Former Radio 4 deejay and RTM news presenter Alan Bligh spent time explaining Television commercials produced by the late Yasmin Ahmad. NSTP pix.
Visitors enjoying the viewing of Yasmin’s television commercials. NSTP pix.

IPOH: In her lifetime, the works of legendary director Yasmin Ahmad touched the lives of many, with their underlying message of harmony between races.

As such, it was only fitting that Malaysians of all colours and creed chose Merdeka Day to descend on the museum dedicated to her works.

The museum, named 'Yasmin at Kong Heng', is located in Jalan Sultan Yussuf in Ipoh.

Various programmes were held here today to commemorate not only Merdeka, but also her life as well as to pay tribute to her works, which ranged from iconic television commercials to uniquely Malaysian movies.

Alan Bligh, a former Radio 4 deejay and RTM news presenter, spoke to visitors on the idea behind Yasmin's TV commercials, the most memorable of which were done for occasions such as festive celebrations, as well as Merdeka.

"Yasmin wanted 'understanding and not tolerance', hence her commercials were based on interracial relationships, which is in a way what Merdeka is all about," he said.

The late director was also known for her bold and unconventional choices. In 1996, she chose an Indian boy as the main character for her Merdeka commercial, something deemed groundbreaking at the time.

Bligh said Ipoh held a special place in Yasmin's heart, which was shy she chose to shoot many of her commercials and films here.

"Therefore, it is only appropriate that this event is held in Ipoh," he said.

Nazlinda Mahmood, 38, said she came with her husband and two children to join in the Merdeka celebration at the museum.

"We're also taking the opportunity to revisit Yasmin's commercials, which are evergreen and promote the true spirit of unity," she said.

Yasmin, born on Jan 7, 1958, died on July 25, 2009.

The much loved director, writer and scriptwriter was also executive creative director at Leo Burnett in Kuala Lumpur.

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