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SBA Commissions Three New TV Series on Singapore Short Stories, Lives of Local Athletes and on City Planning

Dated: 8 November 2001

The Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA) recently commissioned three new television series, Sayembara Cerpen (Singapore Short Stories), Dreams: The Team Singapore Story and Future Space. Besides providing audiences with more quality programmes, the new series highlights new talents from the Malay community, provide an insight into the lives of Singapore's athletes, and explores new ways of using land in Singapore.

Sayembara Cerpen
Sayembara Cerpen is a Malay drama series based on 10 short stories by young Singaporeans whose works were the winning entries in a story-writing competition organised by MediaCorp TV12 Suria in the middle of this year. The series is shown every Sunday from 28 October till 30 December 2001 over Suria, from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

SBA provided $350,000 for the production of the 10 hour-long episodes as the competition and series helped to encourage and promote new talent, especially the young, encouraging them to produce better scripts for quality programmes. The series is produced by MediaCorp Studios EagleVision.

Since Sayembara Cerpen went on air, it has received good ratings of 141,000 viewers and 137,000 viewers for the first two episodes respectively, which were titled Nasib Orang Tua (Fate of an Elderly) and Nasihat Tok Bomoh (Tok Bomoh's Advice). Each episode carries English subtitles and the sypnosis is attached in the Annex of this news release.

Dreams: The Team Singapore Story
SBA also commissioned the 13-episode sports info-educational series Dreams: The Team Singapore Story. The series made its debut on 3 November 2001 on CityTV, and it airs each Saturday till 26 January 2002, from 8.30pm to 9pm.

While each episode features a leading athlete or sports team, the members share one common mission: to keep Singapore's flag flying high during international competitions. Audiences are given a glimpse into their lives, both during and after training hours, and their dedication and dogged determination to do their best to bring glory to Singapore. There will also be footages of international competitions which they have participated in. Featured in the series are : Christel Bouvron (swimming), Abdul Kadir (silat), U K Shyam (athletics), Gerard Yeo (triathalon), Lee Wung Yew (air rifle), James Wong (athletics), Della Lee (squash), Indra Shahdan Daud (soccer), Andrew Fang (bowling) as well as the sailing, rugby, waterpolo and netball teams.

Dreams: The Team Singapore Story was commissioned by SBA for $221,000 and it was produced by the production house, Scribe.

Future Space
To be telecast on Saturdays 10 and 17 November 2001, from 10.30pm to 11pm on Channel News Asia, this two-part info-educational series looks at city planning in Singapore. Viewers will be brought up to speed with key ideas from the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Draft Concept 2001 plan which will shape Singapore's physical development in the next 40 to 50 years. Beyond the economics of land use and city planning lies the larger and more important issues of the impact of a rapidly changing physical landscape on the heritage, lifestyle and quality of life for Singaporeans. These issues will be examined in the programme.

The series, which is commissioned by SBA at $40,000 and produced by Alternate TV, will also delve into some of the more unconventional options of dealing with land scarcity and their feasibility for Singapore. For example, in other land-scarce countries, there is serious talk about building underground cities. Would Singaporeans accept underground living, or would we have to look beyond our shores for land?


Sayembara Carpen Sypnosis

1)    Nasib Seorang Tua (Fate of an Elderly)
This episode is on the plight of Mak Kiah after the death of her husband. Her children abandon her by putting her in the old folk's home. As she feels lonely, she recalls her past and realises her mistakes. A notorious student, Azura is sent to the old folk's home for community work as punishment. Mak Kiah is shocked to see Azura who resembles her late daughter whom Mak Kiah did not love as much as her other children even though Adillah was a filial child.

2)    Nasihat Tok Bomoh (Tok Bomoh's Advise)
Upon the death of their parents, Wan and Zul stay with their uncle although they have a house left by their parents. Wan and Zul refuse to stay in their own home as they have been told by a "bomoh" (spiritual healer) that the house is a haven for spirits and the unknown. They believe him and refuse to listen to their relatives who warn them that the "bomoh" may be a fraud who is only interested in their money.

3)    Keterlanjuran (No turning back)
A young girl craves parental love, which her sibling strangely get in abundance. She works hard in her studies so her parents will appreciate her more. She succeeds, and as they begin to show signs of affection, she finds out the harsh truth -- that she is an adopted child. Her world shatters just as she is beginning to find her feet. Finally she finds her natural mother who recounts her foolishness in the past. The woman has AIDS and is counting her final days.

4)    Jodoh Internet (Match-making via Internet)
This is about a single, highly educated woman having difficulties in finding a spouse. Her parents than turn to the services of a 'Tok Bomoh' for help. Much frustrated by her parents, she seeks solace from the Internet and finally meets her preferred partner through the Net.

5)    Rona - Rona Air Mata (Tears)
Anya, a school teacher is attached to Juana, a prominent lawyer. Unknown to her, a secret admirer-cum-stalker has been tailing her and taking notes of her every move. The stalker goes to the extent of taking photographs of her and noting down her boyfriend's whereabouts. He activates his plan of 'possessing' her by running down her boyfriend with a car.

6)    Satu Penyesalan (One Regret)
Intan is a rebellious teenager who neglects her studies and often gets into trouble, much to the annoyance of her single, working mother. The situation is worsened by her maternal grandmother who always gives in to her. Intan mixes with bad company and eventually becomes pregnant. As she and her boyfriend return after an abortion, they get involved in an accident resulting in the death of a pedestrian, her mother.

7)    Kopi Eis dan Bubble Tea (Iced Coffee and Bubble Tea)
Azroy has been away for three years and has just returned to Singapore. A diploma holder, he finds difficulty getting a job as he has no computer knowledge and skills. This is worsened by the fact that he is afraid of new technology. He is amazed at the developments, even among his close friends, during the time that he was away. Azoy finds his niche when he runs into his former teacher.

8)    Empat Wanita, Satu Penghijrahan (Four Women, One Journey)
The story revolves around four women namely Salma (mother), Zuraiha (daughter), Yasmin (daughter-in-law) and Freda (grandaughter) as they get embroiled in a failed cross-cultural marriage, as well as pride and jealousy within the family.

9)    AOD @ eternity .com
Nisha, a young yuppie has everything going for her. However she also indulges in vices including promiscuity. This results in her estrangement from her fiance much to the disappointment of her parents. During an Internet Relay Chat (IRC), Nisha meets an anonymous person who goes by the name of AOD. Nisha, who is captivated by the stranger at first seems to get worried when he seems to know her every move, even her scandalous affair with her already married boss, Iqmal.

10)    Pertemuan (Reunion)
​The life story of a boy, Haikal, who comes from a poor and disoriented family. After his father is sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for drug trafficking, he comes under the care of his grandmother while his mother works. Haikal goes through a lot of hardship but he is determined to lead a better life for his family, and fairs well for his PSLE. Unfortunately, his beloved grandmother dies on the day he gets his results. His heart is shattered and he becomes a rebellious teenage. When assigned to a counsellor, he discovers a secret they share.