Yasmin Ahmad at TEDxKL

Yasmin Ahmad passed away recently, and I guess I was lucky to hear her speak. Her inspiring talk was given at TEDxKualaLumpur, on 3rd June 2009 and in my books, was the best talk of TEDxKL.

There is supposed to be video, but that never made it online as of yet, so while this isn’t a transcript, these are excerpted from my notebook.

  • How do you choose an actor? charisma. You need to display charisma.
  • Learn to let go – “empty yourself”. The advice here is to create great stuff, then move back. Its the key to happiness. This is a common mantra in Zen Buddhism.
  • Observe.
  • Remove one’s arrogance, and once self importance. You’ll then be part of something larger.
  • “I don’t know anything about film making. I just empty myself.”

Her talk garnered many laughs from the crowd. She didn’t stick around for TEDxKL much, rushing on to her next gig, but I think her talk certainly moved people in the audience.

I haven’t had the chance to watch any of her movies yet (I was just a fan of her inter-racial 1Malaysia muhibbah styled-ads). Surprised I was that none of them made it to the Malaysian Film Festival held two years ago in Melbourne. They’re high on my to-buy-and-watch list now, so I do hope the local Speedy has her DVDs in stock.

Update: (30/07/2009) Her video from the talk has made it online!


  • Beautiful speech. I was invited to WWF early this year while I was working on the Earth Hour project with them, my company was the official broadcaster. LB was doing all the creatives for EHM and Yasmin spoke on the importance of working together as 1Malaysia for Earth Hour. Her speech moved me to tears but she’ll have us laughing the next minute. Amazing story teller. Wished someone recorded that speech too.


i