‘Rajah’ movie a huge disappointment?

Composite photo of (from left) Kahar, Myers and Peter John in two scenes from the film 'Rajah'.

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KUCHING, March 10: A Malaysian magazine writer has called out the recently released ‘Rajah’ film production team, claiming that they had omitted many important historical facts and figures from the movie that resulted in distorting the original storyline and courting criticism from Sarawakians.

Jamie Bush who claimed to be a spokesperson for Sarawakian actors in the film, said the film was supposed to depict the life of Sir James Brooke, the first White Rajah from Brooke dynasty who ruled Sarawak from 1841 to 1868.

Jamie Bush

“‘Rajah’ has turned out to be a huge disappointment as the scriptwriter and the producer have omitted many important historical facts and figures, and purposely deviated from the original storyline.

“Local historians, politicians, well informed and patriotic Sarawakians are of the opinion that the scriptwriter and the producer of the film are utterly ignorant of the history and the sentiment of Sarawakians.

“A very important figure like Pengiran Muda Hashim was not even featured in the film. Sarawak’s important history has been completely distorted in the film,” she said in a statement today.

The writer further alleged that the controversies surrounding the film has caused many VVIPs and important guests from Sarawak to snub the premiere held at The Spring shopping mall here on March 4, and at Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur on March 7.

“The Gala Premiere in Kuala Lumpur has drawn flak because the media coverage did not give credit to Sarawakian actors and the contribution by Sarawak government.

“It is a shame as the film started with good intentions and a beautiful storyline which aimed to be used as a platform to promote tourism in Sarawak. However, it has been hijacked by certain parties who are more interested in serving their own personal and business interests,” she added.

Rajah film poster.

According to Bush, the film is supposedly inspired by the true story of Sir James Brooke and his exploration to discover Borneo, which led him to be appointed as Governor of Sarawak and eventually became the first Rajah of Brooke Dynasty after repelling the rebellion led by a Malay chief Datu Patinggi Ali and his followers in Serembu.

Datu Patinggi Ali, nicknamed “Three Finger Jack” after losing parts of his hand, professed his allegiance to James Brooke and they both became strong allies who fought together in many wars assisted by Orang Kaya Pemancha, the Dayak leader and his warriors against the vicious and brutal pirates.

Local Sarawakian stars, Kahar Jini and Peter John Jaban played the characters of Datu Patinggi Ali and Orang Kaya Pemancha respectively, while Jonathan Ryhs Meyers, an award-winning Hollywood actor played James Brooke. — DayakDaily