In 1989, Hafsham had
another brilliant idea -- '2 Plus 1' and Imuda became limp-wristed Sam. "I created
the role of Sam, the fashion designer, to be able to fit in with Louisa Chong, Susan
Lankester and Raja Ema. I thought it would be difficult and limited for a 'real'
man to mix so intimately with the girls in our local context so I though Sam, who
was not interested in women as he was inclined the other way, would do nicely. Also,
it was not proper to show a normal man living with girls who were not closely related
to him. I was sure Sam's character couldn't go far wrong."
Sam ran headlong into trouble. Not with the Censorship Board or local authorities
as might be expected but from parents! Imuda acted the role of Sam so convincingly,
naturally and stylishly that boys were imitating his limp-wristed gestures of flicking
the air with arms akimbo and various effeminate mannerisms! "Aiyo, the boys,
especially those aged 7 to 10 years, were following my style of talking, sitting
were getting indignant and worried their boys might turn out gay. Parents wrote in
to TV3 and newspapers to complain I was setting a bad example and I was a negative
influence on impressionable adolescents! That was the main reason '2 Plus 1' was
taken off the air after about 3 year compared to Pimai-pimai Tang Tu which is into
its 14th year.
perhaps just as well. A certain sectror of our society took a fancy to Imuda's antics
and especially him. "I received quite a few offers from people who thought I
was really like that in real life! I am not gay but at times I had a tough time trying
to convince others after playing the role so convincingly as Sam! A few refused to
believe my claims, saying I couldn't possibly have acted so naturally if I wasn't
one! It was just acting, acting, acting!"
Even Budin came in for
some flak. "Budin is just a kampung boy, the archetypal stereotype of
a jobless young man who likes to kacau orang (disturb people), have a good
time hanging around his buddies and who makes pocket money selling empty bottles
and old newspapers. Some said Budin went against the 'business' image of the new
Malays and suggested Budin should get a proper job but that would be against his
character. All these are just for laughs and people shouldn't take the play-acting
Imuda has appeared in 15 movies 'Mat Som' and 'Mat Gelap'. Once, when
shooting 'Mat Gelap', I had to walk through Central Market where I unexpectedly
bumped into some friends who exclaimed, "Hi, lama tak jumpa. How are
you?". A pity my director insisted I had to re-shoot as I thought it was such
a natural scene."
won two major awards -- 'Pelakon Komedi Popular' (Most Popular Comedy Actor)
in 1993 and Best Supporting Actor in 1992. There should be another award tailor-made
for him -- Most Hardworking Actor. Incredible as it may seem, while taking on roles
left and right through the 80s, he was still working full-time with Dewan Bahasa
dan Pustaka as an artist!
know it sounds unbelievable but I was employed by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka for 15
years from 1978 to 1993! I worked from 9 to 5, the normal hours, and then went on
to the shooting in the evening. I was Budin for 14 years but in reality I was Budin's
opposite. Budin was jobless but I was holding two jobs! Budin is lazy and happy-go-lucky
while I am very hardworking. Budin was everything I wasn't! Hey, actually I had 3
jobs -- I was drawing cartoons for Gila Gila, Geli Hati and Berita
in 1993, his boss asked him to choose. "I enjoyed being an artist with Dewan
Bahasa dan Pustaka but I was earning a salary and could look forward to a pension
at 55 so I chose acting which offers more scope. I discovered I could act when I
started to feel relaxed and natural in front of the camera while performing in 'Syy'.
the case, I could still draw cartoons at home or in my spare time. I never draw during
a shoot even though I may some free time while waiting for my turn. I believe in
total concentration on each job."
1994, Imuda tied the knot with Rozalina, now a manager with Menara Kuala Lumpur.
"I was introduced to Rozalina in 1993 just after she returned from her studies
in the USA. As so many thought I was not interested in them, I almost gave up hope
of ever finding a girlfriend but Rozalina, in America all this time, never saw '2
Plus 1' so she was completely unaware of Sam! It is very funny that she had never
even heard of me as a comedian when she met me. I never showed her videos of '2 Plus
1' until we became steady -- just in case she had other ideas!"
second year, Imuda proposed while driving. "Nana (his pet name for her), I want
to marry you. Will you marry me?" Unlike Louisa Chong who said 'yes' immediately
to her husband, Nana told Imuda she would give him the answer the next day! "That
night I 'tak tidur' (couldn't sleep), praying she would agree."
She did and
they are now the proud parents of one-year-old Raihana. Imuda's comic book 'Pimai-pimai
Tang Tu', published last August is dedicated to 'Nana and Hana'!
Imuda released a joint album with Susan Lankester titled 'Terang Gelap' (Bright
and Dark), his only attempt at the charts. Now he is immersed in his own company
'Im-Concept' which primarily sells merchandise like T-shirts, caps, mugs, key chains,
all emblazoned with his Budin character. Like Lat, the other kampung boy,
he is hoping to animate 'Pimai-pimai Tang Tu' into a television series ala
Raya, he has completed two specials, one featuring Ziana Zain and Awi at Kenyir Dam
and the other, 'Gaya Aidil Fitri' for RTM. Light years from the time when
he nearly appeared as a corpse in 'Mayat' and for free too!