Today 30years ago: Legendary entertainer Sudirman Haji Arshad dies (1992)
TODAY 30 years ago, legendary performer, Datuk Sudirman Haji Arshad passed away.
Born on 25 May 1954 in Temerloh, Pahang, Sudirman is the youngest of seven siblings.
His name was given by his father in conjunction with the Indonesian independence fighter, General Soedirman.
His art career began when he won the Bintang RTM 1976 when he was a student at the University of Malaya.
His first album, “Aku Penghiburmu” was released in 1978 & he graduated 2 years later.
Sudirman was a lawyer for several years, but left the profession to focus on his art career.
His name exploded as the main star of the 80s era with a series of hits along with his creative performance style.
He made history on the night of April 15, 1986 when he held an open and free concert at Jalan Chow Kit which was witnessed by more than 100,000 spectators from all walks of Malaysian society, especially around Kuala Lumpur.
He was named ‘Asia’s No. 1 Entertainer’ at the Salem Asian Music Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, London on 19 March 1989, surpassing other participants including Hong Kong pop legends, Leslie Cheung & Anita Sarawak from Singapore.
In addition to singing, Sudirman is also a versatile artist when he starred in the film ‘Kami’ (1982) as the main lead.
He also publishes his own children’s books and autobiographies as well as being a columnist as well as a part-time journalist.
Sudirman also produces his own drawing comics which are published in local magazines and newspapers.
He is also an entrepreneur, producing ‘SUDI’ soft drinks and opening a shop selling his own brand of souvenirs.
On July 17, 1991, he was admitted to Tawakkal Medical Center, KL after collapsing while performing in Butterworth, Penang.
After 7 months of suffering from pneumonia, Sudirman breathed his last at 4 am on February 22, 1992 at the age of 37.
His remains were buried at the Chengal Islamic Cemetery, Temerloh. Although only 16 years have shined in the art world of the homeland, its presence is irreplaceable to this day.
-National Archives of Malaysia, NST, Utusan Malaysia