Tears were falling when I heard Negaraku play after sprinter Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi earned a gold for the 100m T36 (cerebral palsy) event at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. It was the first of three golds that Malaysia has won at the Paralympics so far.
Negaraku plus other patriotic tunes, have a powerful way of uniting the country and instilling national pride.
To celebrate Malaysia Day, here are five well-known patriotic songs covered by Malaysian singers that caught our ear.
Negaraku by Jaclyn Victor
Jaclyn Victor’s rendition of our national anthem at the FA Cup finals in 2013 is everything. She puts her wide vocal range to good use, never shying away from the big notes. Excuse us, we have to go pick up our jaws off the floor after listening to it.
Jalur Gemilang by Dayang Nurfaizah and Ella
Dayang Nurfaizah and Ella give a completely different feel to the usually uptempo Jalur Gemilang as they close the recent event, TV3 Konsert Sehati Sejiwa. Accompanied by just a piano at first, the powerhouse vocalist and rock queen transformed the song into an emotional ballad.
Tanggal 31 by Elizabeth Tan
Elizabeth Tan puts her own unique stamp on Tanggal 31 (originally by Sudirman). Her light, airy vocals combined with the ukulele give the song a decidedly laidback vibe.
Bahtera Merdeka by Datuk Siti Nurhaliza
Malaysia’s No. 1 singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza is not only a master at pop songs but alsoin delivering traditional numbers, as seen in this searing rendition of Bahtera Merdeka (Aishah) at Konsert Lentera Timur in Istana Budaya in 2013.
Saya Anak Malaysia by various local artistes
This 2011 take on Saya Anak Malaysia (Dr Sam) by artistes such as Hazama, Hafiz, Najwa Mahiaddin and Aizat balances the old and the new just right. It introduces a contemporary spin, with Altimet lending a rap verse, but still manages to retain the original essence of the song.