PETALING JAYA: It may have taken a great deal of public pressure from social media websites as well as mainstream newspapers, including The Edge Financial Daily, but the composer for this year’s Merdeka theme song, Syed Haron Ahmad finally received recognition for his contribution.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek finally invited Syed Haron to his office last Friday to personally apologise for his ministry’s oversight in crediting the 64-year-old composer for utilising his intellectual property.
Syed Haron told The Edge Financial Daily in a phone interview that he was happy that he was finally being recognised and he accepted Ahmad Shabery’s explanation about the mistake that his ministry made.
“He (Ahmad Shabery) invited me to meet him at his office last Friday afternoon. We spoke and he apologised over the issue. Apparently he had instructed his people to ensure that everyone received due recognition but apparently they didn’t live up to his expectations.
“But in the end, the meeting closed the issue [of not being credited] and he was nice enough to finally give me the credit and recognition,” said Syed Haron.
Ahmad Shabery also invited the patriotic composer to attend the pre-Merdeka celebration which saw Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak addressing the nation.
“He wanted to introduce me to the Prime Minister!” exclaimed Syed Haron. “Unfortunately, I already made plans that Saturday morning.If I had known a lot earlier, I would have cancelled my trip but I can’t do that when I was given only a day’s notice,” he said with a hint of regret.
Syed Haron’s plight came to light when his daughter posted a Facebook status claiming that the government did not credit her father when they used the song Warisan for Malaysia’s 2014 Merdeka Theme.
Syed Haron wrote Warisan for the late Malaysian pop sensation Sudirman Arshad in the early 1980s.
Ahmad Shabery could not be reached at the time of publication.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 3, 2014.