Malaysian Legend

I was just browsing “Only in Malaysia” Facebook when I chanced upon a photo of the late P. Ramlee, may he rest in peace. There was a video link, so I clicked on it and was happy to be able to find the History channel which I don’t get to watch at home on Astro.

I didn’t know that such a great legendary artist would die a broken man (financially and emotionally). I cried buckets watching the History video.

I guess, all of us, those born in the 40s,50s,60s and 70s would definitely remember all his movies, which were and still are entertaining and heart warming. My favorite movie is “Ibu Mertuaku“. I remember the scene at the cemetery vividly when Kasim Selamat found out that his mother in law, Nyonya Mansoor lied to him that his wife (Nyonya’s daughter) passed away after giving birth to his son. Sabariah Mansoor is pretty much alive and her mom married her off to an Eye Doctor! It was a purely acting genius, no need CGI, sound effects, special effects.. purely skillful acting! And.. am I the only one who always cringed and wished that they didn’t place the forks as decorative ornaments so that he won’t stab his eye balls out towards the end, and live a good life with Chombee?

Well, here’s the video on History Channel talking about his life – some sort of “True Hollywood Story”. I surely hope that the people who had sidelined, ill-treated, abused him, etc would live a life of thousand regrets for not giving any chance for this great legend to continue his work. I guess this is the norm in Malaysia – to ill-treat greatly talented artists such as Allahyarham P. Ramlee and also Allahyarhamah Yasmin Ahmad for breaking boundaries and being loved by all, irregardless of races. Al-Fatihah.

Reading List

I know I’ve been rather slacking in reading these days. Gone are the days where I could finish a book in a week or two consecutively! Anyway, I did try my best to get my momentum back the past couple of months and glad that I managed to finish a few books. These are some books that a friend recommended me to read and I wish to do the same for you guys as well. Well, this is not exactly a review lah, just some short notes on what I think of the books because I am not “academic” enough to write a review!

What Your Teacher Didn’t Tell You by Farish A. Noor

With the current spate of high dramas (not to mention sickening!!) in politics, one couldn’t help but to feel utterly hopeless for the country. Reading this book is an eye opener. It sort of gives you a glimmer of hope. It displays much wayward forward thinking than you could ever imagine! I wish that those idiots who think this country belongs to them solely should at least read this book to at least know some history (the second part of Hikayat Hang Tuah seems real to me despite presence of magic and mysteries!) This book intellectually dissects and analyzes history thoroughly leaving no stone unturned and the consequences when history is wrongly twisted to suit malicious agendas. With great power comes great responsibility? There’s also a gay issue in the book which was wittily written. It’s more than 18PL if it’s being made into a movie!

Farish A. Noor blogs on this site.

Yasmin Ahmad’s Films by Amir Muhammad

As I am writing this, I am in the midst of finishing the book. Amir shared his views and feedback on Yasmin Ahmad’s movies and advertisements. For those who watched Yasmin Ahmad’s films and enjoyed them, this is the book for you. My favorite Yasmin’s movie is Sepet. That was the first movie I watched and I am a fan ever since. I have watched all her movies except for Rabun. After I read about Rabun, I wept at the end of the chapter. The book explains in minute details of scenes in the movies. I don’t know about you but I think I would have missed out some of the special moments if I were to watch the movies with only my eyes and not my heart. This book stirs emotions in your soul. What I like most in this book is probably the short notes on some words accompanying the review. They tickle your bones with irony!

Amir Muhammad blogs here and he wrote hilariously funny short stories in the city of shared stories under the initial AM.

The Law of Attraction by Michael J. Losier

I am not a fan of self help book but this one seems okay. It tells you the importance of positive thinking (Yes.. some people needs constant reminder to remain positive!) and has a guide for you to follow in order to reach your goal. I am generally a happy person, but I guess I need some booster to be even being happier! We only live once! So make sure we live to the fullest!

Did you notice that the author’s surname is only one alphabet away from being read as loser. Haha!


For the past few days, I have been asking and asked a lot of questions related to “Why?” it’s not negative things though…

Why #1

We were at karaoke and we sang a few numbers in Malay, bahasa jiwa bangsa. Why is it that we pronounce the now defunct bahasa baku in the songs? For example, instead of tiade, we pronounce tiada? Why is it that the word sounds good in baku during songs but not when we speak?

Why #2

A friend asked me to join her for new year’s celebration on 31st December at Desa Park City. She said, she hopes to celebrate it big this time to usher the new year and hope year 2010 is a better one. I asked her, why do you celebrate something that you don’t even know what’s going to happen? Maybe year 2010 isn’t going to be that great after all. I know I am being a wet blanket here.

Why #3

Why is it that we feel insecure whenever we forget to bring our handphones when we go out? More than 12 years ago, before I own my first handphone, everybody was on time to meeting friends in Sg. Wang or Central Market.  It was just fine and dandy. But not now.. even with handphones, people always give excuses to be late and sms each other to inform of their lateness… and sometimes didn’t even bother to show up.

Why #4

Why was the cinema not full with people watching Muallaf on Christmas’ morning? Late Yasmin Ahmad’s fans were too busy partying? I almost took a bus down to Singapore when it was announced that, it won’t be shown here in KL due to some censorship issue as well as… you know lah. Well, I managed to catch it on Christmas’ morning and enjoyed it.

One Lost Star

2009 is indeed not a celebrity-friendly year! After Michael Jackson’s and Farrah Fawcett’s passing, I thought the worst is over. This is far worse. The world has lost another star today. Yasmin Ahmad.

A sense of curiosity was how I got to know about Yasmin Ahmad’s work. After a big hoo hah over censorship and such, I decided to watch the most controversial Malaysian made movie, “Sepet“. There was no turning back ever since. I watched almost every movie that Kak Yasmin directed and never fail to fall in love again and again with the characters and also, the stories portrayed. Her work was always simplistic and yet, carried such deep and profound messages within.

I enjoyed listening to a friend in Melbourne talked about the conversations he had with Kak Yasmin whenever the latter was visiting Melbourne. I did not have the chance to meet her personally but I believe that she had touched many people in her life with her work, her life story and above all, her kind and pure heart.

You will be greatly (and sadly) missed, Kak Yasmin. Al-fatihah.