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Human Story & Lifestyle

Malaysian-Born Maestro: James Wan’s Cinematic Journey from Saw to Aquaman

Malaysian-born filmmaker James Wan has gained prominence primarily in the horror genre, co-creating the successful Saw and Insidious franchises and establishing The Conjuring Universe. Despite his horror roots, Wan expanded his repertoire by directing Furious 7 (2015) and the superhero film Aquaman (2018), along with its sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), both grossing over $1 billion worldwide.

Wan credits Saw as the film that significantly impacted his career, marking him as the first Asian director to achieve a billion-dollar box office success. The 2004 horror became a global hit, grossing over $103 million worldwide. Wan continued his success with horror releases, such as Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013), earning him the title of the king of the horror genre.

His inspiration for horror stems from Asian ghost stories heard during his childhood from relatives, particularly in the rich cultural context of Asian traditions. Before achieving widespread success, Wan directed his first feature-length film, Stygian, which won “Best Guerilla Film” at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival in 2000.

Born on February 26, 1977, in Kuching, Sarawak, to Chinese-Malaysian parents, Wan moved to Perth at the age of 7. In a recent visit to Malaysia, he expressed joy at being back, indulging in his favorite Malaysian foods like laksa, chicken rice, and durian. Wan’s cinematic journey showcases his versatility and success across various genres, solidifying his status as a Malaysian-born maestro in the film industry.

Malaysia’s Karipap Ranked Fifth Best Pastry in the World

TasteAtlas has ranked Karipap, a popular breakfast and afternoon snack, as the fifth in top 100 best pastry globally. It has rated Karipap as the #2 best deep-fried dish globally, the #5 best pastry worldwide, and the #8 best snack globally.

A comment on the website praises it as “one of the greatest Kuih in the world! Savory taste that excites the taste buds.”

Also known as curry puff, this small, deep-fried, or baked pastry shell is filled with thick chicken and potatoes. Its popularity extends beyond Malaysia to neighboring countries like Singapore and Thailand. The famous pastry can be found anywhere, especially on the side of the road being sold by the locals

Renowned for its flavorful and straightforward profile, Karipap offers a variety of fillings, including tuna, sardines, and beef rendang, in addition to the traditional potato and chicken curry.

This is not the first time Malaysian food has been ranked globally in TasteAtlas. Roti Canai, the traditional flatbread made with flour, water, eggs, and fat is rated as the #1 best-rated bread in the world, #2 best-rated breakfast in the world, and #4 best-rated snack in the world.

Jimmy Choo: Crafting Dreams From Penang

Renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo, born and raised in Penang, Malaysia, not only crafted footwear beloved by Princess Diana but also received the distinguished Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Choo is known as a Malaysian shoemaker and fashion designer who was influenced by his father, a skilled cobbler on the island of Penang. At the tender age of 11, Choo managed to craft his first pair of shoes for his mother. Encouraged by his parents, he pursued formal education in shoe design at Cordwainers Technical College (now London College of Fashion) in the early 1980s, where he met his wife, Rebecca Choi, and blessed them with two children.

Choo established his shop Lucky Shoes, with the support of his parents. After two years of his shop opening, his craftsmanship did not take long to gain recognition, with Vogue magazine featuring his shoes in an eight-page spread.

Jimmy Choo’s clientele expanded to include celebrities, notably Princess Diana, who frequently adorned his creations. However, it was the collaboration with Tamara Yeardye Mellon, an accessories editor at Vogue, that helped the brand ascent. Despite starting as a modest operation producing 20 handmade pairs weekly by Choo himself, the partnership helped widen a larger market for Choo’s creations.

Vanishaantini Pellarameas’ Wau Extravaganza”

Vanishaantini Pellarameas, who holds the title of Mrs Malaysia World 2023, will be donning the largest wau costume ever made in Malaysia, weighing approximately 10kg at the upcoming Mrs World pageant in Las Vegas. Vanishaantini will compete with participants from over 60 countries, aiming to bring pride to Malaysia on the international stage.

The wau costume showcases traditional floral batik patterns, adorned with orchids, hibiscus, pagoda flowers, ixora, bougainvillea, roses, and frangipanis. The sheer size of the costume is noteworthy, measuring an impressive 3.8 in height and 4.8 in width.

Fondly known as Vanishaa, the Malaysian finalist aspires to not only make Malaysia proud but also to bring global attention to the country through her unique and unprecedented costume. In a statement to Bernama, she expressed her pride in representing Malaysia at the international level and her desire to showcase something distinctive.

Despite her demanding schedule as a 27-year-old entrepreneur from Seremban, Vanishaa has dedicated time to preparing herself both mentally and physically for the prestigious pageant. Since March, she has been diligently training for the catwalk, managing her health, running her business, and actively participating in social work.

Having previously clinched the title of Mrs Malaysia World 2023, Vanishaa has earned notable rewards, including RM10,000 in cash, a jewelry set worth RM25,000, and an all-expenses-paid trip to represent Malaysia at the Mrs World contest in Las Vegas, commencing on 19 January this year. She was crowned by the international Mrs World 2022 winner, Sargam Koushal of India, at the Malaysian preliminary finals ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 3 September.

The Tale behind Bujang Senang: the World’s 4th Largest Crocodile

Bujang Senang, recognized by many as the notorious crocodile responsible for numerous fatalities in Sarawak is viewed differently in the cultural narrative of the Iban people, where they believe that the deadly crocodile was once a man that was cursed to transform into a crocodile.

Ranking as the world’s fourth-largest crocodile, Bujang Senang has become the fear of the villagers around the Batang Lupar River since 1941. Its demise came at the hands of a combined effort of the police and villagers, requiring them four hours.

Legend holds that Bujang Senang was formerly an Iban warrior named Simalungun during the time when people practiced ‘mengayau’ (cutting off and collecting the enemies’ heads). His mystic skills rendered his body making him immune from attack and becoming an unbeatable force on the battlefield.

The mystic arts, however, carried a taboo that, if violated, the practitioner would become vulnerable. Simalungun’s enemies, desperate to overcome him, kidnapped his wife in an attempt to extract the closely guarded secret of his taboo. In a confrontation at the Batang Lupar River, Simalungun’s enemies released his wife but fatally impaled her with a javelin before he could reach her.

Consumed by grief and rage, Simalungun engaged in a fierce battle. To their surprise, his enemies discovered that weapons could harm him once he entered the river. It then came to a quick conclusion that Simalungun’s taboo forbade him from standing in a river, and despite his formidable skills, he was eventually defeated. His lifeless body, along with that of his wife, was thrown into the river.

Mysterious forces dwelling in the river cursed Simalungun’s remains, transforming him into a colossal crocodile, identifiable by a distinct white stripe on its back.

During its prime, Bujang Senang was rumored to rival the size of a bus, but by the time of its demise in 1992, it was measured at around 20 feet. Today, the skull of Bujang Senang is on display at Jong’s Crocodile Farm in Sarawak.

Anniketyni Madian’s United Nations-Recognized Art

Anniketyni Madian hailing from Sarawak has captured the recognition of the United Nations with her Distinctive engraving of ‘Rutit’ Pua Kumbu.

At the age of 34, the artist has carved her niche as a professional wood sculptor since 2008, gaining popularity across Asia. Her prowess earned her two finalist positions in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize (SAAP) in Hong Kong, receiving national recognition and expanding her influence internationally through art exhibitions in various locations, including overseas.

With a blend of Iban and Malay heritage, Anniketyni’s journey into the world of sculpture began during her pursuit of a Master of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from MARA University of Technology. According to Anniketyni, she does not want to bound by ordinary works, hence she applies the element of Pua Kumbu in each of her works. Pua Kumbu, renowned among Iban women, holds cultural significance in the weaving industry of Sarawak’s textile tradition.

Traditionally, this multi-colored patterned cloth is usually used in ceremonies and important events such as childbirth, coming-of-age celebrations, and funerals. To make it more unique, the artist also combines the element of Pua Kumbu with Islamic elements such as calligraphy and Jawi writing.

As an advocate for her Sarawakian heritage, Anniketyni emphasizes the importance of promoting her community’s culture through art. Her sculputres have transcended local acclaim, capturing the attention of United Nations and Google. Some of her sculpture are also exhibited at private art galleries, Four Season Hotel, and many more.

Ridzman Zidaine Shines Bright on Louis Vuitton’s Runway

The name Ridzman Zidaine isn’t new in the model industry, especially for the big fashion houses, having walked the runway for Hermes, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Homme Plissé Issey Miyake, among other renowned brands. And once again, he has set another achievement for the country, as he became the first Malaysian to open for Louis Vuitton at the young age of 23.

The dazzling event unfolded against the stunning backdrop of Hong Kong’s waterfront Avenue of Stars, where Pharrell William, an American rapper and entrepreneur, became Louis Vuitton’s men’s creative director and was the designer of the Men’s Pre-Fall 2024 collection.

According to Louis Vuitton, the theme of the collection featured a nautical sailor motif to ‘reinvent the seafarers’ wardrobe’. The well-fitted design of the double-breasted suit highlighted his physique, combining traditional sophistication with a modern twist. This created a beautiful representation of Louis Vuitton’s innovative and cutting-edge style. Notably, the runway itself extended over 400 meters, as revealed by Julien Da Costa’s Instagram post.

JBPM’s International Success in Changi’s Firefighter and Paramedic Challenge

The Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (JBPM) achieved commendable success by securing both the champion and runner-up titles in two major events at the Firefighter and Paramedic Challenge 2023 held in Changi, Singapore.

Senior Superintendent Alimaddia Bukri, emphasized the significance of this victory, considering the intense competition from various countries and the challenges posed by sophisticated equipment and vehicles.

Alimaddia shared with Daily Metro, saying that they are giving their best with the experience they have, coupled with the guidance of their coach.

They have successfully brought the championship to Malaysia, proving that they are just not champions within our borders but also internationally capable.

Having participated in the competition multiple times, Alimaddia credited the team’s success to their continuous efforts and commitments. He also highlighted the thorough selection process for officers and members, focusing on their high physical fitness, technical expertise, and experience.

In the competition, JBPM secured victory in the ‘Rip It Off’ event (group) by triumphing over formidable opponents. Additionally, in the ‘Braveheart’ event, JBPM claimed the second spot.

Scooping Success: The Malaysian Love Story Behind Inside Scoop

If you’re a frequent visitor to Klang Valley malls, chances are you’ve come across the delightful world of Inside Scoop, an ice cream haven that might surprise you with its distinctly Malaysian origins.

Owned by Edmund Tan and his wife, Lim Shiew Li, Inside Scoop was inspired by their love for ice cream and their desire to create happy memories for Malaysians. Their goal is to make great ice cream that is made fresh locally, creating imitable natural flavors and smooth, ultra-creamy textures, unlike mass-produced ones.

But the husband-and-wife duo has no background in culinary, aside from having years of ice cream tasting experience. They both had careers in finance, with Tan as an investment banker and Lim as an actuary. However, due to their burning passion for understanding the science behind ice cream, Shiew Li enrolled at Gelato University in Italy.

And that is how The Inside Scoop began in 2013, when they opened their first store in Bangsar with 16 flavors. After a decade in the business, Inside Scoop now offers over 70 flavors on rotation with more than 20 outlets across Malaysia. Not only that, they now sell ice cream cakes and buttermilk waffles that can be enjoyed with ice cream.