Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mr PM, don't be a Racist!!


Controversial May 13 film ‘Tanda Putera’ screened at FELDA meet



KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 ― Over 3,000 FELDA settlers were today shown a surprise preview of the
 “Tanda Putera” film on the May 1969 racial riots, which was indefinitely shelved by Putrajaya last year.
According to online news portal Malaysiakini, the preview was shown during a special gathering of settlers at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here, which was also attended by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The portal reported that the screening had not been included in the itinerary for the gathering, but was unexpectedly played to the audience after a lunch break.
Quoting Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of FELDA Datuk Ahmad Maslan, the portal said the film was screened due to its historical significance.
“So, when else can I gather so many people like this? If we wait till tomorrow it’ll already be the general election,” the Umno information chief reportedly said.
“Tanda Putera” depicts second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and his deputy, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, during the post-May 13 period.
It was produced by Pesona Pictures Sdn Bhd in collaboration with the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS), which provided the financing together with the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC).
Abdul Razak’s eldest son, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is the current prime minister.
Putrajaya had decided last October to put off the public release of the film indefinitely due to its controversial depiction of the events surrounding the bloody racial riots in 1969.
Sources told The Malaysian Insider at the time that the film would only hit the silver screen after the 13th general election, which must be held by June this year.
The Malaysian Insider understands that senior government officials and the Najib administration had not wanted any distractions and potential flashpoints in the run up to the polls, seen as likely to be the most closely-fought electoral battle in history.
The RM4.8 million film, financed with public funds, was first due to be released last September 13 but it was later pushed to November 17.
“There is too much controversy about the film and the authorities have decided on a later release date,” a government source had told The Malaysian Insider last October.
The source added the government had no say in the script although it financed the film, which had caused an uproar over the unflattering portrayal of people based on several opposition leaders.
“Putrajaya just wants to head off a potential problem. The people’s feelings are more important than the film production company,” he said.
A focus group had previewed the film last July while its online trailer received considerable brickbats over some of the scenes depicting May 13.
The film’s director, Shuhaimi Baba, had previously denied claims that the release date for the film was linked to the general election.  Shuhaimi had also denied that “Tanda Putera” was promoting a pro-Malay agenda or that it featured a character based on DAP lawmaker Lim Kit Siang who was portrayed in a negative light in scenes depicting the May 13, 1969 race riots, as suggested by some Umno blogs to the chagrin of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders.
Earlier last year, an administrator of film-makers Pesona Pictures’ Facebook fan page had posted a photograph of Lim being “manhandled”, with a caption asserting it was taken after the opposition leader allegedly urinated on the flagpole in the then-Selangor mentri besar’s residential compound in Kuala Lumpur before the May 13, 1969 riots.
The picture was removed in September 2012 after personal attacks and threats were allegedly made against the cast and crew of “Tanda Putera”


1 comment:

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