Yesterday, we said the story of Didi Moo’s progress through Korea’s MBC Star Audition talent search was exclusive to SabahSongs…Today, the local newspapers and RTM have it. Am I sad? No way! Because YB Datuk Masidi Manjun, Sabah’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, was so impressed with Didi, he wanted to offer financial support to assist her in her challenge!
Before the press conference, Datuk Masidi had said to SabahSongs:
Convey my congratulations to her. I am very proud of her achievement and wish her continued success in the competition. As a token of my Ministry’s appreciation of her effort in ‘selling’ Sabah to the Koreans I have asked my Permanent Secretary to approve and issue a cheque of 2,000 ringgit to Didi Moo to enable her to prepare for the next round of the competition.
South Korea is a very important source of tourists for Sabah. Sabah is well known to many Koreans and 40 percent of all Koreans that travel to Malaysia annually for their holidays choose Sabah as their preferred destination. Koreans form one of the highest number of tourist arrivals in Sabah, averaging 80,000 a year.
Fifteen minutes before the press conference was due to start, Didi and her parents, Chris Pereira and his videographer friend Donny Dukim, and I headed to the 6th floor of Wisma Tun Fuad Stephens, Karamunsing, where we were greeted by journos and cameramen – all waiting for Didi!
Then it was time to enter the conference room and chat with the Minister.
Some topics discussed.
- How Didi had achieved this all on her own, without any government support. Hence the Minister wanted to demonstrate his appreciation here
- The minister chatted with Didi and Chris about Jade Sisters and their recent EP ‘Janji’. Chris said they sold out their supply in a very short space of time and it was successful on the local charts.
- The Minister talked about the significance of Korea to Sabah’s tourism industry. He was pleased that Didi performed the Sumazau to ‘Jambatan Tamparuli’ on MBC. “Maybe when they come here for a holiday they will ask, ‘Where is Jambatan Tamparuli?'”
- The Minister gave Didi a book about discovering Sabah, to bring back to MBC.
Near the end of the session, we talked about Didi returning to Seoul on an overnight flight and arriving at 5.30am the following day. It would be hard for a young woman who spoke no Korean. Datuk Masidi’s response was quite sublime! He picked up his phone, and within minutes had organised that Didi be met at Seoul airport and taken to her accomodation by the Ministry’s contacts in the city. Those contacts will also spend time with her during her three days in Seoul, hopefully helping her understand her tasks.
What a coup! I was really pleased about that, and I’m sure her family were as well. Big sister Joan Moo cannot accompany Didi this time round, because she doesn’t have enough annual leave left.
As for SabahSongs’ exclusivity over the story? It doesn’t matter. This way, Didi gets maximum exposure for her good work, and you still have to come here if you want the story in full detail with lots of words!
Below, from left to right: Datuk Masidi Manjun; Datuk Michael Emban, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Sabah; Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai, Sabah Cultural Board General Manager.
Hero of the day
Chris Pereira is the dedicated manager of Jade Sisters [and therefore Didi Moo], and he took all the photos in this blog.