WE are now in the Merdeka month. Looking at the current situation happening in the country, taking some time out to wind down is probably the best thing to do.

Those who could afford to travel can do so to reward themselves while those who could not afford a trip needn’t worry.

You can just spend some quality time at home with your friends and family while enjoying the Merdeka and Malaysia Day special programme on the National Geographic Channel.

FOX International Channels (FIC), through National Geographic Channel (NGC), will laud all things Malaysian with a special Treasures of Malaysia homage from Monday (Aug 17).

Taking the form of 12 special documentaries over 11 days, the tribute will feature the natural and man-made wonders of this blessed nation, as well as her astounding development over a little more than half a century.

Kicking off the month-long special Treasures of Malaysia programme is the story of Malaysia’s journey growing from strength to strength in Malaysia: Through the Decades featuring notable personalities including local icons such as Dato’ Mohammad Nor Khalid @ Lat, Siti Nurhaliza and Yuna.

The tribute will also see the premiere of Megastructures: MRT Malaysia Urban Diggerson August 31. The documentary takes an in-depth look beneath the heart of Kuala Lumpur, where the process of digging and building almost 20 kilometres of tunnels for the city’s new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project takes place.

Viewers will be able to watch the intricacies of the MRT project in some of the ‘Treasures of Malaysia’ documentaries.– Pic from National Geographic Channel

According to Marketing Director of FOX International Channels, Penny Tan, viewers will be able to catch more on how the innovative Variable Density Tunnel Boring Machine was called upon to overcome underground challenges in constructing key components of Malaysia’s new urban transport system.

“National Geographic Channel wants to celebrate Malaysia by paying tribute to this truly beautiful and growing country through programmes that truly highlights Malaysian wonders — from natural to man-made landscapes, to key personalities and mega-monuments.” Said Tan when speaking about Treasures of Malaysia at the Megastructures: Malaysia MRT Urban Diggers media event earlier today.

Playing a big role recording, capturing the beautiful essence and narrating the real tale of building megastructures in Malaysia, Novista Sdn Bhd, a leading documentary maker, involved in making three of the Treasures of Malaysia documentaries .

“We’re fortunate to be involved in this project. We have been shooting around the clock for almost 400 hours in recording every detail of the constructions in this three years of amazing journey.

“The experience and challenges were vast and humbling. Beyond those challenges, being able to film the behind-the-scenes of this massive project, really gives a whole new view on Malaysia’s technological wonders.” said Director of Novista Sdn Bhd, Harun Rahman.

“It is exciting to have the opportunity to literally watch our own Malaysian engineers grows and champion this megastructure project.

“We were involved in the making of Smart Tunnel before. We remember seeing some of the engineers who were so young back then and they were in their junior positions. But this time around when we’re back for the MRT project, they all have grown up and become leaders now.

“This is the story of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. I understand that many of us living in Kuala Lumpur have many grouses because of the constructions happening on the ground. I hope by watching this 45-minutes documentary on building the MRT, the people of Kuala Lumpur would finally appreciates the amount of risk these people take every day so that we all could have a less stressful day on the road in the future.” Said Novista Sdn Bhd Producer, Lara Ariffin.

Lara Ariffin (left) and Harun Rahman explained the significance of the programmes made by their production company.– TRP pic by Arif Kartono

Megastructures: Malaysia MRT Urban Diggers will be accompanied by similarly in-depth documentaries into other Malaysian man-made marvels through-out the eleven days, such as Megastuctures: Second Penang Bridge, Megastructures: Smart Tunnel, and Megastuctures: Petronas Towers.

Nature lovers will not want to miss having a closer look at our nation’s vast and beautiful landscape through the eyes of renowned British journalist Nick Baker in Nick Baker’s Eco Malaysia and he returns to explore Borneo’s delights with Exploring Malaysia: Nick Baker.

You may not want to miss to watch singer-songwriter Nick Saxon gets a dosage of Kelantanese culture in Exploring Malaysia: Nick Saxon.

Viewers can also take a look at Malaysia’s legendary rainforests with Malaysian Journey with Jason Scott Lee: Rainforests.

All programmes under the Treasures of Malaysia showcase will air on National Geographic Channel (Astro Channel 553) at 8pm on their respective scheduled dates.

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