Tue, 11 Mar 2003

Mega's love song marks Music Day

President Megawati Soekarnoputri has a way of giving surprises: she sang after announcing National Music Day at the State Palace on Monday.

Prompted by a request from senior singer/composer/artist Titiek Puspa, Megawati sang Di Wajahmu Kulihat Bulan (I See the Moon on Your Face), a love song by composer Mochtar Embut that was popular in the 1950s.

"As president I must keep my composure and must not act this way, but I will sing," said Megawati, to a big cheer from the audience.

Monday was the second time that the reserved President had sung in public. She last sung in December, during a Christmas visit to Papua, where she turned out May Way.

Present at the celebration were old and young singers, including Titi DJ, Vina Panduwinata and Harvey Malaiholo, who all urged the government to take serious measures to curb song piracy.

"If piracy is allowed to continue, the (national) recording industry will collapse," said Songwriters and Artists Association chairman Dharma Oratmangun.

National Music Day falls on March 9 to coincide with the birthday of Wage Rudolf Supratman, composer of the national anthem Indonesia Raya. Supratman was born on March 9, 1903. --JP