Jamaluddin Ibrahim joins local private Chinese radio station 988 as its first Malay news commentator.
WHEN Jamaluddin Ibrahim first went on air in early May as a deejay for local private Chinese radio station 988, listeners were fascinated and thought he was a guest. What then did they think when they found out that a Malay guy was actually a commentator for a Mandarin programme airing on a Chinese radio station?
“Initially, listeners were curious. But they gradually got used to my voice and the programme, so they became more interested in the issues at hand.
“Mandarin is my first language, so I’m very comfortable expressing myself in Chinese,” offers Jamaluddin who also speaks Cantonese as well as Bahasa Malaysia and English.
Jamaluddin is no ordinary Mandarin-speaking Malay man. His parents are Malaysian freedom fighters Shamsiah Fakeh and Ibrahim Mohammed who spent almost 40 years in exile in China as they were top leaders of the Communist Party of Malaya.
Born in Beijing, Jamaluddin spent the first 32 years of his life in China. He is the youngest of three siblings who were brought up in the remote province of Hunan. His parents brought them back to Malaysia in 1994.
The 47-year-old businessman is one of the few non-Chinese who graduated from the pretigious Beijing University. Married to a Chinese woman, Jamaluddin has a daughter who was also born in China.
Jamaluddin and Koh Kok Wee (formerly deputy news editor at Nanyang Siang Pau) joined 988 as news commentators and host a news programme, Say Hi to Malaysia (which replaces Hello Morning). Popular 988 presenter Sam Mak helps facilitate the programme, which airs from 8am to 10am from Mondays to Fridays. - THE STAR Online -