Many years ago, I made a short film to document the old wooden house in Kuantan where I was raised, and to tell a simple story about a family(my uncle) breaking fast in the holy month of Ramadhan. It was shot on a Canon XL-1 and might not have the sheen of high definition that we all come to expect today, but it’s something.
Recently I made a trip to Semporna, literally the other side of Malaysia in the windy state of Sabah. I’ve been privileged enough in my life to have visited almost all the places I set my heart on, almost never as a tourist.
The main purpose of the trip was the Sedekah Ramadhan Project, where a small group of volunteers banded together to buy, and distribute new clothes to the villagers on two islands in Semporna.
Typical of island lifestyle, I had a lot of time to myself in between distribution. I decided to document a fragment of the life of an islander who depends very much on the sea (and fate) for sustenance. This is the short film I managed to put together. Curiously, this short film mirrors another one I made a few years back, Plan B.
I’ve always identified very closely to the idea of living within ones means and to be grateful for the little blessings in our life.
These are some of the things I aim for in my life:
To eat simply and moderately.
To speak the truth at all times.
To not be angry when things do not go the way I expect them to.
To live in harmony with nature, and to sustainably consume the resources available to me.
To respect and value everything; a bowl of food, a piece of pebble, a gust of wind, an honest gesture.
To do that which is right, without expectation of reward or acknowledgement simply because it is the right thing to do.
To value the words and thoughts of others, giving equal weight to both wise and malicious thoughts so they may serve as a mirror to those of my own.
From one celebration to the next, Kuala Lumpur is a city of excess. We consume far more than we need (food, water, electricity) and waste so much precious resources, all in the name of development, progress and entertainment. With the short films above, I really wanted to illustrate how different life is in the smaller, less developed parts of the country.