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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

'After Tanda Putera, another bogey spotted in Malay Regiment'



MP SPEAKS | In 2012, on the cusp of the 13th General Elections, Malaysians were presented with a trailer to the movie Tanda Putera.
The trailer, supposedly of a cinematic representation of the relationship between the late Abdul Razak Hussein and his deputy Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, became a farce when I was apparently made a target, alongside a narrative of how I had urinated at the flag pole in the compound of the Selangor menteri besar's residence during the days leading up to the riots of May 13, 1969.
Before the 2008 elections, there was never any mention of me being the person responsible for the May 13th, 1969. After the tsunami of March 8, 2008, the DAP and I were repackaged as a new target to complete a new narrative of how the Chinese and the DAP were the bad guys in the single most dark episode in the history of our nation.
I responded with a series of explanations and clarifications, emphasizing that I was neither in Kuala Lumpur nor was I in any part of any rallies leading up to the riots. If I were, the Special Branch would have had enough evidence to prove me so, and charge me in court. That did not happen.
Five years after Tanda Putera and the efforts of the powers that be to frame the DAP as the culprit behind racial tensions since 1969, a new bogey has been spotted in the form of another cinematic trailer of a movie entitled ‘Malay Regiment’.
I’m told that the movie is about the younger generation seeking knowledge of the sacrifices made by their grandfathers who fought against the Communists in 1976.
A particular scene from the trailer depicts a bespectacled Chinese man, standing next to a car with the registration number ‘DAP165’. The man holds a 2005 satirical book by André de Guillaume entitled “How to Rule the World: A Handbook for the Aspiring Dictator”, while a voice over in Chinese says "We don't need war. We just need to use our brains to rule the economy".
The significance of such registration number being arranged so close together to form a word that is disparaging towards the DAP is only known to the director cum producer of the film. So is the significance of portraying a Chinese man, instead of some other race. I withhold comment on these as the filmmaker who might have his own reservations towards the DAP.
After all, the producer, Jurey Latiff Rosli claims himself to be an avid supporter of Barisan Nasional. He reportedly said the following during a press conference in Finas back in May 2016: “Saya adalah penyokong kuat kerajaan Barisan Nasional(I'm a staunch supporter of the Barisan Nasional government).
Be that as it may, the Communications and Multimedia Minister, Salleh Said Keruak has issued a directive for the scene to be taken out.
The matter was brought to my attention this morning. Upon checking the trailer, I found that the scene was inappropriate and asked for it to be removed,” he says, as reported by Malaysiakini.
I welcome the step taken by Salleh. A film funded by the national coffers with the objective to instil patriotism in the hearts and minds of the young, should not be misused as a political tool to breed hate and contempt towards parties seeking the betterment of the nation, for all regardless of race, religion and region.
Creative license does not justify any means to plant the seeds of racial contempt and prejudice, towards one another belonging to the same land.
A film like Ola Bola, for instance, is a good example of an effort to stoke the spirits of patriotism during the month of August, without having to resort to any display of war and blood to educate a nation on what does it mean to love your country. Who doesn’t love a heartwarming tale of national football?
If war is the theme of the market, then how about taking a leaf out of P Ramlee’s books from a film like Sarjan Hassan, with the memorable speech at the end saying: Memang bangsa kita masih muda dan masih lemah. Harapanku hanyalah, kita sama sebangsa, bersatu padulah hendaknya" (It is true that our race is still young and weak. My only hope is, we, among our race, should be united).
On the verge of the 60th National Day, and counting down to the 14th General Elections, the country must stay united and level headed in order to see the bigger picture of rescuing Malaysia from accelerating towards becoming a failed and rogue state, ruled by kleptocracy and governed by thieves.

We do not need anyone to distort nation loving Malaysians from seeing the clear divide between keeping a kleptocratic government engulfed in a multi-billion dollar global scandal, or choosing a democratic coalition of hope to rescue, renew and repair the nation for the future of children, our grandchildren and the generations to come.
Let our children, and their children's children remember us for rescuing and saving Malaysia from the wretched kleptocratic being that is Umno and BN. Let them remember that when the country calls for it to be saved, we stood up and took action. Let us not be remembered as the generation that brought down Malaysia with hatred and prejudice towards one another.

LIM KIT SIANG is Gelang Patah MP and DAP parliamentary leader. - Mkini

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