Rizal's ASEAN: Land of hope and glory

The first episode will feature three individuals, two Indonesians and one Japanese, all came to Malaysia to fulfill their life dreams.

I sat down with Emir to discuss his Malaysia-Indonesia relationship, political aspirations, and on collaborations between the two nations. -Pix by Rizal Zulkapli | Astro Awani
THE songs, A Rose in the Wind by Anggun Cipta Sasmi and Waterloo Station by Jane Birkin both tell homesick stories of individuals making a living in faraway lands.

Birkin and Anggun uprooted their lives in the UK and Indonesia to live in France.

Birkin met first with Serge Gainsbourg and sang Je t'aime... moi non plus, then Jacques Doillon and collaborated with Hermes to produce the uber bag, ‘Birkin’.

Anggun produced the haunting single Snow on the Sahara in 1997 and went to become one of the biggest brand names in ASEAN.

I will debut my show, "Rizal’s ASEAN" on Saturday, 1.15 pm. The first episode will feature three individuals, two Indonesians and one Japanese, all came to Malaysia to fulfill their life dreams.

Emir Hermono hails from Papua, Indonesia and moved to Malaysia to attend high school 10 years ago.

Emir turned a broken heart into an album in 2015 entitled Songs About Her, chronicling the very difficult period in his life.

Years later, he released his third album, 3AM in Jakarta.

I sat down with Emir to discuss his Malaysia-Indonesia relationship (he is married to a Malaysian), political aspirations, and on collaborations between the two nations.

Pix by Rizal Zulkapli

Emir’s album was also reviewed recently by Rolling Stone Indonesia.

Afgansyah Reza needs no introduction. I called him up to find out more on trans-oceanic collaborations with Sona One and hopefully in the future with his all-time Malaysian idol, Datuk Sheila Majid.

I also sat down the Yoshiki Nagai of Tea Press in Damansara Uptown. Yoshiki started two tea houses in Malaysia before opening a store in Harajuku, Tokyo.

He is passionate about the art of Japanese tea, crafting small and delicate desserts, entertaining chatty and curious customers.

He shares the subtle art of combining the bitter teas and sweet desserts to create warmth and delicious palate.

The complex, bitter and sweet experience took me back to the time when I was enjoying a cup of Japanese tea and dessert in the dark at the Shoren-in Temple in Kyoto.

Pix by Rizal Zulkapli

Rizal’s ASEAN is a weekly show attempting to explore the youths, their dreams and game-changing activities in Malaysia. I look forward to sharing more stories of regional talents and their ideas in the later episodes. It is hoped the programme will travel far and beyond the Malaysian border to other ASEAN countries.

This will be a new journey for me as I try to make sense of this fast-paced and exciting region we all call home.

Rizal’s ASEAN will debut on Saturday, May 6, at 1.15 pm.