Thursday, September 6, 2012


I was fortunate to be in Singapore when the book "Yasmin, How You Know?" was launched as part of the annual Singapore-Malaysia Causeway Exchange Festival from 23-26 Aug, 2012. The launch was an emotional experience for many in the audience. For Orked, who was present at the launch, the tears flowed freely as she spoke about her beloved sister.

It is impossible not to fall under Yasmin's spell as you turn the pages of the book. You want to fall at her feet and worship this goddess. You want also to hug her tight and feel the warmth of her heart, the purity of her soul. You hope that some of it will rub onto you - this essence of Yasmin.

As you reach the last page of the book, you feel a certain closeness to Yasmin. You can almost smell her fragrance. I have never met her, but after reading all the intimate anecdotes that her friends and family share in the pages of the book, you know that Yasmin is the kakak we all wish we had, the big sister who would not mince words if we deserved a good shelling, who would be quick to hold out a caring hand if we tripped and fell.

In conjunction with the Malaysian book launch this weekend, there will be a two-day screening of Yasmin's films at Berjaya University College of Hospitality at Berjaya Times Square, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur.

Yasmin's advice to a jittery copywriter before a
big presentation to big shots.

All proceeds from the sales of the book, priced at RM35, and tickets at RM20 for each day, go to Mercy Malaysia for the Yasmin Ahmad Fund for children. (Do read 'A Heart of Gold' - Mercy Malaysia's first anniversary tribute to Yasmin. She was only 51 when she left us on July 25, 2009.)

Movie Schedule:
Sept 8, Saturday
 • 1pm, Rabun
 • 3pm, Sepet
 • 5pm, Gubra

Sept 9, Sunday
 • 1pm, Mukhsin
 • 3pm, Muallaf
 • 4.30pm, Talentime

Above: Of all the heart-warming TV commercials that Yasmin directed, this was her personal favourite.

Above: Yasmin's creative work was always focused on togetherness and inclusiveness. I am sure Yasmin would want all of us to celebrate our National Day (31 August) and Malaysia Day (16 September) in the same spirit of oneness as captured in this 2008 video that she directed.

Postscript 1: Attended Day 2 of Yasmin's Film Fest. It turned out to be a Tear-Fest! Watched "Mukhsin", "Muallaf" and 'Talentime'. That's me with Yasmin's younger sister, Orkid, and Jovian, editor of "How You Know?" Photo taken at the film-fest.

Postscript 2 (15/9/19): When you are in Ipoh, do drop by at the Yasmin Ahmad mini-museum at the basement of BookXcess behind Plan B in Concubine Lane.


foodbin said...

Oh! no "Massive Kok" is my neighbor.

seniorsaloud said...

You must have read the book to discover that ;-)

Starmandala said...

After all these years I'm still sad that the only time I ever engaged with Yasmin Ahmad on Facebook, it was a sharp and very unpleasant discussion about politics. I was annoyed to read a comment from her slagging off Anwar Ibrahim and the prospects of regime change - then I realized she was a high-flying spin-doctor who just happened to also make touching films. Her best work was for Petronas and I recall reading that the day she collapsed, she was at a meeting to branstorm a "1Malaysia" campaign for Najib. Some might say her political affiliations have no connection with her excellent work - but I am of the opinion that if a great artist serves the dark forces, he or she has joined the ranks of the Sarumans. Art either liberates or enslaves. Yasmin was able to create the illusion that all was well in Malaysia because she had carved a cozy niche for herself in advertising and filmmaking - and I seriously doubt she had any idea who these plutocrats were that she worked for. Her last blog post was shortly after hearing about Teoh Beng Hock's death. It was a massive shock to her system - shattered all her illusions.