Leftenan Adnan

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Leftenan Adnan
Leftenan Adnan.jpg
Directed by Aziz M. Osman
Written by Aziz M. Osman (screenplay)
Starring Hairie Othman
Umie Aida
Farid Amirul
Faizal Hussein
Rusdi Ramli
Shaharuddin Thamby
Wahid Senario
Rambo Chin
Distributed by Ministry of Defence Malaysia
Royal Malaysian Army
Grand Brilliance Sdn Bhd
Release date
Country Malaysia
Language Malay
Budget RM 2.5 million
Box office RM1,075,697

Leftenan Adnan is a 2000 Malaysian war film directed by Aziz M. Osman and co-produced by both Grand Brilliance Sdn Bhd, Paradigmfilm Sdn Bhd, and the Malaysian Army. The film chronicles the actions of Adnan bin Saidi who had been involved as a Lieutenant of the Malay Regiment fending against the invasion of the Japanese army during the Second World War.


Adnan bin Saidi, a young Malay from Sungai Ramal in Kajang, Selangor who had joined the Malay Regiment of the British Colonial Forces just before the Second World War broke out in Asia. By the time the war broke out, he had been promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant, and was in command of Company C, 1st Battalion, Malay Regiment after the death of the British company commander, Captain H R Rix. His exploits and bravery in combat while leading his men against the Japanese Imperial Army became legendary. The two known engagements he was involved in are:

Both battles occurred during the final phase of the Japanese Imperial Army's assault on the city of Singapore during the Battle of Singapore. He later was executed after the battle.


Historical accuracy[edit]

There are several historical liberties that were taken on the accounts of Adnan for dramatising purposes. The first point was Adnan's famously tragic death - in the film version, his death was not shown explicitly on film and discretely panned out to the closing credits, where it was implied that he and the surviving wounded in his company were tied to trees and bayoneted to death, which would be more correct version and in keeping with similar Japanese practice elsewhere.

This contrasts to the official version as recorded by Japanese Imperial Army, which indicated that he was executed first, then hung upside down from a cherry tree. British accounts have confirmed that his corpse was found hung upside down after the surrender and this has been repeated in a number of authoritative texts on the Malayan campaign. The actual mode of execution was never officially recorded.

In the film, General Tomoyuki Yamashita commented on the lieutenant's bravery and valour before Adnan's execution possibly as a lesson for the Japanese troops and said that if there were ten more soldiers like Adnan in the British Colonial Forces in Malaya at that time, he would have needed ten more divisions to conquer Malaya. However, the official version records that the execution by the Japanese troops in anger for his stubbornness in holding his position and inflicting large casualties on Japanese troops.


The film received criticism for using Malay actors to portray Japanese and English soldiers throughout the film. Furthermore, the original English dialogue as spoken by the actors was voiced over by Malays speaking in halting and strongly accented English suggesting that there was an awkward attempt to alter the dialogue to give a different slant to the situations depicted and to portray the British in an unfavourable light.[citation needed]

External links[edit]