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Chairmom Merlee Jayme underlines fear, courage, and creativity at the Petronas Kancil Festival 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — The Petronas Kancil Festival comes back after two years with the theme “The Hero’s Journey.” The 4As Creative Council Chairperson Alvin Teoh, Chief Creative Director of Naga DDB, explained that this theme encourages creatives to share their hero stories. However long and challenging these may be, he believed these are all very transformative, with every step of difficulty as a stepping stone to growth.

Chairmom Merlee Jayme opened the day as a keynote speaker. She welcomed everyone into the “Courage Zone.” “This is getting out of our comfort zone and taking on the journey to the unknown. This keeps us hungry to achieve goals, keeps us on our toes for more opportunities, and gives us learnings and strength to fight for what we believe in,” she shared.

The 4As Creative council with speakers: Kerry Khoo, Edward Ong, Gigi Lee, Alvin Teoh, Merlee Jayme Sulin Lau

With the last three years’ challenges, creatives have never felt so much uncertainty and fear about their future. Merlee reiterated the famous quote by John Spencer that the “biggest barrier to creativity is fear,” thus the need to address them.


She presented most creatives’ relevant fears today and how to kill them. These are the fear of the immediate future, of not being creative enough, making wrong choices, rejections, failures, disappointments, and feeling small. She shared stories of different people and her own experiences on how to overcome these fears. Some action steps to be taken are the need to reboot, build a creative self 2.0 with updated skills, evolve and reinvent oneself, and bounce back.

She ended with the question from a Facebook/Meta headquarters poster, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” This is the best guide for every creative writing their hero story.

Alvin Teoh the 4As creative council Chair

Other keynote speakers who have shared their heroic journeys are Edward Ong, founder of Borderless, Shin Su-won, an award-winning Korean film director; Sulin Lau, the Regional Head of Marketing & Brand for Grab; Mohd FazliIbrahim, Head of Communications and Management and Group Strategic Communications, Petronas; Ernest Zacharevic, a Lithuanian-born famous graffiti artist; Woeihern Chan, ECD of VML Y&R; and Alvin Teoh, CCO of Naga DDB.

The festival was held in the old train station-transformed into the hippest event area called Sentul Depot in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia.

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