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DIB Coffees of Hawaii

DIB Coffees of Hawaii www.dibcoffeesofhawaii.org Bandar Damansara Perdana (Map in Contact Page) Deaf-in-Business (DIB) Community Business Project

Mr Alfred Ho, famous blind but super-talented musician and singer is performing LIVE at DIB Coffees of Hawaii. Come and listen to songs of yesteryears..down memory-lane.. For the very first time, the deaf and blind worlds are merging together, to jointly support each other in business. Your support and presence is needed and deeply appreciated.

Date: 27 May 2012 (SUNDAY)Place: DIB Coffees of Hawaii, Bdr Damansara PerdanaTime: 7pm - 9pm Come early as seats/tables are limited. Visit Alfred's Blog and listen to some of his music:http://www.alfredhomusic.blogspot.com/


DIB project is funded and initiated by Centre for Customer Care (CCC) Malaysia / Customereyes Malaysia / GoTeams Malaysia Contact: Dr. Allen Teh (019-3523082) drallenteh@dibcoffeesofhawaii.org

My bersih 3.0 rally experience - 02 (28th April 2012)

video

As a blind and responsible citizen of Malaysia, I did what I had to do and that was to participate in the bersih 3.0 peaceful demo on the afternoon of April 28th 2012. Both me and my other half took the LRT train from Sri Petaling to Masjid Jamek and arrived there just after 2 p.m. By the time we arrived at the above mentioned station, a huge crowd had already congregated there to show their support for the bersih 3.0 peaceful demo. The atmosphere was indeed fantastic as the participants were like one happy family and the concern for one another was indeed marvellous as we all joined the peaceful demo with one thing in mind and that is to help bring about clean and fair elections. After marching for about half an hour, we finally arrived at dataran merdeka where there was a huge police presence and they were about to unleash their cruel acts on the peaceful participants of this rally. As the crowds were chanting to have the barricades removed from Dataran Merdeka, suddenly, without warning or any provocation, the trigger happy police personel released volleys of tear gas and chemical laced water on the peaceful demonstrators and needless to say I had to suffer several minutes of agony to the extent that I almost passed out at one stage. Thanks to the kind comrades who were around me, both me and my wife were given towels and salt to help us in neutralizing the caustic effects of the poisonous fumes of the tear gas and chemical laced water. I must take this golden opportunity to thank the above mentioned comrades who came to my assistance during my hour of need. As we were quite near to the barricades, my group bore the full brunt of the tear gas thus making it very difficult for us to breathe and somehow I felt a terrible pain in my tummy which almost caused me to pass out at one stage. Thanks to the kind concern of the comrades around me I am able to survive to share my experiences. The high handed manner in which the police discharged their duties is most reprehensible and must be condemned in the strongest terms.

Following our ordeal, we tried to seek shelter at the masjid jamek lrt station but unfortunately, the gates had already been shut. Having failed in our attempt to seek refuge to escape the tear gas fumes, we decided to run to another building within the same vicinity and while making our way there, we were kindly assisted by some medics who were standing by, who gave us eyedrops and advice us as to how we should act in combating the fumes. I must take my hat off to these brave individuals for their bravery and self sacrifice. I must also not forget to thank the comrades around me for their kind generosity in distributing wet towels, salt and even isotonic drinks to those who needed them. I am indeed touched by their noble acts. We finally made our way to a building called, Wisma Hamzah Kwong Hing where my comrades requested the guard to open the doors for us to seek refuge to which he flatly refused. Several of us including yours truly were in quite a bad state and inspite of the pleas from my comrades to let us in, this inhumane guard refused to budge and stuck to his decision not to allow us to gain entry into the building.

Unfortunately, due to my predicament, I was unable to make friends with my very kind comrades, but finally when I had recovered sufficiently from my ordeal, I managed to speak to one of my dear comrades going by the name of Asma who tells me that she is a structural engineer by profession. During our conversation, she told me she has nothing but disdain for this very despotic regime. She was angered by the cruel actions of the police on the peaceful demonstrators, and just to please their political masters, the police had to act violently towards all the right thinking citizens who participated in this rally.

For the benifit of the readers of this article, I was interviewed by a reporter from one of the chinese press where I was given the opportunity to show my revulsion to this very uncaring and dictatorial regime. Even the young reporter shared my sentiments and felt that we should do more to effect change. When I told the reporter that if a blind person is aware of the fact that we are ruled by a corrupt and racist government, then all the more, able bodied citizens should take a pro-active stance to vote out this very irresponsible and unpopular regime. At this juncture, I wish to take this golden opportunity in paying tribute to all the selfless individuals, who against all odds, both sacrificed their time and took the trouble to attend this very meaningful rally.

So my dear friends, please do your duty by giving your votes to the pakatan rakyaat during the forthcoming general elections with the hope that all citizens will be treated equally regardless of creed or religion.

Finally, I wish to inform all readers that I have 2 video footages to back up my article & you can see them on my Facebook page

You can also watch these 2 video clips on my youtube channel (alfredho1111).



alfred ho





FOOTNOTE:



video
I wish to inform all readers that I also participated in the first Bersih rally which was held in the year 2007.Bersih 3.0

I WAS THE MALAYSIAN STEVIE WONDER

The Sunday Times
Sunday, June 05, 2011,
by Tan Choe Choe


Alfred Ho in his heyday. Some avid fans dubbed him the "Stevie Wonder of Malaysia" at one time, although Alfred Ho's instrument of choice is the guitar.

Robbed of his sight at the age of three after an attack of the measles, Perak-born Ho learnt to play the guitar from a schoolmate when he was admitted into St Nicholas School for the Blind in Penang for his primary education.

As he entered adulthood, it was obvious to anyone listening that he had a beautiful voice and could do almost perfect imitations of a range of singers, including Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Engelbert Humperdink, and Pat Boone.

Although he secretly harboured hopes of becoming a full-fledged singer, Ho, coming from a practical family, enrolled for vocational training when he was 15 at the Gurney Training Centre for the disabled, where he learnt to be a telephone operator.

He also wrote to Radio Rediffusion -- one of the hottest media channels in those days -- hoping to get an audition to play a few songs on the show. "One of those people who auditioned me was Patrick Teoh. "They gave me a chance and I did a few shows with them," said Ho. Not soon after, television entered the Malaysian entertainment scene. Someone who had heard Ho on Rediffusion recommended that he participate in a show. "I was an amateur, but I felt confident enough to take part because there were people who really liked my music. "I thought I was going to be a guest artiste on some music programme. But what I didn't know was that it was actually a music contest! It was the 1971 Bakat TV, Bintang RTM now." The surprised Ho was also the only blind contestant in the singing competition. Although he didn't win, he managed to make it to the semi-finals.

As Ho took on a job with the Penang City Council as a telephone operator, he also did the rounds in pubs around town, playing his heart out, hoping that his music would be heard and appreciated. He even got to play at an Australian army base in Butterworth. "They really liked me and commented that if I were in Australia, I would have been a big hit," said Ho with a laugh.

It was during those days in the 1970s that he penned some of his own compositions, such as Train to Tennessee and Wendy's Love Song. The former is still remembered by many loyal fans. As his fan base grew, so did his confidence. Finally, he decided to quit his day job and become a full-fledged singer. "A lot of people advised me against it. "But I wanted to realise my dream."

The young Ho even dreamt of entertaining the crowds in Las Vegas. With such aspirations, he got himself a contract to play at a hotel in Terengganu. From there, he went on to play at various places in Malaysia, including in shopping complexes, before finally making Kuala Lumpur his base. In the capital, he was engaged for various private and corporate events. He was being recognised for his impressive renditions of old English songs, as well as for some of P. Ramlee's golden melodies, including Getaran Jiwa and Dengar Ini Cerita. He could also sing Mandarin, Hokkien and Thai songs. As his popularity grew, he even got the chance to join Time Highway Radio for a year as a disc-jockey.

Now at 62, Ho's life is still heavily intertwined with his love for singing and his guitar. "It seems I have always been playing the guitar and singing. "I think I will do this for as long as I can... until something happens and I am unable to sing anymore."

But chasing his dreams did not come without a price. He met a string of event organisers, who either conveniently forgot to pay him, delayed payment, or halved his pay after a performance by giving the excuse that they didn't have enough money. Many thought that he was easy prey because of his handicap. So he and his wife, Rufina, spent a considerable amount of time and effort having to chase after payments. "I don't understand... why do people want to take advantage of a blind person? We were not begging or asking for donations, just payment which had been promised."

Rufina, a clinic nurse, who often accompanied him on his gigs, was also treated badly most of the time. "Other singers had their manager's transportation, lodging and food paid. But in my case, I couldn't even get food for my wife," he lamented with a sigh.

Sometimes, he was asked to sing for very little money in exchange for opportunities "supposedly guaranteed" that he would be able to sell some albums. Ho, with the help of his wife, had managed to produce five albums throughout the years. "However, sometimes, after playing and entertaining the audience, the organiser would conveniently forget that he would help me sell some albums. So, I ended up with nothing much."

These days, the childless couple is still trying to source for opportunities to perform as rising inflation and cost of living has taken a toll on them. But being caught in the whirlwind of the digital age and the rapid growth of the entertainment industry, Ho, with Rufina, have been struggling to get his music across to the masses.

"Those days, playing in shopping complexes was cheap. But the exposure was good and opportunities for gigs were there when people saw how you performed. But now, as shopping complex managers become younger, many do not want to give me a chance because they
haven't heard of me, or my songs."

When he gave a 10-minute live demonstration on his guitar during the photo-shoot for this
article, interested shoppers immediately gathered around to listen and take photos.

Desperately trying to reach out to more listeners, Ho struggles to keep a blog, which he updates with the help of his wife. He has also opened up a Facebook account as well as a YouTube
channel, where he uploads his renditions of some easy-listening old favourites. "Although I'm not very familiar with Facebook I will also upload my videos there," he said.

Truly, this is a man who will continue to do his best, whatever the odds, for the one thing he
loves -- music.

To listen to Alfred Ho's music, go to www.nst.com.my.

Silver-tongued crooner sings songs of gold

The Star
Metro (nightlife)
Saturday December 25, 2010

THIS week, the spotlight is thrown on a veteran of the scene who has not let his disability stand in the way of musical success.

Alfred Ho, who is blind, has been one of the stalwarts of the music scene for more than three decades, wowing audiences with his laid back but powerful vocals.

Right now, fans of this veteran can catch him on Tuesday nights at the OlSkool Bistro on Jalan Gasing in Petaling Jaya.

Ho was originally scheduled to perform only during the Christmas season but the good response from the crowd will see him staying on at the outlet until Chinese New Year.

Listening to him, it is clear that he has never let his disability stand in the way of his passion and he has a wide repertoire of golden oldies to share with the crowd.

What is special about Ho is that he takes the time to have fun while performing, and he really knows how to engage the audience.

Most requests are handled promptly and he never seems to come up empty, no matter how obscure the request might seem.

One good example of this was during a recent set when a request for Fraulein by Bobby Helms was sent up to Ho.

Without skipping a beat, he hit the buttons on his drum machine and launched into the country classic without much ado.

On a typical night out with Alfred Ho, expect to hear songs by Pat Boone, Ricky Nelson and even Bread.

Ho doesn’t limit himself to the English classic though, as he has an equally wide repertoire of Mandarin and Cantonese numbers, including several classics by Sam Hui.

This week, the Christmas mood will still be in the air so expect Ho to concentrate on great Christmas songs, all delivered with flair and style.

Alfred Ho is a classic in his own right and it is good to see this veteran back in action at the pubs.

Ho begins his sets at 9.30pm at OlSkool Bistro in Petaling Jaya.

Blind singer goes online to expose his talent

Kitty Lim
Malaysian Mirror
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 12:54


What are dreams made of? Alfred Ho tells you that passion, perseverance and willpower are the sense of motivations he needed to pursue his dreams.

Passionate about music, Alfred has been persevering in the past 26 years to live up to his dream as a musician – where he has performed solo and acoustically with a guitar in pubs, corporate events and special occasions.

The 62-year-old man has a strong willpower to do what he loves best: - to sing to his audience.

Unfortunately, he does not have the capacity to sustain his career delivering beautiful melody to the ears of those who appreciate his talent.

Alfred is, you see, blind.

The number of jobs he used to receive has declined which he said in shopping malls, “the younger generation of managers are not appreciative of the capabilities of blind people like me.”

“They didn’t want to give me a chance,” he lamented his disappointment.

Despite being visually impaired, Alfred’s determination and musical talent make him no less capable or confident than any other ordinary fellows.

The Perak-born performer speaks loud and sings clear, sending a simple message that he will not give up hoping that someday people would listen and give him a chance to continue to perform.

Besides entertaining, there was a pleasant sense of motivation while listening to Alfred plays original songs which he had composed back in the 70s; ‘Train to Tennessee", "Wendy’s Love Song" and "Foch Avenue".

Don't judge a book by its cover. You will be surprised with the gush sense of encouragement that Alfred is able to deliver through his performance and determination to carry on a path he has chosen.

Alfred, with the help from his wife Rufina, has ventured onto the social media platform, signing up for Youtube and Facebook accounts and creating a blog to show people his singing talent.

He has recorded and uploaded as many as 108 videos within two months onto Youtube where he shared songs of Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard and several more legendary performers.

“Viewers have complained that the sceneries (of the videos) are dull. But outdoor is noisy and I want people to listen to my voice clearly,” he explained the simplicity of the home videos which they had problem with their budget to buy a recording device with good audio quality.

“Youtube is only the first step. Publicity is another hurdle I have to face before more people can get to know me,” he said adding that he lacks a manager to guide him.

Alfred said he had been approached by some interested people to help promote him, but they were never serious.

Meanwhile, he is planning to write a memoir that allows the public to understand the experiences of growing up as a disabled child.

Alfred’s ambition is to open a ‘dream cafĂ©’ where he is looking forward to entertain people with nostalgic old songs and evergreen music.

Would you give Alfred the ‘key’ to tune his dreams into reality?

Constantly looking for collaboration opportunities, Alfred can be reached at alfredho.music@gmail.com or alternatively, ring him either at 03-7984 8560 or 013-7069 800 . Writers and publishers who are interested with Alfred's story are welcome to contact him.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE WITH ALFRED HO

Saturday, 23 January 2010,

9.30 PM - Batek Bar, Royal Lake Club Kuala Lumpur

Come and listen to your favourite all-time evergreen songs.

Your chance to see him live in action!

Sightless but not blind to his rights

Malaysian Mirror
Honeymah Dylyani
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:16


He may be sightless but veteran singer Alfred Ho is not blind to his consumer’s rights.


He was sore when a music store rejected his claim for a refund.

While it was only a matter of RM100, he felt that as a customer he had the right to make the claim for an item that did not meet his requirement. So, he went to the small claims court, instead.

The court, also known as the Tribunal for Consumer Claims, on Wednesday ordered Woh Fatt Music House Sdn Bhd to give back the money to Ho, a one-time recording artiste who now sings in pubs and lounges.

Ho said he had wanted to return a guitar case he had bought from the shop and to ask for a refund, but his request was rejected.

'Those with sight can do more'

The singer, who has made albums of some self-composed songs and evergreen numbers, said he was thankful for the outcome and advised consumers who felt cheated to refer their complaints to the tribunal.

"Although I'm blind, I still came here to fight for my rights. My message here is, those with sight should be able to do more for themselves when they feel cheated," he said after the tribunal handed its decision.

Ho, currently singing at a bistro in Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya, said he brought his complaint to the tribunal when Woh Fatt Music House refused to give back his money for the guitar case bought from the shop.

Company to pay within 14 days

Court president Rahazlan Affandi Abdul Rahim ordered the shop to pay back Ho after advising them to amicably settle the dispute through negotiation as the amount involved was small.

Woh Fatt Music House, which was represented by K.C.Liew, was ordered to pay back Ho within 14 days while Ho should immediately return the guitar case after receiving the payment

Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism deputy secretary-general (Consumerism and Management) Mahani Tan Abdullah said under the Consumers Protection Act, a consumer has the right to return the product if it is deemed defective and not because he or she does not like the product.

Defective goods can be returned

“Malaysian consumers should understand that they can return the good if it is defective. They can also exchange the goods with something of a similar value and not less.

“In Ho’s case it is different. He is blind and the judges have been using their discretion in awarding Alfred Ho his claims.

“Furthermore the claim is also reasonable. I do not think that the judge will side with him if he made unreasonable claims.

“In my opinion, the salesman did not explain to him accordingly. Since Alfred could not see, the salesman should be more detail in explaining the product, “ Mahani said.

She added that this case should highlight the importance of ethics in business.

"I am happy that the judge had awarded Alfred Ho’s claim because, sometimes, business people must be reminded to be more ethical in doing their business, especially with the disabled.

Tribunal Orders Music Shop To Return Blind Singer's RM100

Bernama.com
October 28, 2009

Blind singer Alfred Ho on Wednesday managed to get back his RM100 paid to a musical instrument shop after referring his case to the Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia (TCCM).

Ho, who had recorded an album before, said he was thankful for the outcome and advised consumers who felt cheated to refer their complaints to the tribunal.

"Although I'm blind, I still came here to fight for my rights. My message here is, those with sight should be able to do more for themselves when they feel cheated," he said after the tribunal handed its decision.

Ho, who now sings at a club, said he brought his complaint to TCCM when Woh Fatt Music House Sdn Bhd refused to give back his money for a guitar case bought from the shop.

TCCM president Rahazlan Affandi Abdul Rahim ordered the shop to pay back Ho after advising them to amicably settle the dispute through negotiation as the amount involved was small

Woh Fatt Music House, which was represented by K.C.Liew, was ordered to pay back Ho within 14 days while Ho should immediately return the guitar case after receiving the payment.

CARRY ON ALFRED - 23RD AUGUST 2009

by Emily Gun
Malaysian Mirror

PETALING JAYA - Alfred Ho is a blogger. Reading his postings makes you realise he is an articulate man. Reading them also makes you feel despondent.

For he writes about the hurdles he – and other people like him - has to overcome in living a life as best as he can under the circumstances.

Alfred, you see, is blind.

But he has been blessed with a musical mind and has found his calling as a singer cum guitarist.


“I have been in this profession for more than 20 years now and my forte is singing the old western favourites. I also sing in several Chinese dialects, including Spanish and several languages. I mainly do the pub circuits and perform at company and wedding functions,” he wrote on his blog, which has not been updated since November 2007.

Drop by a pub sometime and if you are lucky, you might catch Alfred in action, playing a few mean tunes and getting the crowd all worked up.

You might even find old folks hitting the dance floor to do the twist, as if creaky, calcium-deficit bones are nothing more than a figment of the imagination.

His passion for singing was stoked in part by Cliff Richard, whose earlier tunes like Y'arriva, Catch me and Tell me has shaped his musical direction.

If you don’t know by now, Alfred has a penchant for singing songs from the 50s to 70s by such legends as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Elton John.

In today’s world dominated by rap, hip hop and pop fluff, such oldies still has an entrenched following.

I decided to catch him performing one night in a Petaling Jaya bistro. I went in with no preconceptions whatsoever. Guess what, I enjoyed myself enormously. He hit the right chords in my book, singing John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane, my all-time favourite. He also had me giggling to the funny nuances of a Hokkien song.

All in all, it was a great night out.

Despite all the well-meaning government and private campaigns to promote a caring society, the truth is society is made up of people who are largely self-absorbed. When you are disabled, the lack of concern and consideration shown is glaring and hurtful.

Alfred has been through the grind and knows first-hand the prejudices and discrimination he had to face as an employee and as a citizen standing up for his rights and what he perceived as social injustices.

He can rattle off a long list of employers who have been less than kindly to him over the years and who have attempted to limit his career opportunities at every turn. To him, many politicians are no better in treating those who are disabled.

Once upon a time, he had to soldier on alone. But the burden is made more bearable now with wife Rufina Baptist, by his side.

Rufina, who is partially sighted, is his pillar of strength. Alfred also finds music to be a balm that eases the pain of a blind man living a life with all its imperfections.

Despite the challenges, Alfred has not come this far to be defeated by an unfair world.

He will continue to stand up for what he believes is just and right. And he will keep on crooning the evergreens for that is his calling.

* If you are interested to have Alfred Ho drop by to jazz up the mood of your event, get in touch with him at alfredho.music@gmail.com or call him at 03-7984 8560 or 016-635 9800 .


Last Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2009 18:35