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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Akmal Abdullah's Official Secret... and what you can do about it

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Did Akmal Abdullah actually view "Lelaki Komunis Terakhir" and provided his two-bits? Wow. What a historical occassion this is! Since his article in Berita Harian today is long and drawn, myAsylum won't duplicate it here in its entirety. You can read it on the Berita Harian website, but Walski would rather you read it here on Amir Muhammad's blog (for reasons revealed much later on). However, we will take selected excerpts of the article, translate it and then Walski will provide his view. And as always, all emphasis is by myAsylum.

Malaysia's foremost guardian of entertainment morality was probably one of the media representatives invited to the screening of LKT last Sunday. Or he got it second-hand from his reporter. Who knows? But his article today clearly strengthens his position as the infallible moralist of Malaysian arts and entertainment. And exactly how biased he is. And confused. Maybe he's not, but he wants us to believe that the film is subtle communist propaganda.

In true his true AAmbiguos style of writing, he states that:

Memang benar mereka yang membantah itu belum menontonnya lagi, sama seperti kelompok yang riuh rendah menyokong filem itu juga kebanyakannya pun bukan menontonnya tetapi berpunca akibat sentimen yang boleh diketahui sebabnya.

While it's true those that have protested have not seen the film, just like those who have been very vocal in their support, not because they have seen it, but because of sentiments whose source that can be ascertained.

What sentiments, Akmal? What are you trying to insinuate? Too chicken to really say what's on your puny mind? The rest of the paragraph:

Pada mulanya tidak ada sesiapa pun kisah apabila ada pihak meluahkan rasa marah kepada Lembaga Penapisan Filem Malaysia (LPF) yang disifatkan tidak peka dengan sensitiviti rakyat sehingga LPF sanggup meluluskannya.

At first, no one bothered when certain quarters expressed their anger towards the Malaysian Film Censorship Board, that was considered insensitive to the people's sensitivities to the point that the board was willing to pass the film.

And do these certain quarters speak for the entire populace? No. But our confused boy here thinks they do. And guess who was the only protesting media body, the literary bastard bastion of the select-few-speaking-for-the-many? Find out here, here and here, if you are unsure.

Now, Akmal must really have friends in high and confidential places, because he continues with this gem, which Walski wasn't aware of until today (assuming it's true):

Laporan Bukit Aman berdasarkan ‘pemerhatian’ sekumpulan pegawai polis yang menonton filem itu di Finas pada 2 Mei lalu, menyifatkan filem itu ‘berbahaya’ atas faktor keselamatan atau mungkin berkait dengan kedaulatan kerajaan, menyebabkan kerajaan Malaysia menerusi Menteri Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri terpaksa menarik balik kelulusan yang diberikan LPF.

A Bukit Aman report based on the 'observations' of a group of police officers (actually Special Branch, but Akmal is probably to special to know the difference) who viewed the film at Finas on May 2nd, characterized the film as 'dangerous', due to security factors or possibly relating to [threats to] the Government's sovereignity, resulted in the Malaysian Government being forced to withdraw the Censorship Board's approval, through the Ministry of Home Affars.

INTERESTING.... Nowhere, as far as we know, has this fact EVER been made public. Is Akmal privy to Official Secrets (since, of course, he is a supermoronhuman in his own mind)? Is this report the real reason for Datuk Sheikh Radzi revoking the Censors' OK? Or is Akmal trying to pull a fast one (read: telling a fucking lie)?

Or is it simply that he is delusional? And isn't disclosing an Official Secret grounds for getting one's ass put away (without trial) and having the key thrown far, far away? Or is he really that obtuse?

This newly revealed fact is in full contradiction to what Amir has openly said, that the Special Branch officers who viewed the film saw nothing wrong.

But wait, boys and girls, theres more! (in the full post)

Our wonderbread boy of the infinetessimally small mind goes on to say:

Kenapa bantahan dibuat selepas LKT diluluskan LPF dan sebelum ia diharamkan? Judul seperti itu mirip kepada satu bentuk tribute terhadap gerakan komunis, apatah lagi konotasinya secara halus membawa ironi satu perjuangan atau mempertahankan hak dan ideologi. Makrifat mengenal pasti judul itu berkait dengan usaha penerbit dan pengarah filem itu sendiri yang kelihatan begitu bersungguh-sungguh membawa dokumentari ini ke pawagam untuk tayangan umum sedangkan ia sekadar cerita berkaitan bekas pemimpin PKM, Chin Peng dan pengikutnya? Ramai tertanya-tanya, kenapa subjek ini yang dipilih sedangkan ia mengganggu sensitiviti masyarakat?

Why the protest after LKT was approved by the Censors and before it was banned? A title such as this is akin to being a form of tribute towards the communist movement, especially when its connotation, in a subtle way, points towards the irony of a movement, or of defending rights and ideology. Does the title identify with the producer and director of the film himself, seen as trying very hard to bring this documentary to the cinemas for public viewing, while the film is just a story of the former CPM head, Chin Peng and his followers? Many have asked why was this subject chosen, when it is disturbing to the community's sensitivities?

Again the ubiquitous claim of speaking for all of us. Mr. Akmal "Smarty-Pants-I-Have-Access-to-Official-Secrets" Abdullah. Again, we have to ask, "Whose sensitivities?" Definitely not mine, or most of the people I know.

This is the biggest problem Walski has with conservatives. Both conservatives and liberals have opinions and sensitivities - but the conservatives will always insist that everyone must see things their way and will go to any length to make sure anyone accepts their point of view - or else. Liberals, on the other hand, usually come to the point of agreeing to disagree, and move on with life.

And the editorial goes on attacking Amir's "amateurish technique", or the fact that a musical documentary does not conform to the norms of "proper" documentaries. Yada-yada-yada...

Actually, Akmal also insinuates that Amir has a bigger agenda in mind:

Namun, isi cerita itu sendiri menjadikan barangkali ada ‘sesuatu yang lebih besar’ mahu disampaikan menerusi LKT.

Still, the contents of the film brings up the notion that maybe there is 'something bigger' that is trying to be said through LKT.

And the bigger agenda, it seems, is that the film glorifies Communism. In a nutshell. This conclusion may not be fair to Akmal's article. But frankly, Walski doesn't give a rat's ass.

But it's the final paragrah that really made Walski's blood boil. As a thinking individual who refuses to let shallow, chauvinistic morons like Akmal do the thinking for me.

Demi bersikap adil kepada penerbit, LKT boleh ditayangkan kepada umum jika dibuat potongan tertentu dan menukar judulnya.

In fairness to the producer, LKT may be shown to the public, PROVIDED certain omissions (read: cuts) are made and the title is changed.

What the fuck? Who died and made you the lord of who shall decide what I can or cannot watch? Who the fuck are you? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Why, I am Akmal "the powerful ASSistant editor" Abdullah, after all. The guardian of your sensitivities, the godfather of the chauvinistic Malay entertainment press. I make myself look stupid so you don't have to. Of course, when someone with delusions of grandeur thinks they're so high 'n mighty, anything pun boleh.

Walski is truly, truly exhausted... when one bloody newspaper can sway government policy.... it's a sad, sad time to be alive in Malaysia... Perhaps, this might teach the motherfucker our dear old Akmal "Lord of all I obfuscate" Abdullah a lesson:

Stolen from Nizam Zakaria's Limau Nipis. Hosted by Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting