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Ready to Relive the Past? Here are 10 Nostalgic Shows for M’sians Who Grew Up in the 2000s

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2 decades ago (yes, DECADES) it was 2003… Feel old yet?
We’re taking you back to a time when the iconic phrase “why should we buy the gold disc and not the purple disc?” was first made known to all Malaysian home movie watchers.
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For many of us growing up in Malaysia during the mid 90s to 200s, nothing quite compares to the shows that filled our family TV screens during those formative years.
And while time has marched on, there’s no denying the power of nostalgia that can transport us back to those simpler days. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 beloved shows from the early 2000s that are sure to bring back fond memories for anyone who grew up in Malaysia during that era.
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So, sit back, relax, and get ready to relive the past with these classic programs.

1.Phua Chu Kang

Curly hair, one huge face mole, yellow construction boots and a very looong pinky nail were all the physical traits of iconic Ah Beng character, Phua Chu Kang.

Our list would not be complete without mentioning this legendary Singaporean sitcom starring Gurmit Singh as a wealthy (but cheapskate) contractor that is said to be the “best in Singapore, JB, and some say Batam”.

 

This show aired in 1997 till 2009 on NTV7 and showcased many of the Phua family’s hilarious antics. Now, the show is long over but you can still catch some laughs from it’s episodes on Netflix!

 

2. Kacang

If you thought this show was a fever dream then no, it’s an actual Malaysian show centering different types of kacang (beans or nuts) living their lives under one roof just like us humans.

This series has been shown on RTM1 usually at 7pm back in the day and loved by many kids for the bizarre concept as well as catchy opening song.

 

3. Masquarade, Kasou Taishou

On to another whacky but entertaining show is Japan’s Masquerade costume competition or better known as “Kasou Taishou” that first aired in 1979 and then later on debuted on South East Asian TV in the 200s.

The live show features creative performances that play on optical illusions to win points from the audience. Participants of the performances can range from children to the elderly and can either come in large groups or less.

If you haven’t heard of this one then it’s time to get acquainted, especially if you’re looking for some hilarious yet creative content to binge on. You can find episodes of “Kasou Taishou” on Netflix!

 

4. Bawang Merah, Bawang Putih

You probably learned some Bahasa Indonesia from this iconic sinteron (soap opera).

“Bawang Merah, Bawang Putih” was extremely popular especially for Malay speakers at the time. The show aired in Malaysia around 2006 on TV3 and had a whopping 108 episodes FILLED with plot twists and lots of zooming in edits for shock factor (truly a classic soap opera/sinetron trademark).

Shocked Bawangmerah

Based on an Indonesian folktale of sisters (yes one of them is “evil”) it stars Revalina S. Temat as Alya/Bawang Putih and Nia Ramadhani as Siska/Bawang Merah.

 

5. Gerak Khas

Legendary “Gerak Khas” (Special Forces) first debuted in 1999 and depicted a more fictional angle of the Special Forces unit of the Royal Malaysian Police in combating major crimes like murders, drug trafficking, money laundering, as well as terrorist attacks.

This show has a pretty catchy opening song as well. It’s one of the longest running primetime dramas in Malaysia and had 1504 episodes till it ended in 2021.

 

6. Senario

Of course, “Senario” had to make the list! This sketch comedy show aired on TV3 from 1993 to 2006, and was popular for it’s hilarious acting, musical numbers and often candid humor.

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Most of the cast members like Saiful Apek and Azlee Jaafar are locally renowned for their performances in the show even to this day!

 

7. Under One Roof

Before even Phua Chu Kang became a show, there was iconic “Under One Roof” starring Moses Lim as Tan Ah Teck, a hilarious father of the big Tan family.

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This show aired in 1994 and rose to popularity for showcasing a multi-generational Tan family and their daily struggles, witty humour and adventures that showcased much of Singapore’s culture, making it a relatable and much beloved classic.

 

8. Spanar Jaya

Barisan Pelakon Spanar Jaya

Popular Malaysian sitcom “Spanar Jaya” aired 1998 and stars Zainal Ariffin, as Pak Selamat, a small-business owner who’s trying to make it big with his auto repair shop. Perhaps it’s safe to say this is the Malay version of Phua Chu Kang…

This comedy show also follows the stories of love, friendship, and conflicts of Pak Selamat’s family and employees at the store.

 

9. Jangan Ketawa

Being the first platform for Malaysians to get to know Harith Iskander during his initial appearance, he and the late Linda Chong produced Jangan Ketawa in 1991.

Adegan Sitkom Jangan Ketawa

This comedy show aired on TV3 and was praised for its trailblazing diverse cast as well as aptly capturing Malaysian culture. “Jangan Ketawa’s” humour was sassy and not for the faint hearted!

 

10. Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu

Last on our list is the hilarious Malaysian sitcom from the 80s, “Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu” that follows the lives of residents in Flat Seri Wangi.

 

The show was widely popular on TV3 and was first broadcasted in 1983 with a stellar cast consisting of  the late Zami Ismail, Wan Maimunah, Khatijah Tan, Sabri Yunus, Sulaiman Yassin, Datin Marlia Musa and Angeline Tan.

This show ran for 17 seasons with 1,210 episodes and was later on adapted into a musical in 2006. We Malaysians really love humour!

And that marks the end of our list of comforting and classic shows that aired back when the sound of loud dial-up modems was still a thing and streaming platforms were not. 

What do you think of our list? Did we miss out on any other shows? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Also Read: 7 Things You’ll Only Find In Your Grandparents’ Home That Will Make Any M’sian Feel Nostalgic

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