I am so very, very shocked and sad to hear about Yasmin's passing.
I was on holiday with my family, when I heard the news.
It took my breath away.
I cannot even imagine how devastated everyone in Malaysia and the region must be.
She really was one of our industry's greatest people.
As a talent, and as a person.
In fact, she was too talented for advertising and her work and humanity made us all want to be better.
I liked her so very much and was inspired by her constantly.
I feel so lucky to have known her for so long. We only spoke a few months ago and she made me laugh as always.
Ham, I am sure everyone's heads are still spinning but I just wanted you to know that she will be missed and remembered with such fondness from all over the world.
My thoughts are with her family and friends.
Although I've never worked or collaborated with Yasmin on any project, I've had the occasion to compete against her on a handful of occasions, especially over the past 15 or so years, winning a couple and losing a couple of those pitches. On those occasions our Group lost, I was objective enough to realize that her creative work which eventually surfaced for the Client was very good. Also, I have been very impressed with her film direction work on a couple of her movies. Indeed, therefore, she was a true luminary in Malaysia's creative industry, and her laudatory achievements and standards should be emulated by all in our industry. Also, her underlying sentiments in the Universality or Man is also to be commended, especially in this day and Age. Her passing, and at only 51, is really sad and a loss to our young but undeniable growing creative industry which she represented so well in only three decades of her professional life. "
METAPHORS ARE STRONG MOUNTAINS
I only met Yasmin Ahmad ever so briefly – but sometimes brief moments have lasting memories.
I can now think of Yasmin as a metaphor which I believe is a wonderful way of explaining Yasmin to those who might not have had the pleasure of meeting her.
We often use metaphors taken from the world of birds to describe ideas. Yasmin would brood over a thought, hatch ideas as delicate as egg shells and then make the idea really take off, soar away on the wings of creativity.
On meeting Yasmin you believed an idea was fragile. Cynically, people don’t like creative individuals. They find in them, an opportunity to criticize.
But Yasmin’s great ability to be creative compelled in her the daring to go forward with her ideas, even at the risk of meeting resistance.
As metaphors go, another chat with Yasmin would have gone something like this……
” Is it impossible for man to fly”. Yasmin Ahmad would have said, “Creativity flourishes when you never say never. I believe a person will fly (All you have to do is a person with a swan)
May Allah Bless Her Soul
Michael de Kretser
You inspired the world with a peaceful heart, your works affected so many people’s lives. You taught us love, respect and unity. I will always admire you Yasmin…thank you for all the beautiful work you have done.
There are talents and there are talents. A gem only emerges rarely in a lifetime. Yasmin is one of those irreplaceable gems we were so fortunate
to have with us in our lifetime. Whose work transcended all races, faiths and cultures. A gem that found even greater shine with maturity. Simply irreplaceable.
"And it is from our hearts that we cry out.
We cry out and our voices are the single voice of
this wounded earth.
Our cries are a great wind across the earth"
from "The Warrior Song of King Gezar"
Inspiring work comes from an inspiring person.
May her work and achievements be a culture to be built upon.
Marianne Admardatine, Indonesia
Most people stumble through life. Yasmin lived it. She will be remembered for her humanity, spontaneity and humour. I consider myself fortunate to have known her.
Farrokh Madon, Singapore
She will be sorely missed indeed, there is a vacuum in the industry now, it's not quite as colorful somehow...you know what I mean...she was unique in every way, and enormously gifted in so many ways...
The world has lost a beautiful creative mind, a wonderful personality and a woman of true substance. I met Yasmin on my first trip to Malaysia some fifteen years ago, Yasmin had time for every one, even people she did not know, a huge, generous and open spirit.
My conversations with Yasmin were always rich, there was always a new perspective and she provoked thought with her thoughtful manner and insights. An Asian advertising industry without Yasmin in it does not feel quite right. Bless you Yasmin.
Guy Venables, Australia
A petite lady, yet a giant in the world of communications! She crystallised the essence and DNA of Malaysians through her memorable commercials. And in recent years, her illustrious films helped add a whole new dimension to racial understanding and harmony through her moving stories.
Be in peace, Yasmin.
Malaysia has lost her greatest proponent for inter-racial acceptance, harmony and unity.
Rest in Peace, Yasmin Ahmad.
I believe your good work for peace and love on this earth will bring you eternal reward in heaven.
I spend some of my best bonding hours with my sons watching Yasmin's advertisements and films. Over and over again.
I hope they'll do the same with their children.
Datin Linda Ngiam
Yasmin was a true, down-to-earth, humble Malaysian. She was a blessed soul. And, a remarkable story-teller.
Her work was outstandingly simple, authentic and yet, compelling. If only our politicians from both sides could
watch her commercials and films in Parliament ...they could learn some very important lessons. She was an
embodiment of a true Malaysian, often reminding many of us of the days gone by. May the Almighty bless this
remarkable soul to rest in eternal peace. And how I wish, Yasmin could still channel her brilliant colour blind creative
from the other side!
The last time I felt the great loss was when Seniman Agung P. Ramlee departed.
Today, I feel that history has repeated itself. Al- Fatihah.
51 is a rubbish age to die. As a very young person one can only speculate as to the future possibilities; when old the race is run, all potential mainly realized. But at 51 we have a taste of what is good and the knowledge that more good is to come. That sucks.
Yasmin had shown us that there was a genuine Malaysian voice in adverts and in movies. A very specific voice; where love makes a mockery of racial difference; where shoes from Gombak, an Indian cycling to Merdeka, and even May 13th are made essential parts of the national identity to be embraced and not avoided.
Sure Yasmin was creative, but almost more important is that she took no prisoners. It was her determination to see her ideas through, despite any opposition, which made her outstanding.
So that, in the end, only she came closest to defining the often referenced but never properly explained term, ‘Malaysian Culture’.
She will not be replaced but let’s hope others will pick up the baton.
She will be furious if they don’t. And we don’t want that, do we?
Paul Loosley & Jennifer Chan
In an ideal Malaysia, Yasmin would have by now leave behind a legacy of films many more than what she has already done - films that over time will prove how she was bravely attempting, with each new work, to break down the Malaysian psyche and to show what is it like to be Malaysian.On the few occasions when I met her she was always referring to the plight of the film industry that have prevented her, and many others like her, to produce more insightful works that could go deeper into uncharted areas of this wonderful melting pot we call home.In that sense, I have always sympathised with her and has made me even more resolute to ensure that the creative environment here can still produce more visionaries like her. She is one of a handful who have started the ball rolling - now its time for us to make sure it will continue.
Yasmin Ahmad was cool being herself. She celebrated being ordinary with a passion.
She was true to herself in her work, in how she expressed herself, and how she lived her life.
She was gifted with an exceptional talent for telling stories that mirrored everyday people in everyday situations.
She constructed scenes with a balance that was totally sublime.
Perhaps that’s what made her extraordinary to everyone.
Christie Leo, Waves PR
Young at heart
Life is short so make the most of it…...she did.
Rest in peace Yasmin for your legacy lives on in the people you have touched.
Jeanette Lee, OCBC Bank
She was the best of us. While we were busy selling beer, cigarettes and soap, she was pushing a far more urgent agenda. Through her movies and commercials, Yasmin did more for inter-racial relations than all the politicians put together. She fought the good fight. If we fail to heed what she lived and fought for, then we have failed her.
You may be gone but your work and fond memories linger on.
She has been an inspiration in many of my thinking towards what makes
brilliant marketing practices through creative business communication
She's a true talented Malaysian. A loss to the nation but a legacy which
we can carry forward and bring the country even further to the world
Yasmin enjoyed life. I’ve admired her honesty in everything she did. I had the pleasure of working with her, experienced her foul temper then her warm lovey dovey manja moments apologizing for being a bad girl... and will always remember her last words to me “..you look good, take care of yourself”. I will Yasmin. God will take care of you now.
I heard the news yesterday evening on Radio whilst I was driving and could not belive it. I was so shocked and saddened by her sudden passing. So sorry indeed to receive this depressing news Ham. Not only will she be missed by the people in Malaysia but also in Singapore.
I have always remembered so vividly how I enjoyed our little chats in the car when she was invited as a judge for the Creative Circle awards. In fact she was invited twice when I was ED of the 4As here in Singapore. She was able to converse in Cantonese much to my amazement and wanted to know whether I understood what she said. Being a nonya I was totally loss for words but managed to understand the gist of what she said. She is such a vibrant character, full of humour and what I admire most about her is the sharpness of her creative mind and her strong opinions.
Although we never did manage to meet up through the years except some infrequent calls to her I know that not only I will miss her but all those who have had the opportunity to meet and known her as a colleague and a friend.
May your soul rest in peace Yasmin. My deepest sympathy to her family.
Florence Oh, Singapore
"Let the cameras fly. I'm all set for my kung-fu scene" That's Yasmin Ahmad as I remember her during my
days as Head of Copy, Commercial Division, RTM.
Yasmin, a talented Creative Director and filmmaker,
can still get past the strict Copy Code. She has
enough vision and vitality to capture the imagination
of the simple things in life, seriously.
I knew her upclose not as an advertising icon or a brilliant flim maker. I
just knew her as a person with whom you can discuss the anything from the
obnoxious politicians who don't practise what they preach to the nonsense
they teach kids in school. She always said it from her heart - without
malice - and yet got her messages through. That's what she has conveyed in
the ads she created and the the films she produced. May her sould rest in
R. Nadeswaran a.k.a citizen-nades
My sincere condolences
Anurag Batra, India
Through her work, Yasmin has made lots of us smile, cry and more importantly...open our hearts and minds. We have indeed lost a bright spark and she will be truly missed. RIP Yasmin.
Joseph Tan, Indonesia
In her groundbreaking TVCs and films, Yasmin brought this saying to life:
"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead, where there is no path and leave a trail" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
As I mourn her loss, I also mourn the loss of the films she has yet to make. But then again I think, maybe her job is done. Maybe she is no longer needed here on earth to make her beautiful films; because ever since her heart has touched ours, we are awake and we are inspired to add our voices to what she has started. We know how because she has left us the trail. We just need to listen to our heart's truth the way she listened to hers. And have the courage to share that truth with the rest of the world, no matter what.
Because she lived, many lives will not be the same again. Mine included.
Yasmin had a foul mouth and a heart of gold. She knew more bad words and more ways of making someone blush that I could ever hope to learn. I've never heard her use profanities out of anger. When she did it always ended with me doubled up with laughter.
After a meal we getting ready to drive off. "You need to go see the fucking attendant" Yasmin said. "What?" I asked, shocked. "Well", she said, "you fucked your car in the fucking lot and you need to pay the fucking attendant before they'll let you out," Yasmin said. I finally got it. Don't get me wrong. Of course Yasmin adored Pinoys. But she couldn't resist taking a dig at the way they sounded when they spoke and taking a dig at an unsuspecting me at the same time.
Yasmin celebrated the diversity of mankind and the wonderful things that those differences brought while finding a way to show us that regardless of those differences, the core of each and every one of us remained the same. Yasmin was colour blind. Religion blind. Nothing was a handicap, as far as Yasmin was concerned except the prejudice that made one person feel superior over another. The only people she had little patience with were biggots.
She brought this to life in the television commercials she produced that soon became part of her brand. And eventually, as she brought that to her movies. She took me along to a special viewing of her first film Rabun at the theatre at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka which was in aid of MERCY and their activities. I think at that time it had to do with sending our firemen and FRU to Indonesia to put out the fires. I laughed so much I was in stitches. "You are incredible!" I said to her. "No, lah," she said, "my parents are really like that!"
Her latest piece, Funeral, for the Singapore government is a classic Yasmin piece which very cleverly says that everyone was made exactly the way they were meant to be, complete with snores and farts, and if we have a problem with a person like that it is not because that person is flawed, it is because our own vision, our seeing, is flawed that we are unable to see the perfection in someone like that.
I will miss Yasmin tremendously. I know I am not alone in this. I find the world a little bit more lonely without Yasmin in it.
Perhaps Yasmin was taken away because God was lonely. Perhaps it was God's little joke on all of us. I hope it was the former not the latter or God will be getting an earful right about now.
Sleep well Yasmin. You work too hard. Your friends have told you this. God has told you this. You ignored everyone and just went right on doing what you do best till God decided to intervene more directly. Thank you for your love and your vision and for helping us recognise the better parts of ourselves. Salve regina mater misericordiae, vita dulcedo et spes nostra, salve salve regina Yasmin.
Thanks to Yasmin we need to re-calibrate what it means to
be truly creative. Curiosity? Tenacity? Intuition? Sure. But don't
underestimate the importance of being mischievous. Every time
she broke into that sly grin, you new that something wicked
this way come.
John Merrifield, Singapore
I last saw Yasmin in January 2008. I was working at home on a book about
the culture of Ogilvy. Yasmin as it happened, was in Singapore and, in her
infuriating way, decided that I needed company. She descended on my house
like a twister. She read my copy. She played my children’s piano. She sang
a rather melancholic ‘Cry Me A River’ and bribed my 8-year old with a
raspberry ice-cream sandwich. Before we knew it, my missus, my daughter and
I were whisked out off to a very delicious Nasi Padang lunch. Yasmin lived
several lives with her one life. I can’t quite accept that all this energy,
all this spirit, all this force has been taken away from us so suddenly.
Eugene Cheong, Singapore
( for Yasmin Ahmed)
Death be not proud they say
But death be damned
When she that might
Had her light
Lingered to fill us
With more views that
Through the mineshaft
Of our shallow ways.
Yasmin, the light
Of your transcendent
Summer makes more
Dark the now stark Eclipse
of your spirit and mind .
We can but bray
Like mad dogs at full noon
Gone too soon …gone too soon.
Shehara De Silva
A MUCH LOVED & WELL RESPECTED INDUSTRY COLLEAGUE WHO TRULY BELIEVED IN THE SPIRIT OF MALAYSIA IN ITS PUREST FORM.
"HEED NOT FOR JUST WHAT I SAY, KNOW ME FOR THE WORK THAT I HAVE DONE "
THE ADVERTISING & COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY AS WELL AS THE NATION MOURN HER LOSS!
I went to the clinic today, and Doctor Sunderie started talking to me about Yasmin Ahmad - how she adored Yasmin and how she will be fondly remembered and greatly missed. I asked if she knew Yasmin and she replied, "No, but her work has really touched me."
Yap Pow Hoong
The best in life was magnified through her humble works. We sometimes choose to see the things we want and ignore the desperate call of humanity. Dear Yasmin, you made life possible for others to see the art of compassion and love, glorified in the simple things that you brought to life.
Edward Jules Savarimuthu