4 Things We Learnt After Watching The 'M For Malaysia' Documentary

Great lessons all around.

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4 Things We Learnt After Watching The 'M For Malaysia' Documentary
It is not every day that we rewrite history. In fact, it is not every day that we get footages of the day we rewrote history.

That is what 'M For Malaysia' is about in a nutshell.

Directed by Ineza Roussille and Dian Lee, 'M For Malaysia' tells the story of the historic 2018 General Elections where the previous government were overthrown after 60 years in power. 

The focus of the documentary is on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the final 16 days of his campaign leading up to the elections. 

While that is the main part of the film, the movie also touches on a couple of interesting bits about the Malaysian political history - from Ops Lalang to the beginning of the Reformasi movement.

The documentary also gives viewers an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the historic moment when we Malaysians made history together.

We were fortunate enough to catch the movie with none other than Tun M and Tun Dr Siti Hasmah themselves at the gala premiere that took place on Tuesday (10 September).

Despite it being a semi-political film (for the full review of the movie, you can click here), there were a lot of underlying messages as well as lessons that we can take away from the movie. 

Here are five things we learnt after watching the 'M For Malaysia':

#1 How much we've been taking the Tuns for granted

You may or may not like Tun M as a premiere, but there's no denying that it took a lot for a then 93-year-old man to make it his mission to save Malaysia. 'M For Malaysia' brings viewers so close to the personal lives of Tun M and Tun Dr Siti, that it instantly struck us that we've been taking the Tuns for granted all this while.  

The scenes of the family sharing a meal together, or scenes of Tun Dr Siti quietly following Tun M around his campaign trail, were honestly a little bit heartbreaking to watch. These are a pair of 90-year-old grandparents who, instead of enjoying their retirement at home and playing with their grandkids, have decided to run for election.

Perhaps the one quote from the documentary that got to us was when Ineza, the granddaughter of Tun M, told the viewers that "in a year, I might not have my grandparents anymore because it will take a toll on them". 

#2 Forgiveness is the first step to healing

A majority of the film follows Tun M's journey with Pakatan Harapan, the Opposition party he loathed when he was with UMNO. If you're old enough to remember the whole political war in the 1990s (don't worry if you don't; the documentary provides a brief summary of what happened), you'll know that it was a big step for Tun M to apologise and join forces with his political enemies.

It was interesting to see - and hear from Tun M himself - how some of the Opposition leaders that Tun M threw in jail during his first tenure as Prime Minister talk about their decision to work together for the betterment of the country.

There were a couple of scenes where forgiveness was the main theme, and seeing how people like the current Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and MP Lim Kit Siang - people who once fought tooth and nail with Tun M - talk about forgiving and forgetting for a bigger cause will undoubtly bring some tears to your eyes. 

#3 We are stronger as one

Before the premiere took place, Dian Lee, the director and producer of 'M For Malaysia', told us that she wants to position the movie as "the people's story", instead of a film about the messy politics in Malaysia. 

'M For Malaysia' highlights the plight of the people, and how they overcome an almost insurmountable obstacle of overthrowing the previous regime - by sticking together as one. Although the documentary primarily follows Tun M, Dian and Ineza did a really good job going to the ground to talk to normal people like you and us, giving us an up close and personal look at the people who make up this country.

Watching scenes of people queuing up outside of their polling stations, or a group of Malaysians braving the rain to attend a ceramah, was indeed a sweet trip down memory lane.

It was heartwarming to see Malaysians joining forces - no matter the race, religion and skin colour - to vote for the future of the country.

#4 People are quick to forget

Remember the day after the election results where we feel a renewed sense of pride, and we look around to see the faces of our fellow Malaysians who have that exact same feeling of pride? At that moment, we felt that we were all brothers and sisters.

With all the negative news surrounding us these days, it is hard to believe that the historic day happened just over a year ago. So, what happened to the Malaysia-ness and the feeling brother/sisterhood we had for each other the night we changed history? And what happened to the Malaysia Baru we all preached?

Watching 'M For Malaysia' is a really good way of bringing back those good memories of what we achieved on that one historic night, and maybe remind us that we are all the same.

If you wish to have some massive throwback moments, you can catch 'M for Malaysia' in selected cinemas nationwide beginning 12 September.

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