MALAYSIAN Idol Season One contestant Saiful Bakeri’s new album, Aku Ada Di Sini, follows the successful debut of Ku Juga Mencintai Mu about two years ago.

The album, released by Sony BMG Music Malaysia, has the same concept as the first, with Malay covers of Mandarin chart-toppers of popular singers such as Daniel Lee, A Niu, Ocean Yeang and Guang Liang.

Kuching-born Saiful, 22, has also dabbled in acting and has been featured in Cinta Terakhir with heart-throb actor Azizan Nin. He also appeared in romantic scenes on Langkawi, one of his favourite destinations.

Travel is Saiful’s favourite hobby. “I love shopping and would love to try more scuba diving,” he said.

Tell us about your most interesting travel experience. Last December, I went to Pulau Perhentian with Tourism Malaysia on a promotional tour and tried scuba diving for the first time. The underwater world is stunning. There were lots of foreign tourists and we partied together on the beach. It was unforgettable.

Have you ever had a really bad experience? Not really.

How best do you unwind during your holiday? I love shopping and buying gifts for friends like fridge magnets. I have about 20 myself, in various designs such as fish, flowers, fruit and butterflies.

What type of holiday do you prefer? Cities and shopping. I dream of going to New York to get a feel of the Big Apple.

What can’t you leave home without when you travel? My PDA with my favourite songs.

Which is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia? Does it also give you the best holiday memory? Pulau Pangkor. I went there with my recording company some time ago. It was a great release from the stress of work.

What’s the best hotel you have stayed in so far and why? JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur. I took a room and stayed for three days and thoroughly enjoyed it. Another reason why I love it is because it is near all the happening places — Planet Hollywood, Lot 10, Bukit Bintang Plaza and Low Yat Plaza.

What or who do you miss most when you go travelling? My mother. We are very close though I am only the number two in the family.

What do you hate most while travelling? Heavy luggage. I prefer to travel light.

Where next would you like to go? Langkawi. Azizan Nin and I went there to film Cinta Terakhir. The landscape and beaches were lovely. It was work so I did not get the opportunity to explore the island. If I go there again, I would love to enjoy more of the island.

Where would you recommend your friends to go? Pulau Perhentian for its nature and stunning underwater world as well as the activities.

What was the best thing you bought during your travels and where? Kain pua kumbu near the Kuching Waterfront. I love the fine weaving and ethnic design work.

What was the best food you ever tasted during your holiday and where? Laksa Sarawak. I’m from Sarawak and I still think Laksa Sarawak is the best dish in the world!

Any advice or tips for travellers? Travel when you are young. It’s a great way to learn about the world.

Any comment on Malaysian tourism, places of interest, services, etc.

Every Malaysian should be a tourism ambassador. It does not cost anything to be polite and friendly to tourists. On the other hand, we can get so much out of it. Share

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