If there was one person who will come to mind when the phrase “action speaks louder than words,” it will be none other than the late Adibah Noor. Popularly known as Kak Dib among friends from the entertainment industry, Adibah is famous for having an outspoken personality, being humble and for her outstanding creativity. Despite not knowing Adibah on a personal level, it was heart breaking to see social media sites flooded with messages of condolences from Malaysians from all walks of life – regardless of age, race or social status. Looking back at everything this legendary artist has done, here are our top seven acts, deeds and quotes that will live in our hearts forever.

1. Sepet, Gubra & Mukhsin

Directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad who was also Adibah’s good friend, Adibah played the role of Kak Yam, who was Orked’s (Sharifah Amani) housekeeper in all three sequels of this local drama. Kak Yam and Orked’s mum were good friends who embraced Malaysia’s diversity and often, they’d watch Chinese shows together. Kak Yam was also Orked’s go-to person to talk to about her personal problems especially when she found herself falling in love with Jason. What we love most about Adibah’s role in this sequel was how sharp, trustworthy and brave she was to speak her mind out despite just playing the role of a housekeeper and how she protected Orked from all harm.

2. Oh My English!

In recent years, you’d have noticed the few times Adibah has called politicians out on her social media for not being able to speak English well. Fun fact – she had been doing it for many years! Adibah, who graduated from the National University of Malaysia, used to be an English teacher prior to joining the showbiz. Regardless of who it is, Adibah had always made it a point in her life to correct anyone who made mistakes. The Oh My English! series was a collaboration between Astro and the Education Ministry to help students become more fluent in the language, where Adibah played the role of Puan Hajar. It was hilarious to see how she highlighted common mistakes made by Malaysians and corrected them using the simplest examples which anyone – even kids – could relate to.

3. Just Got Back From London

As much as Adibah went all out to educate Malaysians on the importance of speaking proper English, she was not one who felt that our national language was something to be ashamed of. One of the memorable roles she played was in this Hari Raya advertisement titled Just Got Back From London where she played the role of a taxi driver. Upon learning that her passenger, who has just returned from London after staying there for 10 days, has a pretentious slang, she finds out that he can speak casually when push comes to shove. Moral of the story: be yourself and be proud of your heritage instead of trying to impress people no matter where you’re from.

4. Terlalu Istimewa

Besides acting, Adibah had a passion in singing, and it was after winning her first singing competition, Suara 90-an Nescafe in 1994 that she started her career in the entertainment industry. One of the well-known albums she produced was Terlalu Istimewa, which received six nominations at the 13th Anugerah Industri Muzik in 2006 and won the Best Ballad and Best Vocal at the 21st Anugerah Juara Lagu in 2007. The song that was written by Adibah conveyed her true feelings towards rape victims and was dedicated to Nurul Huda Abdul Ghani, the 10-year-old girl who was gruesomely raped and murdered in Johor in 2004.

5. Adibah Noor – Into The Third Decade

In 2016, Adibah hosted her very own concert called Adibah Noor – Into The Third Decade to celebrate her journey in the music industry. The two-day concert that was held at KLPAC honoured this milestone, where Adibah sang a total of 22 songs – half of which were covers from her favourite artists and the rest were from her existing album. Among the other artists who were present at this grand celebration were Atilia Haron, Dina Nadzir, Misha Omar, Nizam Din and Sam Innuendo. To make the event extra special, Adibah also performed a duet with Anuar Zain and was determined not to stop but rather, continue to produce more songs for her fans in the future.

6. “Senang Turn On”

Source: Nst.com.my

Another trait that made Adibah stand out was her boldness to speak up when it came to sensitive topics. She, for one, wasn’t one who would just stand back and watch a drama taking place without having a say. In an article by News Straits Times, it was reported that Adibah responded to a religious teacher sarcastically by saying that he was easily turned on and his examples revealed that he had been feeding his eyes. This came after the teacher made a statement that women who don’t cover their aurat are sexually harassed because they ‘let the eyes of men have a feast’ and that rapes and sexual crimes are committed when women don’t wear loose baju kurung. We sure hope that the message went across to this religious teacher and we would sincerely like to thank Kak Dib for standing up for us all!

7. “I’m not afraid to admit…”

Having grown up in a humble home and earned every penny through sheer hard work, Adibah taught us a valuable lesson when the pandemic hit. Just like us, she had it tough too and showed us the dire state that our local arts industry is in. In an interview with MStar, Adibah revealed that she wasn’t afraid to admit that it was hard for her to survive during the MCO, and she even went to the extent of having her jewellery pawned to make ends meet. However, upon emerging as the winner of the Gegar Vaganza (GV8) singing contest early this year, Adibah bagged a cash prize of RM20,000 and was in the midst of regaining her pawned assets and go on a short holiday to recharge.

Despite all that she had gone through, it was only a week ago that Adibah spoke up and apologised that she wasn’t able to help everyone who was seeking her help for their cats as they had lost their jobs. Until the end, Adibah did her best to reach out to those who needed help, but little did any of us know what she was actually going through until last night. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Adibah for being a role model to many of us and for teaching us how actions really speak louder than words. Rest in peace now, our dear Wonder Woman.

Featured image & banner image: @adibahnoormohdoma
Featured image photography: @rashidzainolx

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