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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Lelaki Komunis Terakhir" Ban: Will Somebody Please tell the Ministry of Home Affairs that Berita Harian IS NOT the voice of Malaysia?

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Image hosting by PhotobucketAfter Gubra, Amir Muhammad's "Lelaki Komunis Terakhir" is the only other local film that I have been looking forward to for 2006. It was, that is, until the Ministry of Home Affairs decided to ban the film despite having been passed, without a single cut, by the Malaysian Censorship Board. What a big, big, disappointment.

The whole saga is well documented in Amir's blog, so do go there and read the background and build-up to this stupid, stupid ban.

But the reason for the ban? Supposedly because "the people" were against the film being screened. And who are these "people" that Berita Harian, the main batu api (agent provocateur), is speaking for?

For one, the Severely Mentally Challenged Fucking Retard Youth Club issued a protest statement sometime in April 2005 (reported in Utusan Malaysia; English translation can be found here), after getting the slightest whiff of Amir's production.

Then, just prior to the film being released, came a barrage of articles, three days in a row, in Berita Harian (which you can read here, here and here, in chronological order). Obviously, this was a concerted campaign by "the people" to prevent the film from being released, despite being approved by the Censorship Board.

And if you have read the Berita Harian reports, you'll know that it reeks of racism. Amir, being Malay, is being condemned (for lack of a better word) for making a movie about Chin Peng (an Malaysian Communist of ethnic Chinese descent), and not a Malay hero.

I quote from the May 5 article, a statement by Ruhani Abdul Rahman, president of the Malaysian Film Producers Association (Persatuan Pengeluar Filem Malaysia). Emphasis by myAsylum:

Tidak adakah wira Melayu yang boleh Amir angkat menerusi filem dokumentari. Kita belum ada filem dokumentari mengenai tokoh kita seperti Datuk Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman malah tokoh radikal seperti Ibrahim Yaacob atau Dr Burhanuddin Al-Helmy? Kenapa pilih Chin Peng?"

Translated into English:

"Aren't there any Malay heroes that Amir can promote through documentary films? We have not had a documentary about our figures (implying Malays figures) such as Datuk Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, or even radical figures such as Ibrahim Yaacob or Dr Burhanuddin Al-Helmy? Why choose Chin Peng?"

Why Chin Peng? Because, you ignorant buffoon, as much as your racist mind cannot accept it, Chin Peng did have a role to play in the history of this nation. Chin Peng and the CPM played a role in the fight against Japanese occupation during World War II, and later a thorn in the British Colonialists' side - yes, those same colonilists you and your like probably have a deep-seated hatred for.

If it were left to Walski to compile the Thinking Malaysians' Entertainment Public Enemy No. 1, heading the list would have to be a certain Akmal Abdullah, assistant Entertainment Editor of Berita Harian. This is the same f***ing moron that outright condemned Sepet and Gubra in the now infamous TV1 talk show program.

And the best part is Akmal Abdullah is guilty of the worst crime a journalist can commit. He condemns without the decency of even viewing the work that he lambasts. This is definitely not the first time. And of course, being the Assistant Editor, the Entertainment section of Berita Harian will follow suit - sheer uninformed reporting, purely out of sentiment. And might I add, racist sentiment at that.

Akmal Abdullah epitomizes 'the BLIND leading the STUPID'. To Walski, Akmal Abdullah is BOTH.

The following (in the full post) is an excerpt of what Akmal wrote in the May 4 article in Berita Harian (emphasis by myAsylum):

"Kelahiran filem berjudul Lelaki Komunis Terakhir yang mendapat bantahan pemimpin dan veteran politik negara, tokoh sejarah dan ahli Parlimen itu bagaimanapun diberi kelulusan Lembaga Penapisan Filem Malaysia (LPF) dan bakal ditayangkan di Malaysia pada 18 Mei ini di pawagam terkemuka di Kuala Lumpur dan Pulau Pinang, iaitu kawasan majoriti penduduk Cina serta satu tayangan amal di Ipoh pada 19 Mei ini.

Kita harap selepas ini, Amir dan pengarah Melayu generasi baru lain lebih prihatin kepada perjuangan tokoh nasionalis bangsanya sendiri seperti Ibrahim Tok Janggut, Tun Perak, Datuk Maharaja Lela, Mat Kilau, Datuk Bahaman, Tok Gajah, Dol Said, Mat Salleh, Tok Naning, Rosli Dobi, Temenggung Jugah, Abdul Rahman Embong, Tengku Kudin, Long Jaafar, Datuk Sagor, Sultan Abdullah (Perak) dan Sultan Abu Bakar (Bapa Johor Moden) mahupun Datuk Onn. Mungkin, Amir tidak kenal mereka ini.

Translated into English:

"The birth of 'Lelaki Komunis Terakhir' that has received opposition from our leadership, veteran political figures, historians, and Members of Parliament, however, received approval from the Film Censorship Board and is slated for release in Malaysia on May 18 in premiere cinemas in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, the majority of whose population is (ethnic) Chinese, plus one charity benefit screening in Ipoh on May 19.

We hope that after this, Amir and other new generation Malay directors become more sensitive to the struggle of nationalist figures of their own race, such as Ibrahim Tok Janggut, Tun Perak, Datuk Maharaja Lela, Mat Kilau, Datuk Bahaman, Tok Gajah, Dol Said, Mat Salleh, Tok Naning, Rosli Dobi, Temenggung Jugah, Abdul Rahman Embong, Tengku Kudin, Long Jaafar, Datuk Sagor, Sultan Abdullah (of Perak) and Sultan Abu Bakar (Father of Modern Johor) or even Datuk Onn. Perhaps Amir is not familiar with them."

Why in Kuala Lumpur and Penang? Maybe because the movie theaters there are the best equiped for this movie, you retard, chauvinist dimwit? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where Akmal Abdullah is coming from. The sentiments embodied in what he wrote is unequivocally racist. No ands, ifs or buts.

And as Amir wrote in his blog (emphasis by myAsylum):

"The decision to ban the documentary was based on the series of articles in Berita Harian. I need to emphasise this point: No one in Berita Harian has seen the documentary. And no one interviewed by Berita Harian had seen it either"

And so the voice of "the people" has won this round. "The people" who in no way represent the viewpoint of the entire population, but have access to cohorts in Jalan Riong to further their racist views and sentiments. myAsylum did not invent these news reports. "The people" through Akmal Abdullah and his staff at Berita Harian wrote these pieces. We leave it to you to draw your own conclusion who the real batu api is.

So what can you do, as a thinking Malaysian, who prides himself or herself in artistic works of Malaysians? As one who would like to see the Malaysian film industry flourish? Write to the Press.

Amir, you have myAsylum's commitment that, other than to blog it here, we will definitely write in to the newspapers, under Walski's real/secret identity, of course.

Let's hope that the voices of rationality, equality, and creativity, will be heard, loud enough so that the unjustified, racism-motivated ban of Amir's film can be overturned.

And if you are listening, the powers-that-be in the Ministry of Home Affairs - BERITA HARIAN DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ALL MALAYSIANS. It is merely the mouthpiece of chauvinist embiciles who fantasize that they rule the land.