IPOH: "When he holds a guitar, it becomes a song. If he touches a piano, it becomes music. If he tells a story, everyone laughs. That was my brother."
That was the heartfelt tribute paid by renowned cartoonist Datuk Mohammad Nor Mohammad Khalid, better known as Lat, to his brother, acclaimed film director Mamat Khalid, who died today.
Lat said while he was sad over his brother's passing, he believed Mamat had achieved most of what he had set out to do in life.
"Mamat was the youngest sibling. He was born in 1963 when we moved to Sungai Rokam. So he was originally from Ipoh.
"He was involved in arts since he was in primary school. I worked as a reporter at the time in Kuala Lumpur so once in awhile, we would get together when I returned to Ipoh," he said when met at the Masjid Kampung Paloh Muslim cemetery here today.
Mamat who died earlier today at 12.30am was laid to rest at the cemetery after Zohor prayers.
Lat said Mamat had contributed immensely to the film industry, with his films having received overwhelming support from people from all walks of life.
"I believe he has achieved a lot and he was satisfied with his career.
"He was a hardworking person. Unlike me, I work alone, but for him, it's like a whole village being present when he has a shoot. I believe he has achieved all of his dreams," he said.
Lat described his brother as a charismatic person who loved to put a smile on people's faces.
"He once told me that if you want to become a film director, you need to have charisma, so that's why I can't be a film director.
"I love to be alone. In fact, if there's an event, I would be sitting at the nook of the hall. But I lost my brother today.
"What we miss the most would be his jokes. Our family loved to listen to his jokes. He was a funny person.
"We are quite simple people. I am proud of his achievements and his career. He portrayed the life of rural folk in most of his films," he added.
Mamat died after suffering a heart attack while he was with his family at the Sarang Art Hub Cafè in Tanjung Malim yesterday.
Among his popular works included Man Laksa, Rock, Zombi Kampung Pisang and Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang.