Nursing monkeys in the jungle

Now that a new Minister takes over from Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim Ph.D in the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek instructed that the feature film about two of the nation’s prolific statesmen between 8 May 1969 – 16 Jan 1976 “Tanda Putera” be released into public screening the soonest opportunity available.

Published: Monday June 3, 2013 MYT 1:25:00 PM
Updated: Monday June 10, 2013 MYT 4:39:32 PM

Controversial film Tanda Putera finally coming to local cinemas

BY PATRICK LEE

KUALA LUMPUR: Controversial local film Tanda Putera, which depicts events leading up to and during the May 13, 1969 riots, will hit Malaysian cinemas on Aug 29 this year, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

“It will be released on Aug 29,” he told reporters at theMalaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas)centre.

Ahmad Shabery had previously called for Finas to publicly screen Tanda Putera.

Directed by Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, the film depicts events during the May 13, 1969 riots, focusing on Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and his deputy Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman.

Produced in 2011 by Persona Pictures Sdn Bhd, the RM4 million film carries a PG13 rating and was supposed to be screened from Nov 15 last year.

Commenting on the date, Ahmad said he preferred the film to be screened earlier, during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays.

“People have been waiting for the film to come out, so the sooner the better,” he said.

However, Finas officials said that if Tanda Putera was released then, it would not do well at the box office.

Finas director-general Raja Rozaimie Raja Dalnish Shah said that two other movies were scheduled for a Aug 8 releaseAdnan Sempit 3 and Lemak Kampung Santan.

“Based on our previous experience, collections for films released during Hari Raya aren’t that good…Three Malay movies during Hari Raya is not good,” he said.

Raja Rozaimie said that the film’s producers asked for the Aug 29 date, adding this allowed it to be marketed from now.

The Cabinet earlier held back the screening of the film as it was concerned it would cause conflict among communities

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Last year, the screening of “Tanda Putera” was postponed twice (September and November 2012) before Dr Rais lied about the film did not get the Board of Censorship approval and eventually he and Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon manipulated the Cabinet to decide on the indefinite  postponement.

Their lame justification was that the film might irk Chinese sentiments and would affect Barisan Nasional’s chances in then the much anticipated 13GE.

The fact has proven the Chinese en bloc rejected BN at the polls on 5 May 2013 for the 13GE despite so many concessions made for them, in what Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s initial reaction description as “Chinese Tsunami”.

The scene in "Tanda Putera" depicting the Chinese Chauvinism-centric  demonstrations chanting anti-Malay slogans, the day before the 3GE polls in May 1969

The scene in “Tanda Putera” depicting the Chinese Chauvinism-centric demonstrations chanting anti-Malay slogans, the day before the 3GE polls in May 1969

It was about the Chinese en bloc wanted power and as minority having powering influence if not control over the majority. It was also more and more taken into the Oppositions’  ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy of demonising all principles, power and authority will lay in the hands of the majority, the Malays, and DAP’s continuous fanning racist sentiments and Chinese Chauvinism.

It was never about films like “Tanda Putera”, even though it was the recollection of what happened to the nation before, during and post 3GE  in May 1969 which saw the radicals, extremists, Chinese Chauvinists and subversive elements such as the Communist Terrorists fanned radicalism, Chinese Chauvinism and racism. As such a bloody racial riots erupted and the nation was placed under Emergency Law.

The scene where the National Operations Council meeting to resolve operational issues during the May 1969 curfew

The scene where the National Operations Council meeting to resolve operational issues during the May 1969 curfew

Film-maker Dato’ Paduka Shuhaimi Baba brilliantly portrayed the intense and critical moments and decisions made by the National Operation Council and to put the nation straight again and slowly reconcile all fragmented society and the deep distrust between the races in record time.

That is on top then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman as individuals were suffering in secret of terminal illness and their resolve and determination to serve the nation first. This include the formulation of post 13 May 1969 policies such as the New Economic Policy and Industrial Master  Plan which became the fundamental foundation for harmony and stability, which are the primary constants and facilitated the nation’s growth to present day.

Now it seems Astro-Shaw has published a new film based on the Malayan Chinese struggle against the Communist Terrorists (CT) in 1949 in the new villages created to re-settle Chinese communities away from the threat and influence of the jungle-centric CTs. It was skewed since the program to re-settle Chinese communities in then the newly instituted new villages under the ‘Briggs Plan’ came only after Gen. Sir Harold Briggs arrive at Malaya in 1950.

It is funny none of the so called critics, manipulators and most of all the Neo Min Yuen supporters and liars of historical facts which is the complete opposite to “Tanda Putera”, made no comments at all about “The New Village”. The fact is that Shuhaimi Baba’s work was based on history and true accounts where as Wong Kew-Lit’s work was purely fictitious and not based on facts.

De-railment of the Malayan Railways, during Emergency 1948-60

There are suspicions that the film “The New Village” is about subliminal effort to continue the Chinese Chauvinism doctrine amongst the young Malaysian Chinese. Particularly, highlighting the “Butchers of Malaya” a.k.a. MPAJA struggle against the British and Commonwealth Forces after Emergency was declared, therefore they were the ‘true’ Independence fighters.

The movie made its way into the local cinema circuits seamlessly and most importantly, in total silence without any controversy what so ever where as “Tanda Putera” came under the artificial barriers by Finas and eventually to slot into the ‘Wajib Tayang’ scheme which is a policy for locally produced films.

The Malays have a saying, “Kera dihutan disusukan, Anak dibuaian mati kelaparan“. The public screening of “Tanda Putera” fits into that, perfectly.

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Published in: on July 23, 2013 at 16:30  Comments (19)