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'Harimau Malaya 1980' documentary to air on Malaysia Day

'Harimau Malaya 1980' documentary to air on Malaysia Day
A blown up image of several newspaper clippings of the players' tales that was showcased at the launch today. - Astro AWANI/Syamim Hasni
KUALA LUMPUR: The inspirational story of Malaysia's national football team during the 1980s is now in a form of a special documentary, 'Harimau Malaya 1980', produced by Astro.

The documentary showcases the strong spirited players overcoming a multitude of challenges in their way towards the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980.

This is the first time in 36 years that a special team was put together to produce this documentary.

Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd Group CEO, Datuk Rohana Rozhan said although the story told is 36-years-old, it remains relevant today and could continue to inspire the generations of tomorrow.

"The story is based on facts, it’s real… it’s a human story.
"It is a story that happened 36 years ago where the players are where they are now because of what they learnt throughout their journey, and the importance of friendships, and the bond that pulls them together.

"I had the privilege of spending some time with them, and if you speak to each and every one of them, you can see the camaraderie, how they were proud to have been there and be together and supported one another," said Rohana during an exclusive interview with Astro AWANI after the launch at the Technology Park Malaysia in Bukit Jalil here today.

Meanwhile, the producer of Harimau Malaya 1980, Basir Siswa said he spent four months to do research and fact-checking, and he used the actual players to make sure the documentary comes alive.

"In this documentary, there are tears, there are funny stories, and there are frustrations and sadness.

"It's all real stories from people who actually went through the experience," said Basir.

Also present at the launch was Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, who noted that sports has the ability to unite people.

"We must learn from this 'dream team'. Forget our differences and just prioritise on being a Malaysian," he said.

Harimau Malaya 1980 will premiere on Malaysia Day this Sept 16 at 9pm on two channels, Astro Arena and Astro Supersport.

It will also be available on the Astro on the Go application.