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The Book of the Howlings of Ming, Seeker After Arcane and Esoteric Truths
Human Weapon - what a crock! 
22nd-Jan-2010 08:44 pm
Wong Fei Hung
Just turned on the TV and Human Weapon was on, with an episode on Silat, the traditional Malay martial art. Now, I've never been especially taken with this programme but the background segment was a utter load of crap. It stated that, during the Malay uprising against the British in the 50s, prospective guerillas had to prove their skills at Silat and that, eventually, after 12 years, they expelled the British.

Exciting story. Alas:
  1. Silat is a Malay art. The Communist insurgency was almost exclusively Chinese i.e. not a lot of Silat practitioners among them
  2. The British weren't actually expelled - they installed a friendly government, gradually handed over power while suppressing the insurgency and granting independence to the government which has remained in power to this day
  3. The footage shown was of large numbers of soldiers in American-style equipment i.e. like no images of CPM guerillas I've ever seen

but, aside from that...

So, the first episode I catch where I do know some of the historical background proves to be a load of bollocks. Makes me wonder how accurate the others are! Still, why let the truth get in the way of making an exciting "documentary"? Well, at least the Silat practitioners looked like they were having fun giving the mat salleh presenters a good shoeing.
22nd-Jan-2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Heh. I'll have to tell my dad to seek out a rerun for a good laugh...
23rd-Jan-2010 12:22 pm (UTC)
I did indeed catch a rerun (I'd missed the first few minutes originally) and it gets better. They mention they're starting in Malaysia on 31 August, Independence Day, a day "thousands of Silat warriors died for"! Only, of course, they didn't...

I suppose all that guff sounds more exciting than "Silat is an interesting local martial art which has been on relatively little historical significance for the last few centuries"...
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