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Understanding Asia

What lies at the heart of an Asian country?


The premise is simple - I wanted  a series that talks about the unique DNA of an Asian country.  

Something that would make our viewers say "Hey, that's not true" or "That's so right on the nose!". 

Something like this needed a different approach in commissioning because every person responds to a country differently. 

So I selected six of my unsuspecting executive producers and gave them each a country to look at.

Their job was to select a production house in the respective country that they thought could deliver on the tagline - Understanding Asia

Graffiti scribbled over written Cantonese

I chose Hong Kong as one of the places featured because I could not think of any non-Hong Konger who saw Hong Kong's identity the way I did.

Armed with my  thesis and brief, they duly and gamely picked up the challenge. 

I was prepared to have them come back to tell me - your thesis is pretentious, nobody understands. 

The worst case scenario didn't happen.  

Instead, seven brave production houses from Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Thailand and  China took up the challenge to dive into their own DNA.  

Under the watchful eye of my six equally brave executive producers, we produced an 8-part series, Understanding Asia.


Please email me on what you think of the series.

In this time and age, CONTEXT is critical in understanding a person, a situation and a country.  

I think this series has dived about three and a half inches deeper into the topic.

And there's a lot more we can do.

Tell us, we're all ears.


Understanding Asia is an 8-part series premiering 6 March at 11pm.


Hidayah Ong

Head, News Segment

Series Executive Producer, Understand Asia

heeyah@mediacorp.com.sg