Must Watch Malaysian Movies to Instil the Spirit of Merdeka

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Malaysian filmmaking is gradually coming into light as more and more people are talking about movies that are produced by local filmmakers. Since Malaysia’s Golden age of cinema with P.Ramlee as the main icon of the entertainment industry, we have certainly come along way to gain major recognition in our country. In conjunction with Malaysia’s 62nd Independence Day celebration, we compiled some of our local favourite feature films that have moved our hearts. Check out some of our recommendations below.


1. Lee Chong Wei: Rise Of The Legend 2018

A biopic film directed by Teng Bee, which is based on Lee Chong Wei 2012 autobiography Dare to Be a Champion.Ā The movie tells the inspirational story of our national icon Lee Chong Wei who was born from a poor family, as he is determined to become the top badminton player in the world. The movie charts his childhood life as he started to learn about playing badminton, to his challenges as a young adult trying to make a standing in the NationalĀ  Badminton Academy. It also touches on about his struggling relationship with his parents, first badminton coach Teh Peng Huat, his future wife Wong Mew Choo and his personal coach Misbun Sidek who guide him to the world championship.


2.Rise: Ini Kalilah 2018

A political drama film co-directed by Saw Teong Hin, Nik Amir Mustapha and MS Prem Nath which follows the stories of several diverse Malaysians in the days leading up to the 14th General Elections. Besides the large ensemble of multi-racial Malaysian cast that come together in to portray one of the biggest events in Malaysia, the theme song of “Rise: Ini Kalilah” a cover version of the iconic patriotic tune “Sejahtera Malaysia” sung by Malaysia’s jazz queen Datuk Sheila Majid is one of the greatest highlights in the movie as well.


3.PASKAL: The Movie 2018

Inspired by the elite Royal Malaysian Navy(TLDM) force named PASKAL(Pasukan Khas Laut). The most expensive Malaysian film ever made follows the true events of PASKAL’s Lieutenant Commander Arman Anwar and his team’s mission to combat the attacks from Somalian Pirates in 2011. One of the most exceptional aspects in the making of the movie is that the main casts performed their stunts in the film instead of relying on stunt actors.


4.Ola Bola 2016

Inspired by the glories of the Malaysia national football team which successfully entered the 1980 Summer Olympics. The story centres around an unlikely multicultural team of footballers who have to overcome their disagreements and personal struggles for a chance at international success. The attention to detail in this movie can be seen as the shots and locations are adapted into the movie to maintain the authenticity of its time setting.


5.The Journey 2014

A comedy-drama film directed by Chiu Keng Guan which follows the story about a conservative Chinese father, strict with Chinese traditional customs. As his daughter returns home with her Caucasian fiance, both father and soon-to-be son in law embark on a cross-country road trip to deliver wedding invitations. As they journey around the nation they soon learn to recognise and respect each other’s cultural differences along the way. Despite its simple premise, the movie perfectly encapsulates the universal themes of culture, friendship, unity and love within the cast. Not to mention the cinematography is wonderfully captured, showcasing the magnificent beauty across the six states of Malaysia(Johor, Melaka, Kedah, Penang, Ipoh and Pahang).


6.Sepet 2005

A teen romantic comedy-drama film which tells a story of love that blossoms between a Malay schoolgirl from a well-off family and a Chinese boy working as an illegal disc seller in the streets of Ipoh. Under the surface of a simple film portrays the struggle against the racial and cultural expectations that affect the romance between the two main casts of differing ethnicities. One of the best aspects of the movie is that even the side characters possess a deep, interesting personality which is entirely relatable to the local viewers. What makes this movie stood out from the other Malaysian movies is that the story takes a realistic outlook into the life in Malaysia ranging from the cultures, imperfection and sincerity among the people.


What Malaysian movies would you recommend to watch during the Merdeka holidays? Leave us your thoughts on the comment sections below. Head over to and unveil your next job opportunity.

You Jing is a content writer who writes careerĀ and lifestyle contents to inspireĀ job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.

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