Screening of Malaysian Exiled Documentaries

During April and May 2010,2 series of documentaries produced under TV2 chinese program Galeri Mandarin Nasional, were shelved and banned respectively by Director General of RTM. In this month, a remade version of this 2 documentaries which reveal  the social  impact of Bakun Dam and Rawang high tension power plant, are going to be shown to a wider audiences in more than 12 places along the west coast of  the peninsula.

This series of activities including forum and screening  will start on 8th March and is jointly organized by Peoples Documentary Foundation, VideoArt Magazine and Malaysiakini.Organizations which host the screening include, KLSCAH Social Economic Committee, New Era College Media Study Society, Kajang,Lim Lian Giok Cultural Development Centre Perak (LLGPERAK), Penang Chinese Town Hall,

SUARAM Penang,Pakatan Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Taiping,Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall Youth (NSCAHY),Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall (Youth Section),Pusat Khidmat  Ahli Parlimen Bakri, Muar,Pakatan Keadilan Rakyat Kluang,SUARAM Johor Bharu, and Singaporeans For Democracy(SFD)

Documentary that reflects social reality is a rare breed of vulnerable survival in Malaysia. This genre of film will have to counter both inner and outer endangerment where audiences’ requirement of entertaining, the interferences from MSM, and the self-censorship of media take place. In April 2004, producer of NTV7 current affairs talk show ‘Editor’s Time’ cum producer of ‘Edisi Siasat’ Joshua Wong Ngee Choong resigned to protest the self-censorship of media; National TV station TV2 producer of ‘Galeri Mandarin Nasional’ Chou Z Lam was fired since he produce and broadcast the Bakun documentary series, these are how the bad law of media control kills the growing of documentaries and political interferes the freedom of information.

In such stringent situation, documentary as the most effective way of information dissemination to record and to critique social realities, must overcome the shackle proactively and face the unpopular dilemma to actively create method where mission that can both reflect social realities as well as keep intimate relation with audience.

As such, we give up the temptation to entertainize documentary, overcome the self-imposed restrain and filtering of MSM, and “run” the documentary out of mainstream. The “running” is not giving oneself up but abandon the comfort and safety, to face the real public, and to face greater challenge and chance.

As the first round of screening, we will screen the founder of Peoples Documentary Foundation Chou Z Lam’s remade Bakun Trilogy part 1 & 2, and the director cum producer of VideoArt, Lai KK’s “March Encircling”, in more than 12 different locations in west coast of west Malaysia . In order to resurface the year long shackled Bakun Dam project issues and the issues of Rawang villagers’ facing dangerous hi-tension power cable, to meet the whole population. Below the screening details:

Title of Activities:

Screening of Exiled Documentary

Objectives of the activities:

1.Breaking the shackle of information

2.Knowing the documentaries

3.Shaping Civil Societies


Peoples Documentary Foundation, Video Art Magazine, Malaysiakini

Main sponsor:

Journalist and writer support group for Indigenous People


KLSCAH Social Economic Committee, KL

New Era College Media Study Department, Kajang

Lim Lian Giok Cultural Development Centre Perak (LLGPERAK), Ipoh

Penang Chinese Town Hall, Penang


Pakatan Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) , Taiping

Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall Youth (NSCAHY), Seremban

Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall (Youth Section), Malacca

Pusat Khidmat  Ahli Parlimen Bakri, Muar

Pakatan Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Kluang

SUARAM Johor Bharu

Singaporeans For Democracy(SFD)

Screening Date

8 March 2011 – 6 April 2011


1.Film Screening :

a) Bakun Trilogy: Episode 1   Flood      (42 minutes)

b) Bakun Trilogy: Episode 2  Injustice (46 minutes)

c) Defend Our Homeland (60 minutes)

2.Q & A Section (20 minutes)

3.    Opening Ceremony : Talk ( Topic : Documentaries and Social Changes ) & Showing the trailer

Public Screening Schedule ( Subject to be changed )

Date Time Venue Co-Organizer Activity


11am-12pm KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) Social Economic Committee Press Conference
08/3/2011 (Tue) 8pm  – 1030pm KLSCAH Social Economic Committee Talks & Trailer
09/3/2011 (Wed) 8pm  – 11pm KLSCAH Social Economic Committee Film Screening
10/3/2011 (Thus) 8pm – 11pm Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall Youth (NSCAHY) Film Screening

( Fri )

8pm  – 11pm Kelab50-B, 

Bangsar Utama

50-B, Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar Utama Film Screening


8pm  – 11pm Dewan Seah Tih Kong,Kuala Sepetang


Parti Keadilan Rakyat 


Film Screening


8pm  – 11pm Perpustakaan Mini Oasis, Ipoh Lim Lian Giok Cultural Development Centre Perak (LLGPERAK) Film Screening


8pm – 11pm Taiping 

(not confirmed)

Parti Keadilan Rakyat 


Film Screening

( Fri )

8pm  – 11pm Penang Chinese Town Hall Penang Chinese Town Hall, SUARAM Penang Film Screening

(Sat )

2pm  – 5pm Caring Society Complex, 


Penang Chinese Town Hall, SUARAM Penang Film Screening


8pm – 11pm Pay Fong Media Room, Malacca Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall (Youth Section) Film Screening

( Fri )

8pm  – 11pm Pusat Khidmat  Ahli Parlimen Bakri Pusat Khidmat  Ahli Parlimen Bakri Film Screening

(Sat )

8pm  – 11pm Anika Hotel, Kluang 


PKR Cabang Kluang Film Screening

(Sun )



8pm  – 11pm 



office SUARAM Johor Bharu 

Post Museum,107+109, Rowell Road,Singapore


Singaporeans For Democracy(SFD)

Film Screening 

Film Screening





3pm -6pm New Era College, Kajang Selangor Media Study Society Film Screening


1. Topic:Documentaries and Social Changes

2. Speaker:          Chou Z Lam (Founder of Peoples Documentary Foundation )

Anna Har (Director of KOMAS)

Sylvia Lim  (Founder & Chief Editor of Video Art Magazine )

MC: NTV7 Host – Ms. Tan Ley Teng

Synopsis of the Film

A) Bakun Trilogy: Episod 1 Flood / 42 minutes / 2010 / Director Leerang Bato / HD  Format

In 1998, the notorious Sarawak Bakun Hydro Electric Project began forcibly relocating some 9,500 indigenous people, but there was a group of them determined to stay put, guarding their home and land. In October 2010, impoundment of the dam started, it is envisaged that an area of native customary land as big as the size of Singapore will be flooded within half a year.

B)     Bakun Trilogy: Episod 2-Injustice / 48 minutes / 2010 / Director Leerang Bato / HD  Format Costing RM 4.5 billion, the Sarawak Bakun Hydro Electric Project was twice shelved due to economic downturns; but ignoring the wishes of the forcibly relocated indigenous people, the Sarawak state government insisted on relocating some 9,500 of them to Asap Koyan resettlement area. Their then existing long houses, land and crops are yet to receive just compensations till today, the people are living in agony and misery.

C) Defend Our Homeland / 60 minutes / 2010 / Director Lai Kim Koon / HD Format

Five-years Struggle by residents of Rawang New village,Selangor, to protest against the construction of high-voltage cables.

By tomorrow (March 17, 2010) ,Tenaga National Berhad (TNB, referred to National Energy Company) will enter into Rawang chinese new village to start the demolition. Villagers worried that TNB might assault their houses in the midnight, so they stationed day and night in turns. This action involve more than 1000 peoples, including villagers, volunteers from security groups and non-governmental organizations. At the same time, Chou Z Lam,the producer of state-run TV station, RTM 2, exposed that a Chinese documentary program  < Galeri Nasional Mandarin >,which was scheduled to show Rawang high voltage cable issue has been ordered to stop its broadcasting. About 80 peoples respond to the call of demonstration which is organized by 528 Media Action Group Coordinator and  Writers Alliance of Media Independence (WAMI) and Centre of Independent Journalists (CIJ) at  Kuala Lumpur Broadcasting Complex (Kompleks Angkasapuri)to protest against the dismissal of Chou Z Lam, and ban on the broadcast of documentary on Rawang  high-voltage cables issue as well as documentary on Bakun Dam of Sarawak.

This documentary not only records the Rawang villager’s effort to defend their homeland, it  also reflect the  suppression of press freedom and some shortcomings of the privatization policy .

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