Yusof Haslam knows best


The prominent filmmaker and actor has not spoken to his son, KL Gangster director Syamsul, in over a month.

IT’S evident that Datuk Yusof Haslam is proud of his son Syamsul’s achievements as a filmmaker. While looking for a spot to pose for photographs during this intervie at his office in Setapak, Selangor, he pointed out his son’s trophies.

“Most of these trophies belong to my son. I think mine are mostly at home,” he said.

Syamsul, 29, is the director of one of this year’s highly-anticipated film KL Gangster 2. It is the prequel to KL Gangster and tells the story of how brothers Malik (played by Aaron Aziz) and Jai (Adi Putra) got involved with the underworld.

KL Gangster was a box-office success when it was released in 2011, making over RM11.7mil during its run in local cinemas. It also currently the highest-grossing local film, based on a list from Finas.

Apart from that, the film also earned Syamsul a best director award at the 24th Malaysian Film Festival.

Datuk Yusof Haslam hopes his son Syamsul Yusof decision to quit making films is not final.
Datuk Yusof Haslam hopes his son Syamsul will not quit making films. 

Because of all this, one could say that the release of KL Gangster 2 was highly anticipated not just by fans but the media as well. Unfortunately, the film was leaked weeks before it was scheduled to premiere on Oct 3 when links to view its full version were found online.

Yusof’s production company Skop, which produced KL Gangster and KL Gangster 2, were unable to do anything to stop the film from being pirated.

“Within a couple of days, these illegal downloads have found its way to the streets (as pirated copies). Recently, I got a message from a friend saying he has seen KL Gangster 2 because it was playing on the TV of an express bus!

“Someone even said they saw my son’s picture platered on an illegal copy in Sabah,” said Yusof, 59.

Due to the controversies, Syamsul has apparently announced that he has had enough of the local film industry and recently made a decision to quit making movies.

“To be honest, I haven’t heard or spoken to my son for 37 days. I know he is at a close relative’s house. My wife said we should give him some time to calm down.

“I’m really worried about my son,” shared Yusof.

As an award-winning filmmaker himself, he hopes Syamsul will change his mind about quitting the business.

“I think it would be a terrible waste if he were to quit just like that. He has so much potential to change our film industry and I really hope he comes back to make movies again.”

Yusof revealed that while making KL Gangster 2, both father and son had some creative differences.

“I wanted the film to have more police characters present but he refused. He said this film is about gangsters and how some of them become trapped into such a life.

“I have to say that after seeing the final product, I’m glad we went his way,” Yusof noted.

“Syamsul worked long and hard to perfect this film. You might have seen the raw copy on the Internet. Now it’s your chance to see the final product in the cinemas and trust me, it’s a lot better that way.”

> KL Gangster 2 is currently showing in cinemas nationwide. For more stories on the film, grab a copy of The Star on Tuesday.