May 13 film: ‘Govt’s fear-mongering tool’

August 8, 2012 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Anisah Shukry | August 8, 2012

Analysts say that that the upcoming film’s depiction of the May 13 riots will spark unhappiness among the public and can be seen as a move to cow Malay voters.

PETALING JAYA: The government-backed film Tanda Putera is Barisan Nasional’s way of instilling fear into the hearts of the rakyat during the run-up to the country’s 13th general election, according to a political analyst.

The film was originally slated for release on Sept 13 but was now expected to reach cinemas in November following controversy over its depiction of the May 13, 1969 riots – an incident largely seen as a stain on Malaysia’s multiracial history.

“There are definitely political motives behind the movie, in terms of it being released near the general election,” political analyst Ong Kian Ming told FMT.

“One of the primary reasons for the release of the movie is that it is part of a larger picture involving fear-mongering – to create a sense of fear among the Malay community that if BN was to lose the next general election, it would lead to a repeat of the May 13 incident,” he said.

The race riots four decades ago had been sparked off by an election setback for the Malay-dominated ruling alliance. The riots lasted several weeks, with the death toll said to be 196.

But the USCI University lecturer stressed that Malaysians had largely moved on from the incident and it would have little impact on urban voters in particular.

“In the urban areas, voters are more sophisticated, so the affect would not be big.

“But once the movie filters down to rural voters, there would be greater political impact as they have less sources of information to turn to,” he said.

The rural vote, comprising mainly of Malays, was largely seen as Umno’s stronghold and a major variable in winning the next general election.

BN had managed to remain in power during the 2008 general election due to winning the many small rural parliamentary seats that made up the numbers in Parliament.

‘Malaysians unhappy over film’

Meanwhile, James Chin, who heads the School of Social Sciences in Monash University, predicted that many Malaysians would be “very unhappy” with the film due to its depiction of the riots.

“A lot of people would be very unhappy with this movie, given that it would an represent official version of events,” the analyst told FMT.

“This movie is sponsored by the government, so people would make the assumption that the authorities have approved the contents and that it represents official history,” he pointed out.

The film’s director, Shuhaimi Baba, had recently told New Straits Times that she did “a lot of research” to make sure the scenes were backed by historical facts.

She added that the film’s intention was to “educate young Malaysians about 1969.”

“But in Malaysia, contemporary history is much disputed for the simple reason that there are two sides to a historical event. This is especially true for controversial events such as the May 13 incident,” said Chin.

The official government view on May 13 was that racial tensions were incited by communists, while the Chinese-dominated DAP further heightened the conflict by holding a victory march through Malay-dominated areas after gaining in the May 10 1969 elections.

But opponents to the interpretation claimed that a Malay elite led by then deputy premier Abdul Razak Hussein orchestrated the unrest as a pretext to cement Malay control.

Abdul Razak, who is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s father, became the nation’s second prime minister in the aftermath of the riots.

‘Film may backfire on BN’

Meanwhile, Ong also said that the film could potentially cost the ruling government precious votes if its depiction of Malaysian history was clearly slanted towards one party.

“If the movie is seen as blatantly one-sided, and they only show propaganda and the film itself is historically inaccurate, then it can easily backfire, especially among the non-Malays,” he said.

Lending credence to Ong’s view was the response the film had received from cyber citizens.

A Facebook page calling for the boycott of the film was also set up last month under the name “We boycott ‘Tanda Putera’ for being a political puppet of BN.”

The film’s trailer, which was available on YouTube, had received 4,541 “dislikes” compared to 491 “likes” as of today.

Ong said if the government was truly serious about the May 13 issue, it should organise a dialogue rather than allow the film to be released and create fear among the public.

“The government should have made a more concerted effort for a dialogue, where all stakeholders and those affected by the tragedy are allowed to voice their thoughts,” he added.

Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:17

A MUST-NOT-SEE FILM: Tanda Putera – Umno-BN’s May 13 propaganda

Written by  Mathias Gomes, Malaysia Chronicle

Whatever excuses given by Suhaimi Baba for her controversial film Tanda Putera, which has a release date slated for 13th September 2012 according to the trailers already shown, will not be accepted or be perceived as being offered in good faith by the people.

Why –  because she is depicting the horror of May 13th 1969, a day of bloody racial riots that Malaysians of all walks of life want to forget and let go in exchange for a much-anticipated and awaited new era of change in Malaysia.

Cynicism and further erosion of credibility

This film from an award winning director and its timing at a very crucial time – just before the next General Elections – has sparked great anger and suspicion from the non-Malays. And from the Malays, there is also widespread and fed-up cynicism that Umno is up to its usual crude ‘kampung’ tricks.

Based on the results of the 2008 elections, a huge percentage of the country’s multiracial electorate have deserted Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional, with the Chinese topping the list. It looks like another greater tsunami will sweep through the 13th general election that some say could take place as early as next month thanks to this film by Suhaimi.

To political pundits, it is clear that this film has been distorted to show that the Chinese started the whole thing and to remind the Malays to be wary of the Chinese. This could be a political ploy to incite hate against the Chinese and to make the Malays who are aligned to PAS and PKR to come back in droves to support UMNO and BN again.

Blockbuster lies to ‘kacau’ the people

Did the film’s director really wanted to do this film to depict the friendship between Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Dr Ismail or it was an excuse to show May 13 tragedy in a twisted light to ‘bodek’ (pander to) the current powers that be. Clearly, her aim is not to foster good ties amongst the people, she seems to want to ‘kacau’ or disturb them.

By now, after the mountain of conspiracies churned out by Umno and BN – from Sodomy I to Sodomy II to Datuk T and now to DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang urinating on a flag post – anything is possible in Bolehland, the world of make-believe anything-goes political tactics and shenanigans created by former premier Mahathir Mohamad and now being perpetuated by Najib.

The euphoria of blockbuster lies can be seen everywhere from posters, banners and all sorts of expensive promotional paraphernalia. Even commuter trains are being completely pasted with posters of the 1 Malaysia BRIM handouts with the face of a beaming Prime Minister, and to top that is the Merdeka Slogan for this year – ‘Janji Ditepati’ or promises fulfilled.

No wonder the Opposition is crying foul that the BN is making full use of public money to promote themselves for the coming election. As for the masses, the people are starting to feel ‘jelak’ or sickened by the surfeit of Najib and BN promotional assault on their senses!

‘Jelak’ – vomiting out the BN

Will Malaysians be carried away and fall for this latest May 13 cheap trick aimed to fool them into believing the half truths that are being churned out non-stop on the Umno-BN lies production line, OR they will use their better judgement and boot out this government of serious and dangerous troublemakers?

When too much is fed, people will surely vomit out what they cannot digest and this is what is happening now. Let Malaysians vomit out the BN and this film if Najib & Co are really dense enough to screen it despite the public outcry. Let the people see once more for themselves that it is Najib and the BN who are trying to sow discord amongst the various ethnic groups and not the Opposition. Let the people see for themselves yet again who are the liars and who are not.

In the losers queue is also Suhaimi. Some people say she has already gained in terms of monetary benefit and goodwill from the powers that be, but she has also put her professional and artistic reputation at stake. From a person of the Arts, she has turned political assassin. Which of Hall of Infamy does she now deserve to grace?

Crude propaganda

For all multiracial Malaysians for the love of your neighbour, this is a” MUST NOT SEE FILM”. Do not go to theatres to watch this movie. It is being financed by the government through FINAS and will be little more than a propaganda film for Umno-BN leaders.

We have seen enough of their ‘sandiwara’ or playacting, so it is okay to miss this last desperate pitch to brainwash us through Tanda Putera.

Instead, let’s save the money and watch the Disney Movie’ Finding Nemo’ which will be showing around September 14th 2012 and have a fun time without allowing Najib & Co to dig into our brains and mess up our thoughts in such a crude and disgusting way.

Malaysia Chronicle

Thursday, 09 August 2012 13:51 Comment posted by TS Yuen Yuet Leng

I trust Suhaimi Baba had read very professionally what I could write about May13 1969 in my book, Nation Before Self (pages 157-169) and pages 169-179 which are also of relevant interest. Some copies are still available at major MPH outlets. There was a radical group who attempted to worsen the situation by starting unrest and violence in the north. Timely SB info and very firm curfew action by CPO Penang pre-empted and contained it. (Page 163)
I certainly would like to view the documentary before it publicly is shown on 13-09-2012.
If the documentary is truly balanced and factual it would be informative although I had always felt the ghosts of the past and May13 should be left alone for if any individual, any race, political party organization and especially the hooligans on all sides are to be blamed, ALL should be blamed for our inability to respect and appreciate our respective sensitivities sufficiently and justly and work on the justice or universal values even as we sometimes have to activate less pragmatically as an assessed exception to the rule with good reason. The scourge of the principle that the ends justify the means whether right or wrong, as a general rule has done much damage to national stability and integrity.
I am not that ignorant on May 13 and I have no rememberance of any information that Lim Kit Siang reportedly urinated at the flag pole at Dtk Harun’s house . If he tried he would have been slashed to bits at that place and time. I hope we are not trying to shoot ourselves in the foot again and what otherwise can be a good release, if it really has to be done.

‘Tanda Putera’ boleh gugat pepaduan – Kit Siang

Selasa, 07 Ogs 2012 11:39

KUALA LUMPUR: Gagasan 1Malaysia yang diterapkan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dilihat menyemai benih ketegangan di antara kaum, selain menyumbang kepada fitnah yang boleh menggugat perpaduan negara.

Trend fitnah seperti yang dapat dilihat dalam pembohongan dan pemalsuan insiden 13 Mei melalui filem tajaan kerajaan, ‘Tanda Putera’ itu boleh dianggap menggugat perpaduan negara.

Ketua Parlimen DAP, Lim Kit Siang dalam kenyataannya berkata menjelang sambutan Hari Kemerdekaan Ke-55 dan Hari Malaysia Ke-49, Najib harus berfikir sejenak mengapa polisinya yang terkenal, 1Malaysia dalam tempoh tiga tahun ini telah menyemai benih ketegangan di antara kaum.

“Tidak lain, ianya daripada bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad yang menekankan bahawa pilihan raya umum yang akan datang ini akan bersasarkan “perkauman” kerana “keadaan negara kini bersifat amat rasis berbanding dengan sebelum ini”,”dakwa ahli parlimen Ipoh Barat itu, kepada Harakahdaily, hari ini.

Tambah Kit Siang, dengan berlandaskan agenda program 1Malaysia, Najib telah merekrut angkatan tentera seramai 10,000 ‘cybertrooper’ Umno dan BN melalui Konvensyen Media Sosial 1Malaysia yang dijalankan di seluruh negara, bukan untuk menyampaikan mesej 1Malaysia tetapi untuk memutarbelitkan kebenaran dan fakta.

“Apa yang jelas kelihatan adalah akibat buruk tindakan Najib merekrut angkatan tentera seramai 10,000 ‘cybertrooper’ Umno dan BN apabila menyemai benih prasangka buruk di antara kaum.

“Ia jelas berdasarkan kepada rusuhan 13 Mei 1969, di mana angkatan ‘cybertrooper’ ini menyebarkan dakwaan palsu, tidak masuk akal, karut dan berbaur fitnah terhadap saya kononnya saya telah mencetuskan rusuhan 13 Mei 1969 dengan membunuh orang Melayu, selain insiden kononnya saya telah kencing di bawah tiang bendera di rumah Menteri Besar Selangor, walhal saya tidak berada pun di Kuala Lumpur pada 11, 12 dan 13 Mei 1969,” tegas beliau lagi.

Begitu juga dengan beberapa dakwaan lain yang telah diputarbelikan angkatan Media Sosial 1Malaysia, yang menyatakan Setiausaha Agung DAP, yang juga Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng turut terlibat memprovokasi dan mencetus rusuhan 13 Mei sebagai Ketua Pemuda DAP, sedangkan beliau berumur lapan tahun ketika itu.

Selain beliau dan Guan Eng, dakwa Kit Siang, mendiang Timbalan Setiausaha Agung DAP, P. Patto,  juga tidak terlepas dari tuduhan memprovokasi rusuhan 13 Mei 1969 apabila Patto sendiri tidak berada di Kuala Lumpur pada masa itu.

“Lebih-lebih lagi, mendiang hanya terjun dalam dunia politik pada 1973 apabila meletakkan jawatan sebagai seorang guru sekolah dan menerima tawaran saya untuk dilantik sebagai setiausaha politik saya,” kata Kit Siang.

Beliau menambah 43 tahun selepas tragedi 13 Mei, sudah sampai masanya untuk menutup insiden tersebut, bukan sahaja untuk menggunakan titik hitam rusuhan 13 Mei sebagai taktik intimidasi terhadap mana-mana komuniti.

Sebaliknya, tegas Kit Siang ia harus digunakan sebagai satu teladan dan pengajaran yang amat penting bagi semua rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira kaum, agama, negeri, status, umur atau jantina untuk menyatukan semua rakyat Malaysia satu perubahan bagi kebaikan negara ini dan rakyatnya, samada BN atau Pakatan Rakyat.

Malah, tambah Kit Siang, tiada ruang untuk insiden 13 Mei berulang sekiranya kedua-dua gabungan parti-parti politik – Barisan Nasional dan Pakatan Rakyat memberi jaminan secara ikhlas bahawa mereka akan bekerja bersama untuk menghalang kejadian ini berulang dengan mengambil kira kepentingan dan kedaulatan negara.

“Saya telah menekankan dan menjelaskan secara terbuka bahawa DAP dan Pakatan Rakyat sudah bersedia untuk memberi kerjasama penuh dengan Umno dan BN untuk memastikan tiada ulangan peristiwa 13 Mei dalam pilihan raya umum yang akan datang ini.

“Persoalannya, adakah Umno dan BN akan memberi komitmen yang sama terhadap usaha ini seperti kesediaan Pakatan Rakyat melalui PKR, PAS dan DAP?” soal beliau.

Last Updated on Rabu, 08 Ogs 2012 00:29

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May 13 film: Dishonest or Truthful Reconstruction? A Comment on Blog Posting in Zorror Unmasked

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