SAYS EXCLUSIVE: An Interview With The 'Gadis Kebaya' In The Sky And Her Photographer
The 'Gadis Kebaya' photos are hot on the Internet. Farouq Johari of SAYS got down to asking the photographer behind these risky photos, and of course directed questions to Fatin Ilani herself, the girl who climbed a towering building in KL to send us all a message.
On 4 August 2014, photos of a 'Gadis Kebaya' on top of a building in KL went viral on Facebook. The 'Likes', shares and comments were streaming in from several Facebook pages that reposted photographer Keow Wee Loong's photos of Fatin Ilani.
Malaysians asked: were the photos real? Photoshopped? Why do what she did and risk her life? SAYS contacted them personally for an interview. Here's what they have to say:
"These photos are all real. The girl, Fatin was really on top of that building. I used Photoshop just to enhance the quality of the images," said the 26-year-old photographer, Keow Wee Loong.
"The photos were taken on top of a crane in an unknown building."
According to Keow, he was shocked that Fatin agreed to climb up the building with him...
...because based on his experience, most of the guys who followed him before were all afraid of heights. It was surprising to see Fatin's courage.
"Fatin is the first Malaysian female roofer," said Keow. We think she may very well be the first hijabi IN THE WORLD to have had participated in a photoshoot like this.
According to Fatin, she agreed to climb up to the top "all because of Keow" and she wouldn't do it "if it was for someone else"
"Even I couldn't believe that I made it to the top," Fatin told us. In a daring feat, it only took her 45 minutes to climb all the way up... in her kebaya.
Why did Fatin risk her life to make a statement on top of a building? On 2 August 2014, a solidarity gathering called "Save The Children Of Gaza" was held at Dataran Merdeka. Fatin was there too. She was sad to have witnessed Malaysians who were present just to take selfies before leaving.
She felt it didn't do justice to the cause. "It wasn't enough." With the help of Keow, she put the message into her own hands. She scaled the building.
Before we concluded the interview, Fatin vocalised that she longed to see a change in the mentality of Malaysians
While Keow said, "After I posted the photo, a lot of people especially majority of the Malays and the Malay media were always trying to bring her down, by saying she is stupid and shallow minded. She was just trying to bring awareness."