The title reminds me of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. I watched the program for the first time last week (it was the pilot episode I think) which showed an old crime case of a female computer programmer who was raped and killed onboard an express bus some 10 years ago.
The second episode aired last night was on Al-Maunah, a martial art group that stole truckloads of weapons and ammos from two army camps in an attempt to topple the government sometime in 2000. It was a striking resemblance of a program by History Channel Asia called “Al-Maunah: The Malaysian Arms Heist”, which was aired during Hari Merdeka season. Only a couple of major differences between the two: First, the duration was shorter, it was only for 30 minutes while the History Channel’s version ran for 1 hour. Second, it was in Malay.
Everything else was the same.
- The same way of telling the story by reenacting key scenes and showing archived videos of the actual event.
- The same people were interviewed: Lt. Jen. Zaini, DSP Abdul Razak and Sjn. Mohd Shah.
- The same photos of the enemy were shown, presumably extracted from martial arts magazines.
Leave it to Malaysians to copycat everything, from the title to the content, even to the final product.
However, that’s not the focus of discussion here. What I’m more interested in are several parts of the documentary that made me go “Huh?” and “Hmm!”:
While describing the capture of Truper Matthew anak Medan by the enemy, the narrator said something along the lines of “Seorang tentera tidak bernasib baik telah tersesat ke dalam kawasan kejadian.” A tentera tersesat into a war zone? Seriously? Must I remind you that Truper Matthew was a Gerak Khas commando - these people don’t get sesat! What I recall from History Channel’s version was that Truper Matthew and another trooper went too close to the enemy while trying to recce the area. The enemy saw them and launched an attack. The other trooper managed to escape but Truper Matthew was captured. Yes, I agree that he wasn’t lucky, but he definitely wasn’t sesat!
Sjn. Mohd Shah, who watched Truper Matthew being tortured by the enemy for information, described the moment vividly, “He refused to say anything, so they shot his legs, one at time. Still he didn’t say anything. He didn’t fall down. He didn’t scream. He just fought the pain quietly. The enemy became upset. They shot him from the back of his head. It was a through and through, coming out from his face.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is a true hero.
I haven’t seen Annahita Bakavoli on TV for some time. Suddenly she appeared during the programme doing short narrations between scenes. Wonder where has she been all these while?
The narration on DSP Abdul Razak’s team approaching the enemy started with “Gerak Khas diketuai DSP Abdul Razak...” What’s wrong with that statement? First of all, DSP Abdul Razak is not from Gerak Khas (army commando), he’s from a detachment of Pasukan Gerakan Khas called VAT 69 (police commando). Fine, the producers might have confused “Gerak Khas” and “Pasukan Gerakan Khas” (blame Yusof Haslam on this), but I’m a strong believer of information accuracy, especially when accounting an actual incident. Secondly, I don’t think the team that he led was from Gerak Khas. Why would he lead a team that wasn’t even his? Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m just quoting what I recall from History Channel’s version of the incident.
I find it funny that a local production could make mistakes such as #1 and #4. Goes to show the level of study they went through (if any) before shooting the episode. Perhaps they didn’t have the budget or talent or manpower to match those of History Channel’s, but it was a documentary of an incident that happened in your own country for goodness sake! At least get the facts right!
My verdict: 5 stars to History Channel, 3 stars to TV3. That’s 2 stars for their lebih kurang asal boleh effort and 1 star for featuring Tun Dr. Mahathir (though he only said a few lines).
Cuba lagi di minggu hadapan!
P.S.: Can’t wait for History Channel’s documentary on P. Ramlee to premiere on 31 October 2010. I heard it’s by the same team who did the Al-Maunah documentary. The concert tribute will air a week earlier. Check out this microsite for more info.