Chandra Suriya - Writing and Broadcasting (GOPIO International Women Entrepreneur Awards 2011)
Chandra Suriya is acknowledged for her broadcasting and writing skills, particularly during her long tenure with Radio Television Malaysia (RTM). She became a household name among Radio listeners in the 70s, 80s, 90s and the new millennium, especially among the Indian community in Malaysia where she strongly helped disseminate government messages for the development of youth and women.
She began her broadcasting career in the early 70s, starting at RTM Melaka as a Broadcasting Assistant. She later moved to Angkasapuri in Kuala Lumpur, the nation's nerve center for broadcasting. Here, she showed her true talents as a broadcaster, namely as a Presenter, News Reader including Television reading, Magazine Program Producer, Radio Play Producer, Script Writer, Actress and Master of Ceremony for live shows, both Radio and TV.
Chandra was one of those responsible for building a strong listenership for RTM (Tamil) Radio station which helped garner higher advertising and revenue growth.
Chandra is well acknowledged for her script writing for Radio and Television plays such as drama, serial plays, short stories, TV serials and comedy drama as well as short stories for newspapers and magazines. As a talented writer, she had written numerous Radio and TV plays which all depicted the many community and social issues faced by the people such as child abuse, women and higher education, domestic violence, drug abuse and divorce.
Chandra had her early education in Sagil and Tangkak in Johore. Coming from a plantation background, she completed a Diploma in Business Management from the University of Vanbrugh which today proves vital in her new role as Director of her own company, Unique Vision Creations.
For all her efforts, Chandra has received many awards; some prominent ones include the Anugerah Skrin by Malaysian Music Industry for Best DJ in 1998; the Bharathidasan Award by Bharathidasan Association in 1994; the CV Kuppusamy Gold Medal Award in 1993 and Tan Sri Athinahappan Award in 2008, both by the Malaysian Tamil Writers Association. She also received the Dato K.Pathmanaban Gold Medal Award by the Selangor Writers Association in 2002. In 1999, Chandra received government recognition in the form of the PPN Award, bestowed by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
Chandra today is still adorned by Radio Listeners for her sweet voice, her down to earth and loving presentation as well as her touching messages which many a time had turned her into a personal counselor (off air), mentor and coach for many womenfolk who are plagued with marital and family problems.
Her writings had even attracted the attention of the National Productivity Centre which invited her to write radio plays with productivity messages. Today, a Non-Governmental Organization, DHRRA Malaysia has engaged her to write Radio plays with current social issues which are affecting the Indian community in the country. This includes highlighting the statelessness people – living without citizenship and Mykad.
Currently, Chandra holds the position of Deputy President of the Malaysian Indian Entertainers and Writers' Association (MIEWA).
Throughout her broadcasting journey, Chandra has not only become a reputable voice on the industry but also created many talents such as DJs, Writers, Radio and TV Talents as well as New Presenters. She had initiated mind-shifts and quantum leaps in the broadcasting service by thinking out of the box.