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."

Of course 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 and standing!"

The parents 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.

It was 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 so seriously!"

So far, 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."

Imuda has 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!

"I 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 Minggu!"

Finally, 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'.

"Whatever 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."

In November 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!"

In the 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'!

In 1992, 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 The Simpsons.

For Hari 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!

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