I wonder when I can join you and Pak Abu for a karaoke the good "young" days at Kota Damansara... he,he,he?

Kak Teh said...

puteri, where are you?

tireless mom said...

Dear Kak Puteri

Complain in the Malay Mail or Metro, can ah? I see that the Family type karaokes are mushrooming and aren't they worried of the competitors?

Kama said...

CD - that's one perk I don't think I want to share with fellow karaoke kakis..LOL

Roslan - We can always go to KLGCC, Lan. It's a friendlier place for members' guests.

Kak Teh - am here still, kak teh. been under the weather somewhat, and aflicted with writer's block as well. I'll be back in my groove by tomorrow.

TM - it's a members' only place, TM, that's why they are not afraid of competition cos they are not competing..hehehe..

nuraina said...


you know i didn't know about this petty thing they're up to!

I want to protest!

Bila lagi nak dengar you nanyi lagu "midnight train to georgia"?

one night i and my usual kakis were outside the Batek bar and heard that song beiong sung. i said..."macam disc playing"..but then, I sort of detected a strain of your voice becos you know-lah i've heard you sing several times i peeked into the batek bar and, right I was! it was you.

tough song to sing...and you sang it so you do toher songs.

so I PROTEST this move to shift the karaoke singing to some dark corner soemwhere .....

siol-lah diorang!

Kama said...

Ena - ehe ehe.. thank you for the *approval stamp". That's my favourite karaoke song. from april 1st we have been singing in the mini pawagam.. punyalah tak comfortable!

Kama At-Tarawis said...


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