Kit Siang: I was defamed on Tanda Putera’s Facebook page

August 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm 1 comment

By Ida Lim
August 16, 2012

Facebook screenshot of the alleged posting on Tanda Putera’s facebook page.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 —  DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today said he remains unconvinced with the explanation by the director of the controversial movie “Tanda Putera”, saying that he had been defamed on its official Facebook page.

The film-maker Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba yesterday denied reports that the re-telling of the May 13, 1969 riots features a scene depicting Lim as having urinated at a flagpole of the then Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Harun Idris’s residence.

Lim refuted Shuhaimi, claiming that a photo of him being “manhandled” with a caption saying he had urinated at the said flagpole “was posted in the album in the “Tanda Putera” Facebook titled “Peristiwa-peristiwa yang dimuatkan di dalam filem ini” (Events depicted in this movie).”

“Shuhaimi’s explanation that the creators of the film had received many photographs from netizens which were shared on the

Facebook page, including the offending picture, and that it was removed…after complaints were received about the photo, is neither credible nor acceptable,” Lim wrote in a statement today.

He claimed “the defamatory and baseless allegation…was made by Tanda Putera official Facebook page itself, and not a ‘shared information’ from netizens”, adding that this gave a “clear impression” that the photo was taken from the movie.

“Unless there is a satisfactory and adequate explanation or accounting for the defamatory reference featuring me in the Tanda Putera official Facebook page, I reserve the right to take legal action against such defamation.”

Lim slammed Shuhaimi for taking “almost four long weeks” to tell the public that he was “not even featured in the footage of the film” since reports of it first surfaced.

Lim alleged that Shuhaimi’s slow response had allowed “UMNO/Barisan Nasional (BN) cybertroopers” to accuse him of “provoking” the May 13 riots “based on the movie’s alleged “urination” episode.”

Lim stressed that he couldn’t have provoked the riots in the capital city as he “was simply not in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13 of 1969.”

“Even the photograph that was used in the movie’s earlier Facebook page was not a photograph taken in 1969 but was from a different incident in Sabah 15 years later in 1984.”

Lim said Shuhaimi should know that any “unfair…portrayal of the May 13 riots in…10 minutes is not only capable of overshadowing the rest of the 105 minutes of the film, but have the disastrous effect of dividing instead of uniting Malaysians,” said the Ipoh Timur MP.

“Do we want to continue to allow the May 13 past to haunt and divide Malaysians or do we want to move forward as one united people building a better and brighter future for all Malaysians, learning from the lessons of May 13?” he asked.

Why then am I featured and defamed in Tanda Putera’s official Facebook page as having urinated at flagpole bearing Selangor flag at residence of the then Selangor Mentri Besar provoking May 13, 1969 riots?

I am supposed to be assured by the clarification of the director of the May 13 film, Tanda Putera, Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba that I am not even featured in the footage of the film, but I am not.

This is because Shuhaimi has failed to give a satisfactory explanation why I had been featured and defamed in Tanda Putera’s original official Facebook page as having urinated at the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the residence of the then Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Harun Idris and provoking the May 13, 1969 riots.

The caption of a photo portraying me being manhandled, which were later taken down, read: “Lim Kit Siang telah kencing di bawah tiang bendera Selangor yang terpacak di rumah menteri besar Selangor ketika itu, Harun Idris”. The photo and caption was posted in the album in the “Tanda Putera” Facebook titled “Peristiwa-peristiwa yang dimuatkan di dalam filem ini” (Events depicted in this movie).

Shuhaimi’s explanation that the creators of the film had received many photographs from netizens which were shared on the Facebook page, including the offending picture, and that it was removed from the Facebook page after complaints were received about the photo, is neither credible nor acceptable.

This is because the defamatory and baseless allegation that I had urinated at the flagpole at the Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence, and provoked the May 13, 1969 riots, was made by Tanda Putera official Facebook page itself, and not a “shared information” from netizens – conveying the very clear impression that it was abstracted from the film proper itself.

Unless there is a satisfactory and adequate explanation or accounting for the defamatory reference featuring me in the Tanda Putera official Facebook page, I reserve the right to take legal action against such defamation.

It is most deplorable and reprehensible that Shuhaimi had taken almost four long weeks since the first publication by Malaysiakini of its report “New May 13 movie courts controversy” on 20th July 2012, to state that I am not even featured in the footage of the film – allowing the legion of UMNO/BN cybertroopers to escalate their campaign of downright lies and dangerous falsehoods based on the movie’s alleged “urination” episode to accuse me of provoking the May 13, 1969 riots although I had repeatedly explained that I was not in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969.

I was in Sabah on July 20 on a three-day visit with DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng when Malaysiakini first carried the report on the May 13 film.

On the very same night at the DAP Inaman Sepanggar ceramah, I referred to the Malaysiakini report on the May 13 film and denied in the strongest possible terms:

  • That I had “urinated at the foot of the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Selangor MB’s Harun Idris’ house” as claimed by the movie’s earlier Facebook page;
  • That I had provoked the May 13 riots as I was simply not in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13 of 1969!
  • Even the photograph that was used in the movie’s earlier Facebook page was not a photograph taken in 1969 but was from a different incident in Sabah 15 years later in 1984!

Yesterday, Shuhaimi said much research had gone into ensuring her film was historically accurate, such as studying documented materials and photographs to make sure the scenes were backed by historical facts. She referred to the NOC report and interviews with former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar.

Did the White Paper issued by the National Operations Council (NOC) on 9th October 1969 or the book by Tunku Abdul Rahman “May 13 – Before and After” or interviews with Hanif, who was the Special Branch officer attached to the NOC, or Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was then the secretary of NOC, produce any information on my urination at the Selangor Mentri Besar’s house or any such urination incident by anyone for that matter?

I have not seen the film “Tanda Putera” but from the trailer, legitimate questions are raised as to whether the film can lay claim to being “historically accurate” with reference to the May 13 riots.

For instance, there was a scene of a procession of participants carrying posters bearing Mao Tse Tung’s picture. Is this historically accurate when in 1969 it was an offence even possessing Mao’s books, let alone carrying Mao’s photograph poster?

Shuhaimi said that the controversial May 13 riot scene only lasts about 10 minutes of the 115-minute film, but she should know that any unfair and tendentious portrayal of the May 13 riots in these 10 minutes is not only capable of overshadowing the rest of the 105 minutes of the film, but have the disastrous effect of dividing instead of uniting Malaysians.

Do we want to continue to allow the May 13 past to haunt and divide Malaysians or do we want to move forward as one united people building a better and brighter future for all Malaysians, learning from the lessons of May 13?

Film producer calls Kit Siang ‘defensive’ over May 13 picture

By Hafidz Baharom
August 17, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — The producer of the controversial film “Tanda Putera” has defended the posting on its Facebook promotions page of a picture of Lim Kit Siang with a caption accusing him of urinating on a flagpole in the house of then Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Harun Idris in what some Umno blogs have claimed was what started the May 13, 1969 race riots.

The movie’s director Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba was forced on Wednesday to deny reports that the re-telling of the riots in her film features a scene showing Lim desecrating the Malaysian flag.

File photo of Shuhaimi denying reports that her film features a scene showing Lim desecrating the Malaysian flag. — Picture by Choo Choy May

“Tanda Putera” has not yet been released for general release to the public, but a trailer of the film available on the Internet has already sparked some controversy because it appears to suggest the Chinese community was to blame for the riots.Pesona Cinta Sdn Bhd, the producer of the movie, is now accusing Lim of being defensive over the publication of his photograph which had sparked widespread condemnation from the DAP parliamentary leader and his political colleagues.

Lim has repeatedly pointed out that he was only a young politician in 1969 and was not even in the federal capital during the riots.

But Umno blogs have gone on overdrive, and have been pushing the message to voters that it was Lim who had sparked the riots.

Earlier this year, an administrator of the “Tanda Putera” social network fan page had posted a photograph of Lim being “manhandled”, with a caption alleging it was taken after he urinated on the flagpole in the Selangor mentri besar’s residential compound in Kuala Lumpur before the May 13 riots.

The picture was removed last month after personal attacks and threats were allegedly made against the cast and crew of the film.

Lim said yesterday that he reserved the right to take legal action against such defamatory references featuring him in the “Tanda Putera” official Facebook page.

“Why is he so defensive?

“All those photographs were already widely available on the Internet,” said Aida Fitri Buyong, Pesona Cinta’s executive producer.

She told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that the pictures and captions published on the “Tanda Putera” Facebook fan page were submitted by netizens and were already widely available before being posted on the site.

“We went through those photos to research on the wardrobe, the scenery, the cars used and such just to make the scenes in the film authentic,” she said.

She added that Lim was free to make his own statements while the production team stood by theirs.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

‘Tanda Putera’ doesn’t unite but divides — The Malaysian Insider The mark of princes… or pretenders? (on Tanda Putera)

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. TS yuen yuet leng  |  October 2, 2012 at 2:37 am

    The sum total of too joyful, boisterous and racially very insensitive emotions demonstrated by a “victorious” non-Malay but essentially Chinese Opposition in the wake of the May 1969 elections incensed and provoked further dented UMNO and Malay political and communal feelings. This were aggravated by radical fears and anxieties by ultra groups who clamoured for an equivalent show and demonstration of force in the name of Malay pride and dignity which could no longer be restrained. The counter-demonstration by UMNO was therefore equally highly tuned emotionally and ready in strength and facililities to respond to any and all situations. Rumours more than fact of substance ensured May13 did happen.
    To ensure it did not happen again the imperitive NEP was brought in to restructure nationally disparate Malay community with very weighted racial bias professedly to correct national imbalances irrespective of race. Implemented rightly and also wrongly through much abuse and money politics, the NEP has achieved its objective. However, the temporal mechanics has been hijacked by UMNO radicals into a right of race and racial superiority whether right or wrong and created in non-Malays the fact of dicriminatory racial imbalance in reverse. Unless we can moved back to the moderate centre UMNO will continue to alienate themselves from not only non-Malays but from also the growing number of Malays with a better national conscience. This can only further strengthen the Oppositon.

    Reply

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