KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri and National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique today paid tribute to former Blues Gang bassist Jim Madasamy who was hailed as a symbol of unity.
Speaking at the launch of the Jim Madasamy Artistes Fund, the two ministers, who are big fans of the Blues Gang said the band had entertained Malaysians from all walks of life for decades.
Nancy said Jim was among the symbols of unity in the music world which included the likes of the Alleycats, Kenny Remy Martin and the Revolvers led by Freddie Fernandez who is also the Malaysian Artistes’ Association (Karyawan) president.
“Music and the arts are key contributors to unity in this country,” said Nancy.
The Blues Gang, she said, was one of the best examples of people who used music to bring the people together.
The RM100,000 fund launched today will benefit local artistes who have been struggling financially.
Nancy also took the opportunity to thank Amalan Setar (M) Sdn Bhd and its managing director Rajendran Ramasamy for contributing to the fund and a close friend of Jim’s, who wished to remain anonymous, for producing a collection of songs including some Blues Gang hits which Jim had recorded in Tamil prior to his death in 2018.
“We are grateful and fortunate that Malaysia is a diverse country made up of people from all walks of life,” said Nancy.
“No one can break our unity,” she said, adding that the unity among Malaysians must continue to be upheld.
Halimah said music crossed the boundaries of age, race and culture to bring people together.
She also thanked those who made it possible for Jim’s Tamil album to be released.
“One of his dreams prior to his passing in 2018 was to record a blues album in Tamil as part of his legacy.
“I hope this effort will inspire people to appreciate the peace and harmony in our country.”
Also present at the event were Jim’s widow Soo Leak Meng and members of the Blues Gang.