by Lisa Heykal
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Picture by Raymond Manuel

The topics of Harimau Malaya and football come hand in hand when Malaysian fans talk about the football scene in Malaysia. As the national team, the Harimau Malaya team has always been the pride of not only football fans but also Malaysians due to the perseverance of every individual whether behind the scenes or in the line-up of players who have changed over the past decades.

However, behind what is seen on the field through the agility of the players, there is a hidden story that is not known throughout the ‘journey’ of the Harimau Malaya players. Taking a perspective that has never been explored in any production involving the Harimau Malaya team, 4ward Pictures Sdn Bhd proudly presents their film, Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey.

Nashrul Nasir, Executive Producer, and Alif Nabil, Producer, mentioned that the film received the magic touch of one of the most famous directors in Malaysia, Dato’ Afdlin Shauki who is also the screenwriter of Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey. Notable actors such as Sophia Albarakbah, Zahirah Macwilson, Aiman Hakim Redza, Tony Eusoff, Vanidah Imran, Fattah Amin, Fazura, Azhar Sulaiman, and many more played a large part in creating the Harimau Malaya movie into what we see today. 

Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey was inspired by the story behind the scenes of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) after Tan Cheng Hoe resigned as national squad coach in January 2022.

“From this inspiration, Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey developed not just about football players but we took a different narrative, especially raising the story of three hard-nosed beggars called Ultras who were blacklisted attending football matches for a year.”

“Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey also features a ‘kick’ or ‘long journey’ about individuals behind the scenes, who help the national squad a lot but have never been ‘sung’,” said Nashrul Nasir from 4ward Pictures Sdn. Bhd.

Nashrul added that the production and story behind the making of Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey is also an appreciation for the struggle of the national squad, especially after successfully defeating Bangladesh and qualifying for the Asian Cup after 42 years.

“We believe there are many inspirational stories that can be collected and taken from Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey. Especially the stories after Tang Cheng Hoe resigned as the coach of the national squad in 2022.”

“With Dato’ Afdlin Shauki’s expertise in writing the script and directing this film in an atmosphere of drama, sports, and history wrapped in commercial value, Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey is a must-see.”

“Not only is the movie inspiring, but we want to instill fresher patriotism towards the national squad and our beloved Malaysia,” he said.

For Afdlin Shauki who last sat in the director’s chair two years ago, the opportunity to direct Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey became a platform to showcase a greater love not only for sports but the spirit of comradeship, sacrifice, and patriotism that should be instilled in every Malaysian.

“Most Malaysians would jump at the opportunity to work and direct Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey. This opportunity is more than creating a masterpiece, it represents a big step in my directing career but it is my honor to do so for my beloved country. Throughout Harimau Malaya: The Untold Journey, you will understand the definition of “Success Requires Courage And Sacrifice,” said Afdlin enthusiastically.

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