Shortlisted in MAS's Short Film Competition

I just found out that both Jemput and Tok Nab's Guest Room were shortlisted in a short film competition organised by our national courier, Malaysia Airlines.
Oh my fish! Excited gila babi!
You can view all the videos here.
Vote if you want to. If you think it's too tedious to go through the registration, don't lah.
I still can't believe I'm even shortlisted. I mean, to be with the same league as universities with films studies and mass comm like Curtin, Lim Kok Wing, Aswara, Sunway, Taylors etc is truly an honour.
"It doesn't matter if I win or lose, all that matters is the experience." is what I think I should be saying but both you and I know I don't really mean it, so why bother?


Bahasa Pasar Pekan Mana Ni?

I'm sorry for ranting like an old man but I find it irritating when youngsters (chewah, as if I'm so old) innovate the malay language to make it cooler(?).

Personally, I find these not so subtle ammendments of the malay language not only irritating but offensive too. I just can't point out why though. Here are a few examples of the desecration of BAHASA MELAYU:

Mka cam cine jew???

Nk pegi keja kew skunk?

Sowrie laaaa, I piyed.

huhu, I tak taw yg u sukew...

Why do some people like to replace their R with W? Do they pronounce the words with a W? Is ke really pronounced ki-ew and and suka su-ki-ew?

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just being more intolerant towards younger folks. Maybe I am becoming a condescending fossil that I've always loathed when growing up.

Afiq's Labyrinth

"Of course lah you're single! You don't even go out of the house!"

I nodded. I will sound like a guy in denial if I carry on with this conversation. I hung up. Merajuk.

It's true. I'm very indoorsy. I don't go out much. My social life is a fresh dead dog by the roadside. I spend my days editing videos, rendering them, reading news, watching films and short films, reading and watching tutorials and everything else that doesn't require me to step out of the house. But the scariest thing of all is I do not feel an ounce of guilt for not 'socialising' enough.

Maybe I'm stuck in a rut for so long that I brainwashed myself of thinking that I don't need human contact to get anything done. This is me in front of the computer monitor learning how to make dollies for less than 50 bucks:

I'm a geek. A nerd at best.

I feel like it's time for me go out more and start leading a colourful (and dramatic?) lifestyle. But how can I start? Even when I do go out to get something done, I tend to retreat to any confined spaces like a toilet cubicle, or an empty shopping complex store room.

What the fish is wrong with me? Why am I like this?

How can I start figuratively immerse myself with the colours of the world?

Dear Budak Malang

There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling attracted to the same sex. I'm glad that you haven't experiment with men before because it shows how strong you are as a person.
We all have our own demons. Some people are awfully addicted to eating, gambling, drugs and alcohol and others like to sleep around and lead a swinger lifestyle. Being attracted to the same sex is no different. Look around you, everyone has a demon of their own but the way they deal with their negative inclinations is what really defines them as a person.
I understand how it feels to be bullied. I was bullied many times before because I was deemed 'jambu' and slightly effiminate with a posh upbringing attitude. I felt like killing myself sometimes not because I was bullied but because I felt that I've achieved nothing in my lifetime to go on living. My family weren't very helpful during those times because they thought I was just craving for attention and my suicidal tendencies will eventually subside. My mother even challenged me to jump off a window if I wanted to kill myself so much.
So I totally understand when you tell me that you can't confide with your family members about your problems.
Let's face some facts, shall we?
First, you are being psychologically bullied by your peers. I wish I could tell you that can get rid of this problem by reporting it to your hostel warden or councillor but the hard truth is, the only way you can solve this is by changing your attitude towards your bullies.
You have a self-deprecating attitude and you feel that you are being victimised all the time. This stems from a low self esteem issue that you've been experiencing for quite a while. What you can do to turn your current situation around is to anticipate people to accept you for who you are. You must think "People didn't bully me because I'm gay, they bullied me because they think I'm weak and god damn it, I'm not fucking weak!" and convince yourself that there is more to you that what your peers might think.
If you think you're not strong enough to do this, find someone successful you can relate to. People like Ben Stiller, Christian Bale and Kate Winslet are Hollywood A-listers who were bullied and look at them now. Tell yourself that all the bullying is a necessary phase for you to grow into a stronger person.
But if all these mental anecdotes are proven to be too difficult for you to absorb, you can resort to a concerned friend, councillors or even your favourite relatives (aunt or cousins). They will not necessarily help you but they will make you feel a lot better. Maybe when you do feel better you can start tweaking with your mind again.
Remember, it's all in the mind.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Super Racist Perkasa, Ibrahim Ali and Mutton Curry

No matter who you are, I'm sure you've watched Hollywood movies with racial themes. Oh, you know... talented and independant black individuals or groups who fights the old order of white power to achieve their american dream.
Some of my favourite movies with racial themes were American History X, The Great Debaters and any inspiring films that features Sidney Poitier.

In the movies we rooted for the black heroes and loathed the condescending white supremacists. (even though many of us still call africans or african americans nigger)

But if we were to make a movie with racial issues in Malaysia, who will be the underdog protagonist and who will resume the role of the despised supreme antagonist? Will the malays be casted as the heroes or the villains?

I'll say neither because even though Malays make up more than half of Malaysians and wield great political power, they are the weaker race economically. The malays are also too nice and accomodating to be the antagonists. I mean, why would you want to say a inspirational but stinging remark directed to the malays to a makcik nasi lemak? She'll just give you less sambal.

But with NGOs like Perkasa who aims to protect the hak ketuanan melayu at all cost, soon the malays will be the clear choice to act as the brown robe wearing, horseback riding, parang wielding KKK (KumpulanKetuananKebangsaan) members.

Remember the Hulu Selangor by-election yesterday? Digest this:

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — Malay rights group Perkasa wants the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to review election pledges made in Chinese areas in Hulu Selangor because of the community’s poor support for the coalition.

Its president Datuk Ibrahim Ali (picture) said despite BN’s success in winning the semi-rural seat from PKR, the Chinese voters had largely chosen to back the federal opposition.
“It is necessary for the government to delay any allocation and approval of projects for the Chinese community,” said Ibrahim in a statement responding to the by-election result.

Ibrahim added that the government should also ignore all the demands made by BN members, MCA and Gerakan, as the Chinese of Hulu Selangor had rejected the ruling coalition.

Damn racist bugger.
Eh, I think this is a strong enough excuse to have him jailed by the ISA. He is inciting racially motivated malice. ARREST HIM. But they can't. Why? Perkasa backs BN. With their undying support for UMNO, they will receive special perks.
And with a human manifestation of a warthog leading the pack, I'm afraid the only way to get rid of Perkasa is to feed the leader artery clogging food.
Yes, we're counting on you Datin!
Cook this tonight!

Boys, Pedophiles and Improving our Islam

"Ko dengar tak pasal kes paderi molest budak tu baru baru ni?" Imran asked me during a typical mamak outing.

"Cerita lama tu Im, bukan lama 10 tahun lepas tapi dah beratus-ratus tahun dah." I was not amused. Cerita lama.

"Tu ah bagus pasal Islam yek? Kita mana ada benda-benda macam ni." He snorted.

I fixed my gaze from my saliva inducing tosay cheese to his sneering eyes. "Hah?"

"Aku kata dalam Islam mana ada kes-kes pedophile."

"Yang kau dengar memanglah tak ada. Tapi pedophilia ni tak ikut agama. Selagi ada sexual repression, selagi itulah ada pedophilia."

He knew something was up and had an apolegetic look on his face. Maybe it was because I was trying my best to not tell him my personal experience with pedophiles but I'm sure it was because I lost my appetite. Afiq abandoning something laced with cheese? Impossible!

I open my iPod and key in the kedai mamak's wifi password "feelgood" and searched for 'Dancing Boys'. Sure enough, youtube shorlisted the video I intended to find. I showed the video to him.

There are many other hidden pedophile practice in muslim countries, Afghanistan is certainly not the only one.
Imran gawked.
That's life, you know. It's good to be idealistic about Islam and say that our country will be so much better if we follow our perception of the fundametal Islam. It's also not uncommon for young adults like me to believe that if we follow Islam to the latter without the interference of today's 'modern' thinking, we will achieve a second Renaissance.
So heck, believe what you want. There never was a first Renaissance if you ask me.
I just know that no practiced religions are perfect because we the followers are deeply and eternally flawed. It's the hard truth that I learned early in my life. Islam is perfect. But your Islam is not and neither is mine. So it is perfectly OKAY to improve our Islam.

21 Year Old College Student Plunged to His Death To Escape JAIS

GOMBAK: A college student, who was trying to escape a raid by religious officers, plunged to his death from the fifth floor of an apartment here.
It is believed that the 21-year-old student, who was alone with his girlfriend, panicked when several policemen and officers from the Selangor Religious Department knocked on the door of the rented unit yesterday.
“The deceased was a student at a private college nearby,” he said, adding that the police had also recorded a statement from the girlfriend.

The case has been classified as sudden death.
Sudden death my ass!
He was only 21. He had so much potential and now he's dead because he was afraid of getting caught by JAIS.
I know some (or most) of you will think that his death is justified because he commited zina. If you are one of those people, I bet you won't mind if your children, the love of your life, turns up dead after commiting something haram like gossiping (backbiting), holding hands with the opposite sex or kissing.
What if your children didn't pray? That's considered haram too. Will you feel okay if JAIS slammed into your child's apartment when he/she was caught not praying which resulted your child to panicked and jumped to his/her death?
Of all the things JAIS can do stop pre-marital sex like:
1. Anti-zina campaign
2. Encourage couples to marry young
3. Educate the public about how easy it is to get married.
4. Discourage the public from making marriage an expensive and extravagant event.
JAIS and all the other religious authorities decided that snooping into apartments, hotels and motels to instill fear is the best way to prevent pre-marital sex.
Now a 21 year old boy is dead. His girlfriend is traumatised. The parents are devestated.
So don't you ever think that his death is justified. JAIS is the catalyst of the boy's death and they should pay for what they've done.
If I were the boy's parents, I'll sue JAIS.

Peking Duck

Because I blog a lot about how NOT to be gay, some readers confide with me about their struggles of resisting this alternative lifestyle. With all those readers, I pointed out to them that the first and most important stage of abandoning the gay lifestyle forever is to first acknowledge their subject of lust: men.
Most of the YM-ing and Windows Massenging I had with these readers are often sad, confusing or Dr.Phil-ish but one particular guy stuck out from the rest.
Afiq: You like men so you think you're gay?
Yus: No, I KNOW I'm gay.
Afiq: Have you ever had sex with a guy?
Yus: No, but I think about it all the time.
Afiq: Gay is an action, of being sexually involved with a guy. How are you gay when you never even had sex with a guy yet?
Yus: I'm sure I'm gay but I'm afraid that I will lead an abnormal life. I want to have a wife, children and lead a happy life with a family. Being gay is so depressing, it feels so... empty.
Afiq: It's not like you're denied of having a 'normal' and happy life. You know some people are addicted to smoking and some people hate smoking. We all have our own demons. Relax, the first thing you should do is not associate yourself with the word GAY.
Yus: I'm a damn good chef who likes to watch WWE.
Afiq: You're a chef? Wow~
Yus: Yeah, I'm a chef at a 5 star chinese restaurant.
Afiq: What's your best dish?
Yus: People always compliment me on my Peking dick
Afiq: ????
Yus: DUCK! Peking DUCK.
Afiq: LOL
Yus: Fuck! U and I are so close together!
Afiq: U and I what...?
Yus: omfg. I'm so gay.

South Park Hina Nabi Muhammad?

I'm a big fan of South Park. I watch their episodes everyweek on Megavideo. On the 200th episode, it featured a league of worldwide superheroes including Jesus, Buddha and Prophet Muhammad. While Jesus and Buddha were cartoonised, Prophet Muhammad was heavily censored.
Later in the episode, Muhammad wore a bear suit when visiting South Park.
I know many muslims will get offended by this even though they would typically laugh their ass off when South Park poke fun at Jews, Christians, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Scientologists, Kabbalah (and the list goes on....)
An Islamic group by the name of Revolution Muslim sternly objected the depiction of Muhammad:
"We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show," the group said on its website. "This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality that will likely happen to them."
That was not a threat? Really? By referring to Theo Van Gogh who was slaughtered in broad daylight because of his short film Submission, how can they still claim that their statement is not a threat?
I have a feeling the Malaysian media will also highlight this issue when the time is right. Self-proclaimed renegades will create South Park hate groups that will make this satirical cartoon series even more popular.
Some claim that satire is a poorly understood form of humour in the muslim world but I don't that's the case in urban Malaysia.
I've watched South Park with friends before and we were ROFL when Santa Claus fought with Jesus Christ in a Chrismas special. It was a pleasant surprise to know that my christian friends can take a joke or two about Jesus and Saint Nicholas but would I say the same to my malay friends?
I notice that no matter how 'unIslamic' malays are, they will always get ever so furious when people make jokes about Islam. A distant malay friend of mine made Hindu and Buddhism jokes at the mamak store. One of his chinese friend then told a Islam joke about why muslim countries are so underdeveloped (because they had to pray during business hours) and the malay dude shouted "Woi ko nak mampus ke babi!"
I know the guy. He doesn't even know how to pray for goodness sake.
I believe South Park should continue doing what they do best: unveiling hypocrisy and making people ROFL. Majority of the muslim world are not ready for satirical jokes so should South Park wait for them to wise up?
For me, as long as the jokes are not intended to be malicious, by all means, put the league of superheroes into a caged ring and get all of them to fight for the World Championship Title.

Bomoh Harus Didaftar

All doctors need to be registered before they can practice medicine. Doctors have to go through 7 years of university/college before they can practice general medicine. Bomohs, on the other hand can simply buka tikar and start practicing their brand of medicine whenever and wherever.

Even though we're living in the 21st century, you would be surprise to know that most malays still believe that bomohs are legit healers.

Nampak benda ghaib malam-malam? Jom jumpa bomoh.

Sakit tekak akibat dibuat jiran sebelah yang cemburu sebab kamu beli TV HD? Jom jumpa bomoh.

Sakit perut dan lesu badan? Jom jumpa bomoh.

Anak bodoh dan tak nak belajar? Jom jumpa bomoh.

Muka berjerawat batu? Jom jumpa bomoh.

Demam tak sudah-sudah? Jom jumpa bomoh.

Nak kurus? Jom jumpa bomoh.

When will our people learn that bomohs are practically con men because they tell you things you WANT to hear. For example;

"Tok, saya ni tok, dah seminggu asyik muntah-muntah aje."

"Kamu muntah darah ke darah biasa."

"Muntah biasa tok."

"Tok dengar kamu dah bercerai. Memang ni angkara isteri baru suami cik sebab dia cemburu sebab bekas suami cik masih sayangkan cik. Dia yang pasang barang dekat cik."

"Betol jugak, saya memang ada nampak dia lalu lalang depan rumah saya tempoh hari.."
"Tak apa, Tok boleh ubatkan Insya Allah.."

All bomohs veil that wretched ways with religion. Bismillah here and there, "Saya mahu kamu bawa 2 kepala ayam, satu hitam satu putih... Al-fatihah!" Maybe this is the reason why people trust bomohs, because they think what they are doing is not only halal but the preferred way of healing in Islam.

Shit of bull.

It is also our fault that there are so many bomohs out there. We demand for their services so much that now they have started to specialise. Gila.

Take our boy genius Adi Putra. He's a math whiz but people don't go lining up in front of his house to have their math problems solved. They want him to spit in a bottle of water for them to bring home as an all-purpose medicine.
Alternative healing is certainly a viable option for some cases but it has to be done by certified religion expert. We have to make sure that the Ustaz has a religious authority certificate. In short, he has to be an Ustaz yang bertauliah. You will find that it's very hard to get someone with a valid certificate so how now brown cow?

Go see a doctor.

Revisiting Kafka

The concept of existentialism is against Christianity and Judaism. I'm not sure about Hindu and Buddhism but a lot of religions contrasts the basic understanding of existentialism. I personally think existentialism and Islam can sit on the same couch, although some might argue that Islam IS the couch and existentialism is a fraction of the couch's structure.
Is a strong emotion a predominant reoccuring loop? I often ask this to myself. If I was hurt in the past, will I have the natural tendency to hurt others? But if I deluded my past with the enforcement of a strong-willed moral compass, can the emotions afflicted upon me wisp away or be replaced?
I've been thinking about this a lot lately but somehow, somehow, somehow I will convince myself that I do not inherit my past. I am not my past. But it could be that although my life is not a mimicry of the life I'd no control over in the past, it is now the result of it. Scary. This thought belongs in an invisible drawer under the invisible pillows, just next to the other invisible drawer.
But then again, memories, thoughts and intentions are all invisible. fml.

Good Things Comes in Threes

I just finished updating my online portfolio and rewatched everything I made two years back.
Oh Tuhanku! Geli~
I was cringing non-stop. I remembered making my first video after I was inspired by a song featured on Smallville. The video was grainy, had no direction and made no sense whatsoever but the pride I had for that one minute video was undescribable. I knew then my life calling is not architecture. It's filmmaking. I never looked back ever since. So I suppose cringing is a good sign. It indicates that I have higher standards now and I'm able to articulate film much better.
I hope that when I turn 25 my cringing is close to hypothermic when I watch the films that I make today. I hope.
I am so preoccupied with writing my upcoming feature film The Hypothesis that I can't write anything remotely substantial in this blog. To that effect, I am taking a break for a few days.

I'll be around coffee shops sipping milk tea and thinking of new horrendous murder techniques.
I'm giving this 'baby' my utmost attention because it'll be my first ever feature film. I am also very very afraid because this is a huge leap for me, I mean from short films to a feature film without any formal training in filmmaking. But then, afraid is an understatement. I am terrified! Terrified of the prospect of producing this thriller.
If I've learned something in life, it would be that if you have a dream and work really really hard to achieve it, that dream will have no other choice but to materialise. And my dream for the time being is to make the best thriller film I can possibly make.
I'm ready to take that leap. Tarik nafas. Godspeed.

Let's Make a Feature Film

I think it's time for me to take the next step. I've made several short films and read 5 books on filmmaking to prepare me for this very moment. Guys, let's make a feature film!
This will be the first audience-participation filmmaking process ever in Asia.
This means all of you are my producers and executive producers. I'll be your screenwriter and director and will be pitching you ideas so you'll invest in the film. You can either put in a ringgit or a thousand ringgit but you'll be a part of this film and the profit will be returned to you, the executive producers when the film gets airtime or sold in DVDs.
I'm super excited about this. Now I'll start working on ideas, publish a blog specifically for this purpose and make it happen.
For realz yo!

Tok Nab's Guest House

This short film is inspired by a guest room at my Tok's hose. It was said there is a ghost residing in the room. I've slept in the room for many weeks so I noticed that there were a few phenomenal oddities in the room but none of them caused me any harm. So maybe, just maybe, the ghost is a nice hospitable ghost.

Tok Nab's Guest Room is also a three minute short film about Malaysian hospitality.

It is an experimental film and I had a lot of fun making it with my cousins and brother. Enjoy.

And please give me your comments or criticism so I can improve on my future endeavours.

Short Film: Jemput

My brother told me once that he could never understand some of the short films I made. He said it was to artsy to be thoroughly enjoyed. "Artsy?" I rebuked. "Abang pernah tengok filem screening yang seribu kali pelik daripada apa yang Hadi rasa artsy!"

I know he meant well. So what better way to prove that I can make easily understandable stories than to make an action film.

For this film, I tried my very best to not overthink the script and flow. It's a film about a student who tries his best to greet his friend at the train station. The only limits I had to deal with is a 3 minute maximum time and the usual no nudity/obscenity regulation. The theme for this film is Malaysian hospitality.


Comments and criticisms are welcomed : )

Panjangkan Umur?

The most certain thing in life is death. The moment we were born, our death is engrained into our destiny.
In Islam, the time of death is predetermined upon birth. I remembered Sultan praising banners back in Kedah with photoshop-emboldened "Allah Panjangkan Umur Tuanku".
The Sultan is a human being, like you and me. We are equals in the eye of God. So Allah will not make an exception to any single individual, no matter how powerful or influential that person may be.
They should really consider redesigning the banner and replace the top caption with "Allah Berikan Kesihatan pada Tuanku" or something similar to that.
I've been a bit morbid lately.Maybe its the Polish President who just died. Maybe it's an accumulation of past thoughts on death. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's Maybelline.

The Rafiqin Darwisy Debacle

A 14 year old Rafiqin mocked the late Din Beramboi.
Someone screen captured his FB status.
A hate group was created in Facebook. Kami Benci Rafiqin Darwisy has over 48 000 fans.
Thousands of people are publicly executing this 14 year old boy. Thousands of supposedly level-headed adults.
Vindictive adult netizens are spewing curse words, calls for repent and mocked the living hell out of the 14 year old boy.
We were all 14 once. I'm sure we've said things we regretted. Stupid nonsensical things. I've said things like 'Bodoh ah Su***n ni! Judi sana sini pastu balik dapat duit dari kerajaan!" in front of my family members. They ignored my outburst. Later that evening, an uncle told me think before I say anything about or related to the rulers.
Can you imagine if my aunts and uncles were to react like Rafiqin Darwisy haters?
Well, I can't fathom the thought of them reacting by shouting "Puki mak kau lah pukimak, sedap hati je hina Sultan!" or "Astagfirullah, bertaubatlah saudara, bertaubatlah sebelum dimasukkan ke neraka jahannam." or "Eh, ko orang Islam ke weih? Fuck you lah!"
Tak trauma ke Afiq Deen yang berumur 14 tahun itu?
People make mistakes, especially 14 year old boys.
As like-minded adults, we should react to teenage outbursts with tolerance and patience. What I see now are overly emotional mourners who channel their sadness by tormenting a 14 year old boy because of his silly remarks.
Rafiqin is literally growing up. He is a sponge, absorbing knowledge and traits he sees around him, including adults' reactions to his insensitive FB status. If this quick to judge and Judge Dred-ish public execution attitude continues, he will opt the same way of thinking and will soon...
Oh wait...
Oh yeah..
Oh shit.

I Baru Balik Dari...

I attended the World Girl Guide charity dinner last Thursday. The emcee was Dee, the infamous six foot something cross dresser. After peppering the Sultan of Kedah compliments (and apologies to the PAS Menteri Besar) Dee invited an Elvis impersonator.

When he came up to the stage, the first thing he said was "Saya baru balik dari Perth, Australia.. ada concert disana" He paused for a while. No claps. The audience were mostly Dato', Datins, rich chinese businessmen and sponsors who could afford the expensive seats so traveling to Australia is not much of an achievement for them.

The second act, a diminutive RTM staple singer told everyone that he performed at Las Vegas a few months ago. Like the Elvis Impersonator, he paused for applause. Silly boy-midget.

Then it came to me. I've heard people say things like "I baru balik dari Australia (or any other orang putih countries)" so many times before that I've lost my ability to distinct the expression from the sound of passing cars.

The admission has become a figurative diamond necklace, a status symbol.

It irked me at first but when I really think about it, only 10% Malaysians have gone overseas in their lifetime so the other 90% have the impression that going overseas is a stamp of achievement. Well, some of the 10% bought this way of thinking and reacted by boasting their self-perceived engine-roaring accolade.

Oh well,


There are so many things I didn't get to do while growing up. I've always wanted to learn the piano but the lessons were expensive and we moved a lot back then. And the fact that I wanted a lot of things hampered my on and off interest in music.

I am nearing 23 and we all know what that means. I am about to be sucked in a vortex that will force me to get a stable job, get married, receive and pay loans to support my family's physical and emotional needs, you know, the Malaysian Malay preferred standard of living. Some15-20 years later, the vortex will spit me out like an unfortunate remains of a half-chewed spinach. I will be in my mid forties and life will start anew.

I see a lot of people who survived the vortex finally get to do the things they have always wanted to do like learning music, traveling, doing charity work, decorating, you name it! I know a Haji who wanted to be an architect but he was from a poor family and he had a stable government job so he put his ambition on hold. Now that he is 62 years old and all his kids are going off to universities and colleges, he enrolled himself in UIA to take architecture.

But. But I think the vortex is a choice. I can choose to live my life the way I want to without compromising my responsibilities, can I?