PETALING JAYA: A weekly gathering of vintage car enthusiasts landed Lawrence Lau Kee Yoke a chance to be featured in this year’s Merdeka Day webfilm for Petronas.
Lau, 82, and his MG TF car were featured in the national oil company’s A Walk Through Time.
In it, he is seen driving the car, which he bought 46 years ago from a Scotsman.
The octogenarian, who lives in Ipoh, said he and his friends would gather around the Perak Stadium every Sunday where they would spend time driving around in their vintage beauties at the empty parking lots there.
“That’s how they contacted me,” Lau told The Star yesterday.
“In fact some of the other cars featured in the webfilm, such as the Morris Minor and an old Austin 7, belong to my friends.”
As an avid car enthusiast, Lau owned several vintage cars, such as the Porsche 356 B, but currently has only the MG TF.
Lau, who retired from Lembaga Letrik Negara (now known as TNB) said he bought the MG TF for RM4,000 then and would race with other MG models at the Batu Tiga circuit in the 1970s.
Reminiscing the old days, Lau said things had changed for the better now.
“In the old days, I joined car clubs, but it was hard to race with the Europeans as they used to look down on Asians,” he recalled.
“Now, there is no segregation. They accept you and vice versa,” he added. “Things were different during the colonial days.”
The webfilm features some of the country’s iconic moments, such as independence day in 1957, the formation of Malaysia, a cinema playing the popular P. Ramlee movie Laksamana Do Re Mi and Malaysia’s win at the Thomas Cup in the 1992.
The video was shot in the quaint one-street town of Papan in Perak, and filmed amidst a nostalgic 1950s background.
Leo Burnett creative director James Yap said it was “a classic story of friendship, one that spans across 57 years”.
“In this story, we see two boys and they are on a journey of discovery through Malaysia’s history, the ups, the downs and everything in between as the country transforms with Petronas being the key contributor to the nation’s progress,” said Yap in a video of the making of the webfilm.
Film director Quek Shio Chuan said it was a good opportunity to showcase Malaysian history and the country’s transformation.