Datuk Ramli Sarip, Datuk M. Nasir, Datuk Hattan and Awie come together to help flood victims.

A VISIT to Kampung Pasir Era in Kelantan in December last year, one of the places which was devastated by floods, prompted Datuk Ramli Sarip to do more for the people affected by the disaster. Without wasting any time, the iconic singer made a few phone calls to his contacts and fellow artistes about an idea to hold a concert to collect money to help the flood victims so they can get back on their feet.

The idea has finally come to fruition: come Sunday (Feb 22), Ramli will be performing an almost three-hour concert at Merdeka Hall, Putra Trade World Centre (PWTC), at 2.30pm. Also in the line-up are Datuk M. Nasir, Awie, and Datuk Hattan.

“The minute I had the idea for the concert, I also knew who I wanted to call to join me on stage,” shared Ramli at an interview in Kuala Lumpur. “Hattan and Nasir immediately said yes when I called them. Awie, whom I met at a function, also agreed.”

Ramli added that it was joyous to discover that his fellow artistes-friends wanted to contribute to the concert, and that they did so without any hesitation.

As it turns out, Hattan had also made the effort to make his way to the disaster-hit areas to see if he could help out in any way.

“I went to Kemaman (in Terengganu) with my wife and 17-year-old son and joined in during the cleaning of the mosque and the school,” said the 50-year-old singer, who is originally from Negri Sembilan.

“I didn’t even have to think twice about supporting such a noble cause. Ramli and M. Nasir are my mentors, so joining them on stage is an honour.”

According to Ramli, the other aspects of the concert – titled Konsert Doa Langit Dan Bumi – also came together really quickly. Ramli explained: “A discussion with Tan Sri Azman Hashim (the chairman of AmBank Group) and Datuk Maxson Abdullah (CEO of Putra World Trade Centre) resulted in us getting a sponsor, and also a venue to hold the concert.”

M. Nasir was quick to say yes when Ramli Sarip asked if he would perform in the concert.

Merdeka Hall has 3,000 seats, and the tickets are priced at RM153. “We are hoping to hold a sold-out concert and collect RM500,000 in the process. Every cent of the money collected will be given away,” said Ramli. At the time of the interview, 50% of the tickets were already sold.

“Yes, it is a little bit rare to hold a concert on a Sunday afternoon, but we figure people would want to make use of the long weekend, and still have time to rest before starting their working day,” stated Ramli.

While Ramli will be opening and closing the concert, the other three will be performing their respective popular numbers as well. Hattan confirmed that he is planning to perform four to five numbers at the concert, as well as a duet with Ramli on the latter’s hit song Bukan Kerana Nama.

Hattan noted: “Although the concert came to be because of a disaster, it is not going to be a sad affair. It’s going to be all about the spirit of helping each other. I will be singing my hit songs, a few ballad numbers to adhere to the theme, and M. Nasir, I am sure, will be giving a spiritual performance.”

Awie will be joining Datuk Hattan, Datuk M. Nasir and Datuk Ramli Sarip for a concert to raise funds for  lood victims.

At the same time – with all three singers being industry veterans – the fans can expect to see some impromptu jams as well. “It’s going to be very open concept where the setlist is concerned; not rigid,” said Ramli. “It isn’t often that the fans will get to see all four of us together on stage. Even I am interested to see how it’s all going to play out on that day.”

The 63-year-old singer, dubbed Papa Rock by fans, is known for writing songs that reflect on preserving our environment and respecting the laws of nature. After the tsunami disaster in 2004, Ramli went to Meulaboh, Aceh, with members of Singapore’s Mercy Relief.

“We all have our parts to play in life. These disasters prove just how small we are and how important it is for us to take care of our planet. We have to take heed of all that’s happened and learn so we would have something to pass on to our next generation.

“Every time I see a lorry carrying logs, I feel sad. I know we need to cut down trees for our use, but I also feel that when one old tree is cut down, we should plant 100 small ones because, otherwise, the price of losing everything else is just too high.”

Tickets for Doa Langit Dan Bumi Concert are priced at RM153 and available for purchase online (www.ilassotickets.com) or via hotline at 03 7957 6088. Tickets can also be bought from Rock Corner (The Curve, Subang Parade, Mid Valley dan KLCC), Rip Curl (KLCC, Ferenheit 88, Bangsar Baru, Wangsa Walk, Sunway Pyramid, One Utama) Victoria Music Station (Sg Wang Plaza, Tropicana City Mall dan Amcorp Mall), Acoustic Music Station (Pertama Complex), PJ Live Arts Centre dan PWTC, in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.