Layar Liar (Animal, Places, People)
Sponsored by Yayasan Sime Darby
Ask Malaysian children what animals live in our jungles and don’t be surprised by some of the answers – Zebra, Lion or Giraffes, as these are the animals so often seen on their electrical devices or on television.
There are hardly any books or online sites that you can learn about Malaysian animals especially in the Malay language and in a format that is attractive and interesting.
The importance of education and awareness of biodiversity in sustaining life on earth is even more crucial now with the current levels of species extinction.
From the only Great Ape of Asia to the smallest bear species in the world, Fauna Layar Liar will showcase fascinating animals that live in our Malaysian rainforest and interesting facts about them.
Many Malaysians have not been or explored some of the most beautiful natural locations in Malaysia. In Alam Layar Liar, you can explore our amazing country without leaving your home.
Many Malaysians are involved in learning, protecting and showcasing Malaysia’s flora and fauna and Hero Layar Liar will feature these amazing individuals so they will inspire the younger generation to continue protecting Malaysia’s natural treasures.
- Clouded Leopard
Uses its tail to balance
We discover the magnificent Clouded Leopard named after distinctive clouds on its coat. It has an exceptionally long tail that helps it to balance while moving in trees.
- Taman Negara
Malaysia’s oldest National Park
We will reveal the oldest protected area in Malaysia – Taman Negara which is located in the states of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. We will showcase two elements that make it so special – its river systems and limestone outcrops.
- Adam Hogg, Young Naturalist & Photographer
A young storyteller
Only 14, Adam Hogg has been taking wildlife photographs for as long as he can remember. He spends lots of his free time with his dad photographing the wildlife around their home in Fraser’s Hill. He has been a finalist for his photographs for BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
- Cameron Highlands Mossy Forest
An enchanted forest
We will reveal an enchanted forest where thick moss hugs tree trunks from the top to the ground, complete with gnarly roots covered with lichens, ferns, and orchids. This montane forest is also home to a variety of pitcher plants.
- Malayan Tiger
Stripes are like fingerprints
We will focus on how each tiger is identified by its stripes. Just like our fingerprints, no two tigers are alike. We will also share the results from the National Tiger Survey which has identified that there are less than 150 tigers in the wild.
- Shah Redza, Wildlife Ranger
Protecting Malaysia’s biodiversity
We will look at what it takes to become a ranger – the challenges they face when going on 10-12 day treks to look for snares in anti-poaching patrols.
- Asian Elephant
Has a female leader
We will look at how Asian elephants travel. Most of the time, they are seen in herds of five to twenty animals usually led by one older female. Elephants can travel long distances in search of food and water and need large, connected forests to survive.
We are catching a glimpse on what orangutans eat. How the only great ape in Asia has excellent memory and is able to locate fruiting trees and come back to the same tree time and time again to feed.
- Dr Zubaidah, Wildlife Veterinarian
Science at her fingertips
We will feature a day in the life of Dr. Zubaidah – a veterinarian at the National Wildlife Rescue Centre, especially treating wildlife that are injured due to conflict with humans.
- Silver-leaf Monkey
We will look at the Silver-leaf Monkey’s home in the canopy where they live as a family group. We discover how the babies are born with bright orange fur and how its colour will transform to silver before their first birthday.
- Peter Ong, Wildlife Photographer
A visual storyteller
We look at what it takes to be a wildlife photographer and why photographs are important in being able to get messages across. Peter Ong talks about Project Monyet – where he documented the primate species in Malaysia to spread awareness on their plight.
- Royal Belum
An ancient rainforest
In the north of Peninsular Malaysia in Perak, we will share how this area was transformed when a hydro-electric dam was built in the 1970s and created a massive lake that is now the access into the park. We will feature some amazing locations in the park and flora including the rafflesia.
- Sungai Kinabatangan
River of life
This is the best place to see wildlife in Malaysia – from orangutans to the Proboscis monkeys and the Pygmy elephants. The longest river in Sabah – the Kinabatangan, faces many conservation issues but many NGOs are actively protecting and contributing to the area.
- Frankie, Wildlife DNA Forensic Analyst
Dissecting wildlife DNA
We catch glimpses of Frankie from the Wildlife Department – a DNA forensic analyst and how this technology helps especially in wildlife enforcement efforts.
- Proboscis Monkey
Only found in Borneo
We will feature the Proboscis Monkey which is only found in Borneo. It never strays far from the island’s rivers, coastal mangroves and swamps. The male has a big nose and is an effective sound booster when he calls out.
- Horng (Pelindung), Monitoring Wildlife
In this episode, we meet Horng and his team at Pelindung and look at his efforts to count tigers for the National Tiger Survey.
- Kuala Selangor Nature Park
Important mangrove ecosystem
The Kuala Selangor Nature Park is one of the important conservation areas for coastal and riverine mangroves. It is also one of the major routes for migratory birds travelling along the East – Asian Australasian flyway.
We will discover that the colugo is perfectly camouflaged against the tree bark. Mostly nocturnal, their large eyes give them good night vision to search for food which consists mainly of fruits and flowers. We discover how the baby clings to its mother and goes wherever she goes.
- Dome Nikong, Self-taught Botanist
Searching for gems in the forest
Dome Nikong is a self- taught botanist – he takes researchers on field expeditions. He has amazingly sharp eyes and is able to find the Thismia in the jungles of Terengganu. Several plants species have been named after him.
- The Habitat Penang
The rainforest canopy
Located at Penang Hill, The Habitat provides a perspective of the rainforest from a height of 20-40 metres from the canopy walkway. This episode will bring viewers to explore the unique flora and fauna from this perspective.
Metal eating roly-poly
This film showcases the millipede – a terrestrial crustacean that looks just like an insect. When threatened, it rolls itself into a perfectly shaped ball. This roly-poly is important to the environment as it is able to take in heavy metals such as copper, zinc and lead and then crystallize them in their bodies.
- Khairul, Jahai Photographer
Telling stories of the Jahai
Khairul is from the Jahai community of Royal Belum – intends to tell stories of his people and the beauty of his ‘backyard’ through photography and documentary filmmaking.
- Yellow-throated Marten
Communicate with smell
Highlights one of the cutest mammals found in the rainforest – the Yellow-throated Marten and its graceful bounding movements on the ground and in trees. Found all over Asia, they are often solitary or in pairs and communicate by leaving scent markings.
- Taman Tugu
Rainforest in the city
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur – Taman Tugu provides a soothing natural refuge for city-dwellers. This episode will uncover the hidden gems of Taman Tugu, featuring a unique array of flora and fauna found there.
- Dr. Dzaeman (TRCRC), Conserving Endangered Trees
Seeking winged fruits
To replant degraded areas of land with rare and endangered trees, you first need to find seeds. We will follow Dr. Dzaeman and his team from Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Centre (TRCRC) to search for flowering trees and to obtain the fruits to germinate the seeds for future trees.
Oldest deer species
This film highlights the oldest known deer species which has been around for at least 12,000 years – the muntjac. We discover that they have peculiar horns that can reach up to 15 cm in length and having only one branch. This omnivorous species is sometimes called the barking deer.
- Fraser’s Hill
A highland paradise with more than 250 bird species, Fraser’s Hill consists of seven hills. It is near the centre of a main ‘flyway’ – or route taken by birds which migrate annually to the Malaysian region in order to escape the winter of northern Asia.
- Dr. Ravin, Hornbill Experts
Providing homes for hornbills
Dr. Ravin has spent many years researching and observing hornbills. One of her more significant and exciting efforts includes providing artificial nest box for hornbills.
- Slow Loris
We will discover the slow loris – a primate with incredibly strong hands and feet. These cute critters are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and are active at night. They have extra-large eyes that help them see in the dark.
- Puji (Sahabat Hutan Bakau Kuala Gula), Community-based
Community efforts to save mangrove Here we see the efforts of Puji and her community, the Sahabat Hutan Bakau Kuala Gula to start up a nursery for mangrove seedlings, how the community is involved in replanting and promoting sustainable livelihoods through involvement in cottage industries.
- Sun Bear
We discover the smallest bear in the world and how it got its name from the golden crescent or U-shaped golden patch on its chest. The sun bear is critical to the health of the forest as they help disperse seeds and keep termite populations down. They dig for food on the earth, which improves the condition of the soil.
- Ulu Muda
Important water catchment area
Located in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia – Ulu Muda is an important water catchment area for the northern states. It also boasts magnificent arrays of biodiversity – from megafauna to unique flora with Thai-Burmese elements.
- Cosmas Ngau, Breeding Pangolin
Protecting one of the most trafficked wildlife
Cosmas Ngau led the Wildlife Department’s pangolin breeding programme. Viewers are taken to witness exclusive insight on the process and how this might help the decline of pangolins population in the wild by returning them to the rainforest.
A fish that can walk on land
We discover a fish that walks on land – the mudskipper. Living on mud flats, they are unique as they can breathe air. The mudskipper carries tanks of water in its gill chambers which enlarge. They can also breathe through its wet skin.
- Langkawi Geopark
A journey back in time
The Langkawi archipelago has some of the oldest geological history – from 540 million to 250 million years ago and has undergone various geological processes resulting in numerous types of sedimentary rocks.
- Cattle Egret
Changes colour when mating
We will see what happens when it’s mating time for the Cattle Egret which is found all over the world. We discover how they change the colour of their feathers and beak during the mating season.
- Dr. Ee Phin, Elephant Specialist
Friend to gentle giants
We meet Dr. Wong Ee Phin and her team at Management & Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME), and she shares with us why elephants play such an important role and why they must be protected.
- Kinta Valley
Magnificent limestone hills
Kinta Valley is home to more than 60 limestone hills. We will bring viewers to explore this unique ecosystem and understanding the intricate rock formation formed in time.
- Wild Boar
Love having mud baths during a sunny day
We will learn that although people perceive wild boar as ‘pests’ as it tends to destroy crops – it actually plays an important role to balance the forest ecosystem. Wild boars travel in big groups and are a highly social wildlife. During sunny days especially, they love to have a mud bath to cool themselves down.
- Dr. Sheema, Fruit Bats Expert
Understanding fruit bats importance
Dr. Sheema and the Project Pteropus team has significantly done research on fruit bats and its importance in the ecosystem. Dr. Sheema also believes in educating the public on the role of fruit bats.
Birds that mate for life
We are getting glimpses into the life of hornbills – a majestic bird species that uniquely only mates for life. Both the male and female hornbills have interesting courting behavior, and they work together to take care of their chick until it become independent.
- Nagarajan Rengasamy, Protecting Mangrove Ecosystem
We look at mangroves and their importance as an ecosystem with Raj from Global Environment Centre (GEC).
- Malayan Tapir
Biggest tapir species in the world
We will learn about Malayan Tapir’s behaviors in the rainforest – how it uses it snout, its role as an important seed disperser and why it is one of the protected wildlife species as it is prone to be a victim of roadkill.
- Dr. Wong, Rehabilitating Sun Bear
Saving sun bear
Dr. Wong from the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) shares the importance of rehabilitating saved sun bears that have become victims of poaching and other wildlife crimes and how they can be returned back to the rainforest.
- Othman Ayeb, Snake Rescuer
Looking for slithering animals
We meet Othman Ayeb, an expert nature guide in Langkawi. Othman also helps to rescue snake and releases it back into the wild. He is also passionate in educating the public on why snakes are important to our ecosystem.
- Setiu Wetlands
This is the largest natural wetlands in the East Coast region of Peninsular Malaysia that has various ecosystems including a 14 kilometres lagoon. The Setiu Wetlands not only provide a great array of services, such as flood control, erosion mitigation, nursery for juvenile marine fishes and provide traditional livelihoods for the population in the area, but they also support a rich biodiversity.
- Black Panther
A ‘leopard’ with excess melanin
In this episode, we will learn about the uniqueness of the Black Panther – a species of leopard with excess melanin, causing it to have a fully black coloured fur. But if we look closely, we are able to observe Black Panther’s unique spots that resembles a leopard.
- Kuala Gula
Migration pit stop
We will reveal the mangroves of Kuala Gula – where 200,000 birds make a brief stop during the migration season between August and April every year. We will also discover how mangroves thrive in salty, coastal waters, and their ability to store vast amounts of carbon make them key weapons in the fight against climate change.
The elusive pack of wild dogs
We will learn about Dhole – an elusive wild dog species that travels in packs and is highly sociable with one another. This animal has a distinct reddish-brown body fur with a narrow snout and pointy ears – resembling a fox.
- Siti Norralakmam, Replanting Efforts within estates
Conserving rare and endangered trees
We will follow Siti to replant rare and endangered trees within Sime Darby estates. The film will showcase Sime Darby’s efforts to conserve Malaysia’s endangered flora.
- Kenyir State Park
Haven for unique flora and fauna
Kenyir State Park is part of a major corridor under the Central Forest Spine initiative that is critical in reconnecting forest areas in Peninsular Malaysia to enable the movement of wildlife such as elephants and tigers.
- Sumatran Rhino
The extinction of a gentle giant
We revisit a unique species that sadly faced extinction in Malaysia – the Sumatran rhino. This gentle giant is continuously under threat for generations for its horns and although breeding effort was carried out, the last Sumatran rhinoceros tragically died in 2019 – marking the extinction of a species in Malaysia.
About the Artiste / Group
Layar Liar is a 52-episode online documentary series in Bahasa Malaysia about Malaysia’s wildlife, its natural locations and the people working in these environments to save them.
Layar Liar is a resource bank of films, it is a platform of knowledge that will be easily accessible to all Malaysians especially school children to create awareness on Malaysia’s rich natural heritage.
Their aim is to create a love for our animals and the forests and to inspire young Malaysians to protect them.
“To know is to love, to love is to protect”
Director: Harun Rahman
Producer: Lara Ariffin