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COMMENT | Mat Kilau and demystifying the 1891-95 Pahang uprising

COMMENT | The recently released blockbuster Malay film, "Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan", has been drawing large numbers to the cinemas and received rave reviews from fans of Malay films. I, too, watched the film and took pride in its success while hoping it would give a boost to our local film industry.

However, the film has also ignited a fair bit of debate on the events surrounding the Pahang Uprising 1891–95, the roles played by the various people living at that time, and how they have been portrayed.

I do recognise that, as creative works, feature films are often intended to appeal to the audience’s imagination and emotions, and are different from documentaries which are factual in nature.

Admittedly, the film opens with a disclaimer that “the characters and events in the film are fictional.”

Nonetheless, it is important to separate facts and real events from fiction as depicted in the movie to avoid any dissemination of wrong messages to the public, particularly in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society like ours.

The film gives the impression that the Malay chiefs and warriors...

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