Tuesday, May 03, 2011

How I remember Zainal Aznam

When I first read the newsflash that Datuk Zainal Azlam had died of a heart attack, I was quite shocked. He was a man who never looked his age and was always fit.

I've known Datuk for almost 10 years. He was a most interesting man with diverse interest. The first time I heard of him was through reading his articles about films in his column in The Edge. Later on when I did meet him, he was very articulate and could always explain complex economic terms in layman terms. We shared the same interest in film and we used to talk about film history when ever I met him. He also told me he had a youtube channel where he made sketches with his family. I think he always had the desire to direct a movie one day.

I was always amazed at how he used to cycle to work at ISIS near the National Monument from his home in TTDI. One day I saw his arm in a sling and I asked him what happened, and he said he fell down while cycling, after that his family forbade him from cycling to work again.

The last time I met him was last year just before he left for London to do research for a few months. It was just a few days before Najib announced the NEP. He was quite unhappy that a lot of his ideas was censored in the final edition. Of all the NEAC members, he was the most vocal. He fought to have his ideas pushed through but the powers to be decided his proposals were too radical.

My only regret is that I did not meet up with him again after that. When ever I'm stuck in traffic in front of the national monument, I always think of him and wished I had the courage to cycle in KL.

Below is his an interview he did last year and that's how I always remember him.

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