Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman and Tania Valensia
The New Paper
12 June 2015
She was a picture of happiness when asked on Tuesday about her plans to marry her actor boyfriend Ashmi Roslan.
Bubbly Suria actress-host Syirah Jusni told The New Paper then that they were hoping to tie the knot next year, or the following year, if everything goes well.
The happy couple, described by friends as a "perfect match", had been dating for two years after meeting on the set of local Malay drama Bingit.
They would have celebrated their second-year dating anniversary next Monday had fate not intervened cruelly - Ashmi, 34, died on Wednesday night after he was found lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the bathroom floor.
The actor was having dinner with his family as well as Syirah at his aunt's place in Senja Road, in Bukit Panjang, when he excused himself to go to the bathroom.
Syirah became concerned when he did not return after 20 minutes and alerted his parents. They decided to break open the bathroom door after they peeked below it and saw Ashmi's feet. He was rushed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10.50pm.
The popular Suria personality, starring in ongoing Malay drama Jalan Ampas, died from a heart attack caused by a blocked artery.
His sudden death came about a week after he suffered a heart attack and had to undergo a stent procedure.
Ashmi was discharged after three days in hospital and advised to rest for six to eight weeks.
Yesterday, over 400 teary-eyed family members and friends paid their last respects at his aunt's Senja Road home before he was buried at about 4pm at Pusara Aman Muslim Cemetery.
A distraught Syirah, 26, looked pale and seemed faint as emotions overwhelmed her - she had to be propped up by family members as Ashmi was lowered for burial.
Fighting back tears, her older sister, Ms Liena Jusni, 29, a call auditor, told TNP about Syirah's reaction after Ashmi was taken to the hospital: "Syirah called my mum and she was hysterical, screaming for my mum to go to the hospital.
"It was all too sudden. It will take Syirah a while to find her strength again because they were each other's pillars of strength. Our families are very close and fond of them."
She recalled that Ashmi praised Syirah for taking good care of him after he was discharged from the Singapore General Hospital following his heart attack.
On June 3, he had experienced heartburn and chest pains, and was persuaded by Syirah to visit a general practitioner at a polyclinic.
Later that day, he was warded and admitted to the intensive care unit after undergoing a stent procedure. He was allowed to go home after three days.
Ms Liena said: "He would tell us in a group chat how he could never find someone better than Syirah who really took good care of him. Usually when she was not filming for (upcoming Channel 5 drama) Tanglin, she would visit Ashmi.
"She said it was probably a sign when Ashmi insisted that she accompany him after a long day of shooting the day before he passed away. Usually he was laid-back, never needy, and would tell her to rest instead."
She added: "We were all quite close to him. He was a wonderful, fantastic man and for once, I was happy that my sister had found a person like him. It's really painful for me too."
It was a solemn, teary farewell for Ashmi's family who struggled to keep their emotions in check.
Ashmi was the second of five brothers. His younger brother Ashraf Roslan, 24, described him as "a cheerful, caring, sweet and funny brother" who was the "joker of the family".
Mr Ashraf, a camp instructor, had attempted to revive his older brother after the fall but his efforts were futile.
"We are all extremely close as brothers. I remember earlier in the day when he passed away, I was having lunch with my parents before visiting him at my aunt's place. I don't know why I said it, but I told my parents, 'I'm going to miss (Ashmi) so much'," he recounted.
Friends: Heartbreaking loss
For his friends in the entertainment industry, Ashmi Roslan's passing was a heartbreaking loss.
Many remembered him for his jovial personality and his knack for bringing smiles to their faces.
When asked to share memories of their beloved friend, they struggled to keep the tears from flowing.
Said his band mate in local music group AJ'S, Rashidah Jalil, 25, who had known him for over two years: "We were always teasing each other. He was such a good friend, a brother. He would listen to me and give me advice even when I called him in the wee hours of the morning."
Good friend and fellow co-owner of restaurant Studio Cafe, SG Fadhlur Rahman (below), 32, described Ashmi as one who was "full of life".
He said: "Just two hours before he passed on, we talked about everything for an hour. Syirah (Ashmi's girlfriend) would tease us about our 'bromance'. He was a jovial person who touched many people and greeted everyone with a smile. I can't believe I'm talking in past tense."
Veteran actress Aminah Ahmad, 60, was inconsolable when talking about Ashmi, who played her son-in-law in Suria drama series Walimah.
"He was such a nice boy who made everyone happy with his jokes and ways. He would call me 'Mama' even off-set. He was like my own flesh and blood. This is a big loss to the industry and to his family and friends," she recounted.
Some of Ashmi's friends across the Causeway, including Malaysian actor Iqram Dinzly, drove to Singapore to say goodbye for the last time.
The 34-year-old said: "I lost a friend whom I could have heart-to-heart talks with."
See the gallery below for photos related to what happened.
This article was first published on June 12, 2015.
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