Channel NewsAsia

Channel NewsAsia documentary offers deeper insight into Konfrontasi

A special preview of an episode on Channel NewsAsia's documentary Days of Rage was screened on Thursday for school principals and teachers. The documentary covers five key incidents in Singapore's history.

SINGAPORE: A special preview of an episode on Channel NewsAsia's documentary Days of Rage was screened on Thursday for school principals and teachers.

The documentary covers five key incidents in Singapore's history, and the episode screened on Thursday was Konfrontasi, the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation.

To spur more students to be involved in learning history, Channel NewsAsia will put up a S$5,000 prize money for a multi-media competition in schools.

It is currently working with the Education Ministry on this.

From the power politics of Jakarta and the jungles of Borneo to rising tensions in Singapore, the Konfrontasi episode is a journey back into a time of conflict and includes the bombing of MacDonald House in Singapore in 1965.

The series aims to reach out to younger people who may not have witnessed these historical events.

Mak Wai Ling, a history teacher at Raffles Girls’ School, said: "It puts a human face to the person and from the person's point of view, you hear the personal account. I think it's really very touching.

“I'm sure for the students themselves, after listening to the account, they would also feel very touched because it's a life story -- it's about a person, it's not just about words in a textbook anymore, it comes alive."

Nor Hazelin Idayu, a history teacher at Tanjong Katong Secondary School, said: "They (students) don't just read from the textbook but they are able to hear real-life stories and the experience of what these people went through. And the visuals included also give them an idea of the extent of the damage and lives lost."

Putting the episode together required exhaustive research.

Tan Lek Hwa, executive producer for Days of Rage, said: "The challenge was in getting access to the materials. Also because we were trying to get as many perspectives in, so we were pursuing from many fronts.

“We really went round to scout for archive materials all over the world -- including BBC, ITN footage, Indonesia, and dug through all our Singapore archives.”

The final episode of Days of Rage will be aired this Sunday, February 16 at 8pm.

Viewers can watch previous episodes of Days of Rage at the documentary's website.

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