For the past few years, I've been working as a researcher and fact-checker on a series of documentaries about Malaysia's political history, told through forgotten stories and personal perspectives. They are produced by Rack Focus Films in Kuala Lumpur and have been broadcast on History Asia and National Geographic Asia.
Journey to Independence, 1941-1957: Part I (preview)
Journey to Independence, 1941-1957: Part II (preview)
This two-part episode tells the story of how Tunku Abdul Rahman and a band of patriots managed to strike delicate political compromises to unite Malaya's many different races in their fight for Malaya's independence from the British Empire after the Second World War.
Premiered on History Asia in August 2016
Formation of Malaysia, 1957-1965: Part I (full film)
Formation of Malaysia, 1957-1965: Part II (full film)
This subsequent two-part episode tells the story of how Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak merged into a federation called Malaysia in 1963, due in large part to the pressures of the Cold War, and how Singapore ultimately separated from the federation in 1965.
Premiered on History Asia in September 2017
The Undeclared War, 1961-1963 (preview)
When Malaysia's founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman announced a proposal for the merging of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei to form a federation called Malaysia in 1961, he was greeted with vociferous objections from Indonesia. This episode tells the story of how Malaysia came to be despite Sukarno's "Konfrontasi" and "Crush Malaysia" campaign.
Premiered on National Geographic Asia in August 2018
Sarawak Reclaimed: Part I (preview)
In 1839, a young Englishman called James Brooke sails into Borneo in search of an adventure with which to distinguish himself. He meets princes and datus and rebels and, in a surprising turn of events, becomes rajah of them all. This is the story of Sarawak through a century of Brooke rule.
Premiered on National Geographic Asia in October 2018
Sarawak Reclaimed: Part II (preview)
When World War Two breaks out, the Japanese invade Sarawak, and Sarawak can no longer remain the Brookes’ isolated kingdom. After the war, the third rajah cedes Sarawak to the British government; and almost two decades later, the British would leave its colonies in Southeast Asia by creating the new federation of Malaysia, of which Sarawak became a part. This is the story of Sarawak’s journey from private kingdom to modern state. Premiered on National Geographic Asia in October 2018