Jour­ney to glory

> A new doc­u­men­tary pays trib­ute to Malaysia’s great­est na­tional football team

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE - BY S. IN­DRA SATHIABALAN

IN CON­JUNC­TION with Hari Malaysia to­day, Astro will be presenting Hari­mau Malaya 1980. This doc­u­men­tary cel­e­brates the glory days of Malaysian football, and the un­told story of the le­gendary Hari­mau Malaya team which beat the odds and qual­i­fied for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Sadly, they were not able to com­pete, due to Malaysia boy­cotting the games that year.

The doc­u­men­tary will be shown on Astro Arena (Astro chan­nel 801), and Astro Su­per­Sport (Chan­nel 810) tonight at 9pm. It is also avail­able on Astro on the Go.

The doc­u­men­tary, which re­unites the sur­viv­ing squad mem­bers for the first time in 36 years, fea­tures ex­clu­sive in­ter­views with lo­cal football leg­ends in­clud­ing Datuk Soh Chin Aun, Has­san Sani, James Wong, Datuk San­tokh Singh, and their coach, Karl-Heinz Weigang.

Also fea­tured are veteran sports com­men­ta­tor Tuan Haji Zulka­r­nain Has­san and for­mer For­eign Min­is­ter Tengku Tan Sri Ah­mad Rithaudeen Tengku Is­mail.

This film­mak­ers trace the play­ers’ joys and tears, their strug­gles, achieve­ments, and tri­umphs lead­ing up to the team qual­i­fy­ing for the Moscow Olympics.

Dur­ing the re­cent launch of the doc­u­men­tary on Sept 9, the icons of the 1980 Hari­mau Malaya team were joined by Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia min­is­ter, and Datuk Ro­hana Rozhan, group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for Astro.

Sev­eral key in­di­vid­u­als fea­tured in Hari­mau Malaya 1980 also shared their feel­ings about the doc­u­men­tary:

Basir Siswo, the pro­ducer of Hari­mau Malaya 1980: “Pro­duc­ing the doc­u­men­tary was like piec­ing to­gether a 36year-old jig­saw puz­zle that had been stashed away in the store room for a long time.

“The high­light of the en­tire pro­duc­tion was the emo­tional re­union of team mem­bers as they put on the na­tional football jer­seys once again, and walked into Sta­dium Merdeka to re­live their mem­o­ries.”

Datuk Soh Chin Aun, cap­tain of the 1980 Hari­mau Malaya team: “We would like to thank Astro for the pro­duc­tion of Hari­mau Malaya 1980, and for pro­vid­ing us with the op­por­tu­nity to share first-hand, our story of what went on be­hind the scenes in the event­ful jour­ney to the Moscow Olympics.”

Karl-Heinz Weigang, team coach: “To­gether with the 1980 Hari­mau Malaya team, our jour­ney in search of glory at the Moscow Olympics was an emo­tional one, filled with per­sonal sac­ri­fices and the strug­gle to achieve the im­pos­si­ble.”

James Wong, striker: “Re­count­ing our per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences for the doc­u­men­tary was truly a sen­ti­men­tal jour­ney for us. It was a mem­o­rable re­union when we got to­gether as a team for the shoot­ing.”

Haji Bakri Ibni, mid­fielder: “Our team was di­verse, yet we had in­cred­i­ble ca­ma­raderie and team spirit. It was great to see the team re­united once again for this doc­u­men­tary.”

Datin Maria Selvie, widow of the late Datuk R. Arumugam, goal­keeper: “My hus­band would have been so proud. Even though he is not here, he is still a leg­end. He played for Malaysia. He loved the Malaysian team and his friends like Chin Aun, San­tokh, and Mokhtar.”

All Astro and NJOI cus­tomers can catch the re­peat broad­cast of Hari­mau Malaya 1980 on Sept 17 in Ba­hasa Malaysia on Astro Prima (Chan­nel 105) and Maya HD (Chan­nel 135) at 10pm; in Man­darin on Astro AEC (Chan­nel 301) at 4.30pm; and in Tamil on Astro Vaanavil (Chan­nel 201) at 9pm.

Re­liv­ing the mo­ment ... The 1980 Hari­mau Malaya football team re­united in the doc­u­men­tary; and (right) with Astro and min­istry of­fi­cials at the launch of Hari­mau Malaysa 1980.

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