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Thread: Can we trust UMNO: Using Tanda Putera to play up divide-and-rule tactics

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Can we trust UMNO: Using Tanda Putera to play up divide-and-rule tactics

    No Tanda Putera in Penang GSC

    G Lavendran

    August 29, 2013

    The Penang government clarifies it only requested cinemas not to screen the controversial movie, and Golden Screen Cinemas has complied by not showing the film in the state.

    PETALING JAYA: Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) has decided to comply with the request from the Penang government not to screen the controversial movie Tanda Putera in state.

    “We will refund patrons who have the bought tickets from 5pm onwards today during cinema operating hours,” it said in a statement today.

    The movie is also not listed as showing in Penang in GSC’s website.

    Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng meanwhile clarified today that there was no ban on the movie in the state but only an advisory issued to cinemas not to screen the film.

    The movie re-enacts the racial clash on May 13, 1969, that has brought about much animosity among Malaysians.

    “This advisory is issued to cinema operators to highlight to the public the dangerous lies in the film that can only threaten and tear the fabric of national and racial unity in the country,” said Lim.

    Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek had condemned the Penang government yesterday for placing a ban on the movie without watching it first.

    However, Lim said the news on the ban of the movie in the media was miscommunicated, as the state government had only issued an advisory.

    “Both local councils, the Penang Municipal Council and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council will not punish cinema operators in Penang for screening the film,” he added.

    Lim said the state government issued an advisory because the film had crossed a red line in using public funds to propagate lies that promoted hatred instead of racial harmony.

    “Tanda Putera was produced at a cost of RM4.8 million provided by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) and the Multimedia Development Corporation (Mdec).

    “The federal government’s sponsorship of the film can only be seen as a full official endorsement, including fictitious scenes which the director admits are untrue,” he said.

    “This advisory is all the state government can do to strongly object against a film that provokes racist sentiments and embodies racial hatred,” he added.

    “Let us show that Malaysia has the capacity to be the best it could be regardless of race or religion,” said Lim.

    Yesterday, Tanda Putera director Shuhaimi Baba was quoted in an online news portal as warning Penang cinema operators who failed to screen her movie.

    “As far as we are concerned the screening should go on as scheduled by FINAS Wajib Tayang Committee.

    “If the cinema operators do not screen the film as scheduled, their licences can be revoked by FINAS,” she was quoted as saying.

    The movie was supposed to have been aired last year but was postponed three times following protests against several scenes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Boycott Tanda Putera

    August 29, 2013

    After the general election, the government seems intent on polarising our society further by communalising issues. Tanda Putera seems to be set in this trend.

    By Kua Kia Soong

    I do not intend to pay to watch Tanda Putera since the government has already used part of our money to sponsor this film which seems intent on spreading untruths and enhancing polarisation instead of promoting truth and reconciliation.

    My response to the film is based on published reviews of the film on the online press.

    Who orchestrated the May 13 pogrom?

    From the reviews of the film, the Chinese are depicted as the aggressors, insensitive to the extent of urinating on a flag pole outside the residence of the then state menteri besar Harun Idris, hurting the feelings of Malays and thus triggering the May 13 race riots.

    The communists are also portrayed as having a hand in the troubles.

    I am surprised that in spite of my having produced references in my 2007 title, the director insists on putting the blame on the communists:
    “…as late as May 29 (the Tunku) was still voicing his conviction that communists had been behind the trouble… But on the same day, Tun Dr Ismail was admitting that he had been wrong to ascribe the riots to the communists, and during the New Zealand Defence Minister’s visit on May 30 and 31, the Tunku admitted that the earlier accusations had been incorrect. Three days later, Tan Sri Ghazali followed suit…” (Kua Kia Soong, May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian riots of 1969, 2007:51)

    This can be easily corroborated by checking up on all the official wires on the dates I have quoted, a standard practice of any respectable scholar.

    This film maker does not bother with such basic SOP of research. She (the director) is more interested in the “creative licence” (sic) to orchestrate the scene of the Chinese youth urinating on the flagpole outside the Selangor menteri besar’s residence.

    After the 13th general election, the government seems intent on polarising our society further by communalising issues. It’s payback time, as some observers have also pointed out. Tanda Putera seems to be set in this trend.

    Boycott the film

    A government that is concerned about national rejuvenation would not shrink from setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to lay bare the truth once and for all without fear of retribution.

    The new deputy ministers from the NGOs, Paul Low and P Waythamoorthy should call for transparency by declassifying all documents on the May 13 incident.

    Let us also honour the victims by uncovering the names of all those who died or suffered injuries during that dark episode in our history.
    For a start, truth seeking Malaysians should boycott the film.

    We also call upon Finas (National Film Development Corporation) to justify to all taxpayers why their money should be used to spread untruths which are costly to national reconciliation.

    Kua Kia Soong is Suaram advisor.

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