Axiata and Celcom uncover lesser known story behind Negaraku

Axiata Group and Celcom Axiata have launched a film titled “Getaran Pertama” ahead of Merdeka Day, which chronicles the search for the first choir to sing the national anthem of the soon-to-be independent Malaya. Partnering with creative agency M&C Saatchi, Axiata and Celcom embarked on a journey to uncover one of the lesser known stories behind the national anthem.

The film follows the adventure of Ahmad Merican, the music supervisor of Radio Malaya and his good friend, music teacher and conductor, Tony Fonseka as they take on the task to fulfill Tunku Abdul Rahman’s wish of seeing everyday Malayans – regardless of race, creed and background – uniting as one voice to herald the birth of the new nation.

The film is followed by a special encore performance of “Negaraku”, conducted by the late Fonseka. This was made possible through deep learning modules that analysed pictures of the conductor, which were then used to map out his facial features in order to render a true-to-life virtual likeness via mixed reality technology.

The tale surrounding the first choir to sing “Negaraku” is brought to life with the help of both the Merican and Fonseka families. First-hand accounts about the choir were gained through interviews and personal anecdotes shared by Tan Sri Ahmad Merican as well as the sons and daughter of the late Fonseka. Treasured family photographs also served as inspirations, while historical locations like the Tunku Abdul Rahman Memorial became iconic settings that added to the richness of the story.

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