|Caves and fauna in Malaysian made productions
These are some of the documentaries and films that have been made by Malaysian companies and shown on TV. See also those made by international productions.
Nona (women's magazine) - TV3
* Filmed in Gua Tempurung on 20-21 Aug and shown on TV on 29 Aug 1993.
A group of 15 cavers from MNS Cave Groups Perak and Selangor, and from WWF, with Nona presenter Fara.
* 4 Dec 1994 episode included a piece on a cave guide from Sarawak, who was the only woman in the Malaysian team in an adventure competition. This was Jenny Mallang and the event was Raid Gauloises. One segment of the race involved caving in Mulu National Park.
Majalah 3 - TV3
*This segment included Dark Cave and Batu Caves.
Filmed in Dark Cave 24 July, shown on TV 7 Aug 1994.
* Exploring limestone caves
Shown on TV on 9 Oct 1994, and explored the ecotourism potential of Sungei Nenggiri in ulu Kelantan, as well as the ecological damage that is happening to it. Also explores the wonders and lives that exist around the nearby limestone caves.
* Misteri Gua
Shown on TV on 5 Aug 2000. It showed a cave house in Kelantan. This cave has furniture, carpets, piped water etc and is inhabited by a father and son. Next we go to Perak and see Ling Sen Tong and Sam Poh Tong. Then collecting cave crystals from a cave high up on a hill in Perak. The final segment is Gua Kelam in Perlis.
13 Wonders - TV3
* The episode on 11 Aug 1995 featured the history of tin mining in Perak.
* Subterranean Wonders, shown on 28 Jan 1996.
This episode was filmed in Perak Caves 13-15 July 1991. There were 11 caves from MNS Cave Groups Perak and Selangor and the filming was done in Gua Datuk, Six Mile Tunnel and Gua Tempurung. There was also some filming in Dark Cave, mainly the fauna. However the final product, produced by Aziz Hassan, had combined all the shots and made it out to be one cave. The commentary, narrated by Rodney Michael Thomas, was inaccurate. There was much emphasis on surface shots.
Warna-warna Malaysia - TV3
* Tasik Kenyir 2. Shown on 6 Sept 1997 and included about 3 minutes on the caves.
* Gua Tempurung. This was shown on 13 Sept 1997. It was in Bahasa Malaysia with Normala Samsudin. It featured cave guide Daniel leading a group to Gergasi chamber. Then they went in the eastern entrance.
Spotlight - TV3
Spotlight on 21 Sept 1997 featured Perlis. This included Hymeir talking about the Nakawan range, tin mining in caves which peaked in the 1960s and produced 1.5% of the total national output. There was an interview with Hakkas at Kaki Bukit. Wang Tangga, Gua Kelam, proposed park with HQ at Wang Tangga. Gua Wang Burma and rock climbing at Gua Kelam.
Benson & Hedges Golden Dreams - TV3
This programme was shown on 19 Oct 1998 and featured Patrick. His dream was to see the longest cave in Asia and Mulu. Dave Gill taught him SRT. Then he went to Deer Cave (by boat!) with Dave and Robert. He talked with English cavers. Then did Berangs Entrance to Clearwater - a 3 hr walk to Berangs. A normal trip takes 4-5 hours, but theirs took 10!
Asia Hebat - TV3
This programme, by Prime Time Communications, was shown on 11 Aug 1999. Episode 3, Aksi Berbisa (venomous action).
This episode featured catching a cave racer snake from a Perlis cave for the snake farm. Zainuddin Ismail is the penjaga ular - snake keeper.
Malaysian Heritage - TV2
The episode on 22 June 1997 featured Gua Wang Burma in Perlis.
Malaysian Book of Records - TV2
The episode on 13 Aug 1997 featured Batu Caves. With its 272 steps, it is the longest staircase in Malaysia.
Documentary - TV2
This documentary was shown on 27 Dec 1998 and featured Buda at Mulu.
Malaysia on the Eco-trail - TV2
Shown on 12 Mar 2007.
Gua Kelam in Perlis, Perlis State Park. No cavers were acknowledged. The director Kasim Osman. Sabtham's vision.
Misi Merapoh - TV2
In Feb 2013 a team from KL Motion Pictures did some filming in Merapoh for a documentary to try and help save Merapoh caves from being quarried. It was shown on TV on Alam Sekitar on 21 Oct 2013. See my blog of the filming. The full film which is almost an hour long can be seen here. It is also in 5 parts on youtube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.
Simfoni Alam Bukit Batu Kapur Part 01 - TV2
Kenali Malaysia - TV1
* This episode was shown on 24 Apr 1998 and featured Langkawi - Gua Dayang Bunting and the lake, Pulau Lima and Gua Pulau Lima, Gua Air Tahun, birds nests. Produced by 59 Communications Sdn Bhd for RTV.
* This episode was shown on 1 May 1998 and featured Lenggong.
Explorasi - TV1
Shown on 7 Dec 2003 and features Gunung Senyum and mountain biking there. It showed the people cycling near formations and jumping over formations. The caves shown were Gunung Jebak Puyoh and Gua Taman 1. Sains & Tek, USM. Then it was up to Gua Kelam in Perlis, and showed the gated adit entrance and there was an interview with a miner.
Eksplorasi Gunung - TV1
A 13 part series that started on 4 Jan 2011 on mountain climbing and other adventures with Raja Gunung Malaysia, Datuk Khalid Yunus.
Episode 3 on 15 Feb explores caves at Dabong in Kelantan. Gua Gelap, Gua Keris, Gua Pagar, Gua Ikan. The second half shows Gua Pagar, monophyllaea, graffiti, a snake skeleton, trapdoor spiders on the floor, a balsalm. Gua Ikan is a river cave with birds nests on the walls. There are signboards outside each cave. Produced by Q-Plex Communications Sdn Bhd, Post Produksi.
Explorasi - TV1
X-Plorasi RTM in Merapoh, hosted by Azura Zainal. 2 episodes shown on TV Sept 2104. The first episode on 6th Sept (Gua Tahi Bintang, Gua Seribu Cerita, rock climbing) and the second episode on 13th Sept (Gua Air Mata Dayang, Gua Hari Malaysia & ATV).
Without Boundaries - The Great Outdoors
A series that started 7 Dec 2011 featuring Henry Golding. By Primeworks.
In Episode 2 on 14 Dec he went to Tasik Kenyir and explored 2 caves. The first was Gua Bewah. Steps lead up to the cave (Gua Tahi Kelawar). 16,000 year old artefacts were found here including human skeletons 8-11,000 years old, also pottery, found in the 1970s. There are information boards inside the cave. The cave is about 40 m above lake level. There are bats, cockroaches, a crab. The guano supports life systems, and was once collected in sackfuls for use as a fertiliser. Next Henry goes to Gua Taat (Obedience & loyalty). An old rusty ladder leads to the small entrance. Neolithic bones 10,000 years old were found, also kitchen utensils. The cave has low ceilings and the lake rises into the cave at times. The cave is a long rock shelter.
There were 3 caves, but the 3rd one is now underwater since the lake was built.
In the 3rd episode, Henry goes to Six Mile Tunnel at Tambun Lost World. There is now a walkway over the first part of the swamp, before they have to get into the river. There are 2 guides with the group. One calls the place cubuk mas, because people used to do gold mining there. The cave is now a deserted tin mine and was also a communist hideout according to the graffiti. There are relics from the miners such as a torch and jar. There is a waterfall in the cave and they see a lizard and a tortoise shell. Henry says the cave is the longest he has been in and doesn't understand why people explore caves - he thinks them crazy! They came out into the wang and the show ends.
In episode 7, "Henry flies over to Miri for one sole purpose, and that is to visit some of the most fascinating caves in the world. Mulu Cave is said to have the largest chambers and passages in the world, while Niah is one of Sarawaks smallest national parks, yet both hold very tremendous significance. One of these caves even has paintings on its walls from the Stone Age era. So who knows what else Henry might find."
This was shown on 1 Feb 2012. Henry stayed at the Royal Mulu Resort and made the 1 hour trek with Lawai as guide to the canopy walkway, showing some of the flora and fauna on route. At 480 m long the canopy walkway is the longest tree based walkway in the world. There was a good view of the Southern Hill, home to Deer Cave. He then goes with Kenny to Langs Cave, a prehistoric cave containing bats, stal and jellyfish formations. The cave is well lit. The formations take 100 years to grow 1 sq.cm. Next they go to Deer Cave, the largest cave passage in the world, 100-300+ m high containing 3 million bats. There is guano, fish, spiders and lobsters (!). The went to watch the bat exodus but no bats left the cave that evening. Next day they go by boat to Wind Cave and we are shown scallops and Kings Chamber. Onto Clearwater with 200 steps up to the entrance then more steps down into the cave. We are shown the photokarst. Henry comments he has seen enough caves to last a lifetime.
Zon Aktif, Astro Ria, Channel 4 (TV)
Show Caving. Episode 9. Shown on 23 June 2005
Featured Liz Price in Dark Cave!
Discover Perak started on 22 Aug 2012. Although primarily a food channel it features other attractions. Host Xandria Ooi travels through the majestic landscape, searching for fun activities and tantilising food! The episode on 3 Sept showed Xandria visiting Gua Tempurung, led by Chan Yuen-Li from Nomad Adventures.
History Channel (Astro)
10 Things You Dont Know About Malaysia, 2013
First shown on 16 Sept 2013. "Think you know Malaysia? Think again. Ezra Zaid will take you on a journey to explore and discover the unexpected sides. Uncover new twists behind the historical tales, figures and places you thought you knew."
Radio presenter and publisher Ezra asks the question "where is the highest concentration of cockroaches on the planet". Apparently it is Gomantong Cave. He goes into the cave with Mursid bin Jaani and says the hundreds of thousands of cockroaches are the biggest infestation on the planet. Mursid tells us there is lots of food for them and it is nice and dark and they eat anything that falls to the floor. Bats are guano machines and there are millions in the cave. We see a bat flight [I don't know if this was filmed here or Mulu!]. Bats power the economy, they pollinate durians, and without bats there would be no durians.
Ezra then goes to Krau and talks with Dr Christine Fletcher. She tells us that in 3 sq. km. there are 69 species of bat. It's a high biodiversity area. The bats pollinate durians as they flower at night. Many bat species are endangered, one quarter of those in Krau are on the IUCN Red List.
Produced by Novista.
Local films shot in caves
XX Ray (1994)
XX Ray is a film by Malaysian director Aziz M. Osman. One scene in this drama was filmed in a cave, maybe Niah.
Sifu Dan Tongga (2009)
This fiction action film was partly shot in Gua Kajang in Lenggong. In Malay language. When I visited the cave in Oct 2009 the remains of the bamboo platforms and bamboo torches made from a local palm, etc were still in the cave. A 10 minute clip from YouTube shows some scenes inside the cave. The opening shots show the limestone hills, then the cave parts start at 4 minutes.
The Borneo Incident (2012)
The Borneo Incident is a new film by Maverick-Media. It is a thriller filmed mostly in Borneo, but some scenes were shot at Batu Caves. The film will be released towards the end of 2012. official trailer.
Malaysia's most expensive film, the fantasy-action Vikingdom, was partly shot in Gua Tempurung. KRU Studios latest production, Vikingdom: The Blood Eclipse, premiered on 12 Sept 2013 and is a big-budget fantasy motion picture based on Viking legends. With a budget of RM20 million (including a RM2 million grant given by Finas), Vikingdom is KRU Studios biggest production and the most expensive in the local film industry. The film was shot entirely in the country. Among the locations were Gua Tempurung and Kellies Castle in Perak. A piece on the female star.
However according to the Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog, the film ran into trouble as it "has drawn the ire of Norse scholars and members of the Asatru religion for their action-adventure fantasy Vikingdom. The film portrays Thor, the god of thunder and protector of humankind as an evil god and principal villain of the film, and claims that the story was based on Viking legends and the epic poems (ostensibly advertised as a collision of myth and history!)". Click on the links in the SEAarch blog to read more about this issue. There is more on the Malaysian media. FMT 20 Sept 2013 "A Thor-ny Vikingdom", FMT 23 Sept KRU Studios shoots itself in the foot, and The Star 23 Sept 2013.
will be filmed in Mulu and Niah, starting at the end of 2016, and is a joint Sarawak/China production. See more on Archives 2016.
BFM 89.9 radio
20 July 2011 Programme Segment: Careers Unusual.
Speleologist Hymeir Kamarudin explains his passion for entering caves and limestone hills most of us wouldn't dare to. Hymeir says he works for governments to develop caves and protect limestone areas etc.
25 Oct 2011 I was invited to be a guest on the chat show of the Evening Edition of BFM 89.9 radio, to talk about caves.
Programme Segment: Evening Edition
Liz Price was so enamoured with the caves in Malaysia that she wrote two books about them. Yep, who'd thought you could write two books on caves just in Malaysia? Podcast.
On 3 Dec 2011 the same station, BRM visited Dark Cave at Batu Caves.
I Love KL: The Dark Cave, The Other Batu Caves
I Love KL on the 3rd of December 2011, your connection to the people, places and events of the capital city. We scaled the 272 steps of Batu Caves with nature education officer, Nurul Hidayah as she takes us on a tour into the lesser-known Dark Caves near the temple. podcast.
We were told there are only 20 occupied Liphistius nests. 2 main species of cockroach (!!) - one is the common or Americana. Cave ecosystem been here at least 100 million years as the Liphistius resembles species dating to 200 million years. Nurul also said no major documentaries such as Nat. Geog. had been made in the cave. No more major rockfalls in cave, last one was late 1970s when the quarry was active.
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Page last updated Nov 2016