Posts Tagged ‘SMC’

Interview with Uthaya and Anantha – Kalakal Kaalai

June 20th, 2007
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Making waves with Tamil listeners

By : Suganthi Suparmaniam


KUALA LUMPUR: For many, the day cannot begin without them. For the estimated 700,000 people who tune in to the Morning Breakfast Show (Kalakkal Kaalai) on THR Raaga every weekday from 6am to 10am, deejays G. Uthayakumar and R. Anand are household names.

The show, which began in August last year, discusses several contemporary issues each day — topics which are thought up every Thursday during a brainstorming session.

Despite the popularity of the show, the duo still have their detractors who complain that their on-air presentation spoils the Tamil language.

Uthaya, as he is fondly known, is passionate about the language and culture. But, he believes the way he and Anand speak on air is the right way to reach out to today’s generation.

"People listen to us because they understand what we are saying. If we speak in ancient Tamil, how many would understand? Getting the message across, I think, is most important."
His views were echoed by Anand, who added that reaching the targeted audience was crucial as people listen to a station they can understand.

"Not only that, by speaking in a Tamil everyone understands, more youngsters have started to speak in Tamil and listen to Tamil songs and music," said Uthaya.

When they are on air, the duo seem a fantastic fit. Off air, however, their lives are as different as night and day.

At the end of their work day, both head back home to take short naps. But, there the similarities end.

After their naps, Uthaya takes care of his multi-level marketing business, while Anand heads out to functions and clubs to sing with his band, Synergy.

The duo occasionally have to attend road shows and stage performances together.

And what are their views on their success? It is something they both shrug off.

Uthaya credits his success to the Sri Murugan Centre (SMC).

"I did not know what to do after Form Five. The thought of furthering my studies did not exist in my mind then. But they (SMC) helped me. They gave me guidance and motivated me to think big."

Big, perhaps, is an understatement. Uthaya began dreaming every day of becoming famous. And that he did, in 2001, when he landed himself a job as a VJ on Astro’s Padam, Paadal, Puthir game show.

It was that one-year stint that helped him secure the job in THR Raaga.

For Anand, the job adds fun to his already fun-filled lifestyle. Music is his world, whether on air, with his band or at the studio he co-owns with his brother Ram.

"I love singing and performing. When I don’t have any rehearsals or shows, I spend my evenings at the Synergy Studio," he said.

Anand hopes to go into music production and train aspiring Indian singers.

"It is a way of giving back to the society," he said adding that constructive criticism from the public had helped him to perform better on air.

Airtime Management and Programming (AMP) radio networks publicity manager Badrul Hashim said when the show started last year, there were about 500,000 listeners.

He said based on the Nielsen Media Listenership Survey the number of listeners has increased to 700,000.

SMC’s 25 Years Celebration

June 1st, 2007
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SMC’s 25th anniversary a time to rejoice over achievements


THE Sri Murugan Centre’s recent 25th anniversary celebration was filled with nostalgia as well as a sense of great achievement. 

Attended by scores of parents, students, volunteers and well-wishers, the event which was held at Universiti Malaya (UM), highlighted SMC’s strength as well as its growth over the years. 

One of the highlights of the event was the acknowledgement accorded to a group of former UM undergraduates who had helped founder Datuk Dr M. Thambirajah initiate the SMC in 1982. 

The group of 42, led by Kedah deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm (II) A. Thaiveegan who was then the university’s Tamil Language Society chairman, had set out to draft the initial modules and start tuition classes for Form Six students. 

Recognition: Prakash Rao being awarded the SMC Outstanding Student Award by his mentor Thambirajah at the event.

Not all of the 42 were able to make it for the event but Thambirajah honoured the 33 who did, which included Thaiveegan and his wife Komodhi, with garlands and mementoes. 

One of the centre’s co-directors Prakash Rao also received the SMC’s outstanding student award, for his achievements since he first started attending tutorial classes as a Form Six student in Ipoh. 

Prakash, 41, not only excelled academically but also returned to the SMC and has been a pivotal figure at the centre for the last 15 years. 

Meanwhile, SMC co-director K. Suraindran said the large turnout at the event indicated SMC’s successful journey from the time of its inception. 

He added that the event also highlighted SMC’s plans for the future. 

“We indicated at the event that the SMC is looking at a different direction now in addition to being a centre for academic excellence,” Suraindran said. 

According to him, besides continuing to help Indian students excel academically, the SMC would also be concentrating in creating Indian Malaysians with values par excellence. 

“When the SMC first started, Indian families were not conscious about the importance of education but now they are. 

“So, we are looking at other areas of development as what we had initially set out to do has been achieved,” he added. 

Among the guests at the event were deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk S. Veerasingam, National Land Finance Cooperative Society executive chairman Tan Sri K.S. Somasundaram, Housing and Local Government Ministry parliamentary secretary Dr S. Subramaniam, Education Ministry parliamentary secretary Komala Krishna Moorthy and Selangor executive councillor Kamala Ganapathy. 

SMC – 25 years of guidance

May 30th, 2007
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Divine guidance


Students are all ears during a lesson at one of the SMC centres in Klang Valley.
Students are all ears during a lesson at one of the SMC centres in Klang Valley.

A tuition centre set up to help Indian students from the lower income group uses religious terms to motivate and help them perform better academically. Today, it celebrates its 25th anniversary and is basking in its recognition within the community.


TWENTY-FIVE years ago, tuition centres were set up in four main towns in the country specifically to help Indian students from the lower income group who are poor in studies. » Read more: SMC – 25 years of guidance