Matters of opinion that enables me to understand or make some sense of my country- Malaysia

Posts tagged ‘malaysia day’


Pete Teo:  

I saw a 30 minute newsreel more than a year ago. Shot at Malaya’s Independence ceremony, the archive film was in poor repair yet the spirit captured was unmistakable. I was struck by how people’s faces were more open then, how proud their eyes were and upright their stance – especially when held spellbound by Tunku Abdul Rahman, whose Proclamation Of Independence declared us to be:

“…forever a sovereign democratic and independent state founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people…”

That was in 1957. Although we would only become Malaysia in 1963, Tunku’s Merdeka speech clearly outlined the foundations of our country. Yet subsequent years have often seen us falter in the high principles that he envisioned. To the extent that modern Malaysia is a mixed bag of beauty and filth, I began to wonder if Tunku was alive today what he would make of us. I concluded that perhaps it would do us good to listen to him again.

Thus an idea began to take shape…

It occurred to me that I should make a time machine: a temporal device to transport Malaysia back to the days of its founding. In times of heightened political, religious and racial tension, perhaps time-traveling to where we began would be good. It might remind us of our greater commonality instead of our petty differences.


So much optimism can be inferred into the images in the video if we really look for them with a positive approach and mindset as we interpret the visuals individually .

From the famous landmarks to the unnamed Malaysians (then and now) and the respective roles they played , and to the handful of famous faces and names in the video ,(that have emerged the last 50 years,) .

All of which who have individually made some significant contribution to raise the name of Malaysia and the identity of being Malaysian , they are merely among hundreds if not thousands  more Malaysian names that were not able to be included .

Names that crosses all the ethnic/religo divides and collectively forged the singular identity recognised among the international community of what is uniquely known as Malaysian.

Sometimes we can get reminded poignantly that it feels nice to be a Malaysian..!        .     . Bryan





See how you go slipstreaming on.
Past crimson rose and fields of gold.

Along these fallowed steps to your heart
Where you did find me there
And I did come so far

People are you coming with me?
People are you coming with me?

So now we go through wind rain sleet and snow.
The love we speak is more than they’ll ever know.


My thoughts and evocated sentiments on the video:

Moments in the video that are thought provoking and poignant, and for us to decipher what we individually see in the imagery.

Brilliant imagery and visual story telling on  how the story of our nation enfolds post merdeka ..with a multi diverse cast all of which who in one way or another have a contributing stake in the shaping of our country’s identity..whether through politics , arts  and entertaiment , sports and collectively moulded Malaysia into what we are today.

As we watch the video , note the expressions of solemnness and eager anticipation on the faces of David Arumugam /NameWee ,

whereas  Nazir Razak (would like to think that he also represents Najib in this image) / Liow Tiong Lai , Sofea Jane and Saifudin Abdullah had a look of relief / joy  and of course suppressed excitement eagerly awaiting the moment of declaring independence for the country.

Ambiga ..still has that endearing no-nonsense look on her as she observes the historic moment in the making..


NameWee serious and solemn expression captured on his face almost boyish like innocence in the serious expression.


Michelle Yeoh… waiting elegantly .


Tengku Razali and Lim Kit Siang (political opponents from both sides united in one common voice of being Malaysian)  seems to be savouring the moment as it builds up , as their smiles seem to be suggesting.


Noticed that  Namewee  is  seated in a multi racial mix of a songkok wearing Malay  pak cik and a Indian gentleman  plus of course the Malaysian  Chinese Namewee .

Truly a accurate depiction and representation of the 3 main ethnic  groups waiting to celebrate the moment together and of course with the other minorities in one voice and mind.


All who are  present at the stadium real and “added on” ,  eagerly anticipating the declaring of Merdeka..of their nation that they are yearning to chant together in sincerity and passion.


Then comes a panoramic shot of KL skyline of the 60s  . back then as the cries of Merdeka rang out from the stadium.

( this is a good footage comparison to the enhanced images later in the video)


Another favourite thought provoking and endearing  scene is of Marina Mahathir and Nurul Izzah ( children of the political nemesis of each other..

today both of these ladies much loved and popular with the people in their own right )  crossing a busy street together. holding arms looking out for each other, and with the Arch in the background with the message ” Bersekutu bertambah mutu” . Quality in Alliance”.

.A message of reconciliation in the image , that doesn’t get better than that.


Then followed by a scene of the couple from the movie ” Sepet”.  An interracial love story that ended in tragedy.

Directed by the much loved and acclaimed Yasmin Ahmad.  But in this image, the couple had a baby in their arms..

An alternate happy ending. A poignant message that there is hope for us yet in our Malaysian multi ethnic and cultural backgrounds as we interact amongst each other.


Then of course comes the footage of Tunku Abdul Rahman preparing the declaration of “MERDEKA” , and against a surrealistic misty  backdrop of the post modern KL skyline with the outline of the twin towers faintly  visible.

Like a prophetic optimistic futuristic visual projection of  the direction of where our nation’s capital and country  will be headed post  independence.


Who can forget the glory days of our country’s football in the era  when Santokh Singh (2.36)  combined with Soh Chin Aun was defending our Malaysian team , it was almost an  impenetrable wall .

And looking at that  big strong ,friendly aged and mellowed Santokh Singh gazing  back at us with his ” dignified resilience , strength ,  maturity  and commanding respect with his presence .

Such are the qualities Malaysia can do with as a nation.


The late Yasmin Ahmad  with a  “child in her arms”.

Another very poignant image that can be significant as she is so fondly known for her distinctly down to earth film productions that had a very Malaysian flavour of a multi racial Malaysia.

Her movies had been able to touch many hearts and minds of our nation’s people.

Her productions are well known in Malaysia for their humour, heart and love that crosses cross-cultural barriers although  in Malaysia some of her productions were deemed  controversial for skirting taboo subjects.

Many of her “babies” went on to become  multiple award winning short or  feature films and documentaries locally and internationally.

Here we see Yasmin cradling a baby asleep in her arms , feeling protected / safe / secure as to his/her position in the world.

How we wish that the child in her arms is the  metaphor of  Yasmin’s imaginings of a multi cultural diverse society she yearns to see accepted.,.  

That child can also represent the future generations of Malaysians , “mothered and nurtured ” by Yasmin ‘s  ideals of a Malaysian psyche.


Finally as the video ends , take in the few seconds of  silence and ponder on the background scenery of a modern but fuzzy KL city skyline and even as KL tower comes into view…

The Silence lets you witness the images and contemplate how far we have come since the ringing of the Merdeka chant from Tunku reverberating from Stadium Merdeka..


–Slip Stream is very much A feel good video to watch , reminding us of what being Malaysian is. If only we have full length movies produced with this theme of reminding us of the wealth of our cultural diversity and help unify us as a nation with a common identity.

Why can’t we have more movies that go this direction in creating inspiration and love for our country and also acknowledgment of our diversity we have inherited , as the source of our strength.? This is indeed a very Malaysian  production reflecting the creativity of our home grown talent.

Well done to Pete Teo and his production  team

CAST LIST featured in the video: 

spotted in order of appearance –

David Arumugam (of the Alleycats) at 0:50 – looking very sombre.

Nazir Razak and Liow Tiong Lai and Sofea Jane at  0:54

Ambiga Sreenevasan at 0:57. with the endearing no-nonsense expression on her face.

Namewee at 1:04–also serious and somber looking to almost a point of reverence

Saifuddin Abdullah 1 .06- relaxed and calm look as usual

Jo Kukathas at 1:11.. quaint hat amongst european crowd

Lim Kit Siang and Tengku Razaleigh at 1:12  . both have a smile that seems to suggest that they are enjoying every minute of the historic moment.. Sitting next to each other . Suggesting perhaps that  despite idealogical or political differences and inclinations  is no  reason for not getting along if they united in the common cause of being Malaysian first.

Michelle Yeoh at 1:14. looking elegant in relaxed anticipation.

Marina Mahathir and Nurul Izzah Anwar at 2:10. liked this scene a lot as they cross the busy street looking out for each other

Jinniboy (of Youtube fame) at 2:15   merdeka !

The couple from Sepet The movie  2.16  couple re emerge with a baby in their arms suggestive of a happy ending after all. alternate conclusion to the tragic ending . If only real life imitates art.

Santokh Singh 2.36  may be aged and mellowed  but still projects formidable strength and resolve simply by a glare at the camera.

Pete Teo 3.20  has to sneak himself in to this much loved  video he directed and produced and play a part and deservingly so.

Ramli Ibrahim 3.27  icon of the art of dance in Malaysia

Yasmin Ahmad 3.34 multiple award winning local and international film maker of movies  that has a social message which has resonated with viewers especially her Malaysian productions.

About the project?  credits  and also the BM version


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