Mission to dig up Zalina Azman’s secrets – why was she so private?

Mission to dig up Zalina Azman’s secrets – why was she so private?

To uncover Zalina’s personality in depth, Getaran interviewed several people who knew her

UP until today, there is still no news on the disappearance of TV personality and former TV3 news anchor Zalina Shaharah Azman, 58.

Her vanishing has become a mystery. What actually happened to the former host of Agenda and Money Matters programme, better known as Zalina Azman?

Just as difficult to be sniffed out or traced is the news of her going missing which took several months to be disseminated, although she was first reported missing on November 29 last year after she failed to be contacted by her biological son.

An online search about her – her background, career, achievements and even her personal life – is also quite disappointing. No information is found. Everything related to Zalina sounds and looks so mysterious.

To uncover Zalina’s personality in depth, Getaran has tried to interview several people who have known her.

They are Anne Edwards who is her former colleague at TV3, Datuk Ahiruddin Attan, or Rocky Bru, who is her former mentor in the Money Matters programme, and Eddin Khoo, a fellow alumni recipient of the United Kingdom Chevening scholarship under the British Council programme.

Having served in Money Matters, Anne Edwards said Zalina was a senior and leader when she joined the programme.

“I still remember the time, I had just started working and she was the one who chose me to join the Money Matters team.

“I myself was surprised because I didn’t expect her to choose me as I was still new.

“But she never positioned herself as a boss or senior and she always invited me and a few others to eat together.

“We would only eat at the cafe. She was a simple person. If you don’t know her, people would say she was arrogant.

“But, if you got to know her, she was actually a very pleasant, affable, simple and friendly person,” Anne told Getaran.

In terms of career, Anne told that Zalina was a very hard worker and dedicated to her work.

“She was always in the office. Always leaving late. She did a lot of research on topics related to Money Matters.

“She also attached great importance to pronunciation, whether in English or Malay. She would let us know our mistakes if we didn’t pronounce a word correctly.

“But, she was reserved and doesn’t overly socialise with other colleagues. She only hung out with a few people,” she said.

According to Anne, she was shocked when she learned about the news of Zalina’s disappearance.

“All this time, I believed Zal was OK. Not to mention after she remarried. But Zal is a person who liked privacy. She doesn’t like rumours.

“While being a news anchor and programme host, many rumours arose about TV personalities and almost all of them were negative. I think she was wary. That’s why she preferred to remain silent and wanted privacy.

“Frankly, I do not know what caused her to disappear. There is speculation I’ve heard linking it to her mental health.

“But we cannot confirm anything. It cannot be confirmed by the police or her family,” she said.

Rocky, who used to work with Business Times and is now an executive director at Petra News, said that when Money Matters was first produced he was called to help mentor Zalina to host the programme.

“We would sit together and look at the topics to be presented to the interviewees as well as the selection of questions to be presented.

“At the time I was still working at the Business Times and my editor was Hardev Kaur, who sent me to help Zalina.

“But, Zalina was really serious about being the host of the programme and she worked very hard.

“She also did a lot of homework and research. When I looked back at her questions, I said this girl can handle her questions, too.

“After her programme debut came out, she asked me: how was it, Rocky? I said ‘not bad’ and she asked back, ‘just not bad?’”

“But, I didn’t take long to supervise her. Only once. Then Hardev, who was also responsible for overseeing the programme, said that Zalina could do it alone,” he said.

Rocky, however, was not surprised by the news of Zalina going missing because he already knew in December.

“But, what is a mystery to me is why we have to wait for six months before the news of her disappearance is shared.

“Many speculations have arisen but none that is good or even positive. All I can hope for right now is a miracle. But some say she is still alive and hiding,” he said again.

Eddin Khoo, who is a poet, writer, journalist and founder of Pusaka, first got to know Zalina when they were both alumni recipients of the United Kingdom’s Chevening scholarship under the British Council programme.

“We had a successful alumni night project together and had also appeared to be interviewed on NTV7 in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Chevening United Kingdom scholarship recipients.

“She is an interesting person with character but does not reveal much about her private life.

“When I found out about her disappearance, I was very sad. I’m also shocked at how someone can disappear like that for eight months.

“I, too, did not know that she had disappeared just like that. Maybe her family wanted to deal with this problem personally,” he said.

But Eddin thinks many things should be considered involving people who live alone and guard their personal matters too strictly.

“Sometimes we don’t know the type of trauma they are dealing with and these people sometimes give in quickly to pressure and it can happen at any time.

“Even though Zalina is known as a resilient and strong person, it may be a bit excessive for something like that to be dealt with, let alone in a pandemic situation.

“We have to look at this matter seriously because there are many who face such things,” he said.

source – The Vibes


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