The unsettled orchestra, which is under an international musicians’ boycott for sacking players without reason, has now dismissed an executive in arbitrary fashion.
Here’s what happened.
The orchestra, together with board members and some of its staff, gave a charity concert in December.
Someone posted a negative Facebook comment (below) about the piano paying of CEO Nor Raina Yeong Abdullah.
She ordered the marketing director, Carl Selvarajah, to remove it. When he failed to do so, she fired him.
An everyday story at the Malaysian Phil.
I have attended this so-called charity concert for the past two years. It is nice that DFP MPO does this kind of charity, but is that the real motivation behind the concert? In reality it appears to be an exercise in self aggrandisement by the CEO Nor Raina Yeong Abdullah. Nor Raina inserts herself into as many acts on the concert as possible. I’ve heard that she created this concert just so that she can perform on the DFP stage, and she uses this platform to get access to Tun Dr Mahathir and Tun Siti Hasmah. (I’ve seen her after this and other events and Nor Raina loves to show off her self-importance by letting everyone know that she is with the Tuns. In the 2015 charity concert she made a big show of holding Tun Siti Hasmah’s hand.)
But the shameful fact is Nor Raina’s piano playing is very mediocre at best. In fact, the most enjoyable pieces were those on which she was not playing! It is heartwarming to watch Tun Siti Hasmah play the violin at her age. (I should point out that Tun’s violin performance was marred by obvious wrong entrances and wrong notes played by Nor Raina!) On the 2015 concert Nor Raina even fancied herself to be able to play the Erhu, a feat she proudly told friends she mastered in 2 weeks! In saying this, she mocks the centuries old tradition of Erhu playing. And it was blatantly obvious when watching Nor Raina “playing” the Erhu that she was faking everything!
The Dyslexia Children’s Dance Group and the students in Winnie Cheah’s Symphonia Fantasia were sweet and unpretentious. Puan Juniwati Rahmat Hussin’s “Mr Bean” routine provided nice comic relief, and the staff Gamelan ensemble’s playing was commendable, with the accompanying dancing quite impressive. Appearances by Roy and Salamiah Hassan gave some credibility to the concert, and a closing highlight was Tun Dr Mahathir and Tun Siti Hasmah singing together. (This would have been better without the terrible guitarist – Eizaz Azhar? – who was out of tune and played all kinds of wrong chords).
In short, bravo to the the DFP MPO staff for giving their time and talents to this charity concert. And 5 stars to the Tuns. But 0 stars to CEO Nor Raina Yeong Abdullah. She should be ashamed of herself for such flagrant abuse of power.