Malaysia

Screen ‘Tanda Putera’ uncut or we will make an Anwar movie, Perkasa says

August 14, 2012
Latest Update: August 15, 2012 02:52 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Datuk Shuhaimi Baba's latest film 'Tanda Putera' must be screened uncensored, Malay rights group Perkasa said today despite an uproar from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders about the movie for allegedly portraying the Chinese community and DAP in a negative light in scenes depicting the May 13, 1969 race riots.

The award-winning director's controversial retelling about the administration of Malaysia's first two prime ministers amid the bloody May 13, 1969 race riots has been criticised by some PR politicians for its allegedly historically-innacurate depiction.

But Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali today backed Suhaimi, saying the film was historically accurate.

"The film is about history, even if the plot or scenes were controversial, we cannot change history and PR does not need to make that an issue," he told a news conference.

"We will negotiate and help Tanda Putera's film director to screen it without being it being censored," he added.

The independent MP for Pasir Mas rapped the PR opposition pact for claiming that the film could stoke racial tensions.

"Don't make this about party interests, this historical film must be screened for the people to remember and appreciate the country's peace and not just think negatively.

"I propose if PR still wants to make an issue out of this film, I will make a film about the opposition leader," Ibrahim said, referring to PKR's de facto chief, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He did not say what such a film on Anwar would focus on, but Perkasa has been a vocal critic of the opposition leader.

Several film critics have accused the RM4.8 million movie — fully funded by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) and the Multimedia Development Corporation (Mdec) — of demonising early leftist movements and more hero-worship than tribute to the country's second prime minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was also father to the current PM, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

The trailer for the movie is reported to show scenes of Chinese groups marching through the streets of Kuala Lumpur after the success of the opposition parties in municipal elections carrying the Labour Party flag and other banners proclaiming anti-Malay slogans.

The banners written in Chinese characters depicted slogans that translated into ‘Malays go back to the village’, ‘Malays go die’ and ‘Take revenge’.

There has also been unverified reports that the film also shows DAP leader Lim Kit Siang desecrating a Malaysian flag.

The film's release has been put off pending a review by the authorities.