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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Is Malaysia really ready for creative folk to come home?

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Sometimes, Walski only gets to read the news late in the day - work, and all that, you know. And sometimes it's not "news" anymore once Walski gets his hand/eyes on it. Nevertheless, this report in The Star caught Walski's attention yesterday:

Malaysia wants the Jimmy Choos to come home

Essentially, the article quotes Malaysian Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn that the Government wants "those who have ventured abroad and made names for themselves internationally in designing, modelling, singing and acting" to come home.

Image hosting by PhotobucketCome home to an appreciative Malaysia that welcomes creativity with open arms? Which dimension exactly does the good Dr. Fong live in?

No offense to these talented Malaysians overseas, but we already have an abundance of talent at home. That's never been the problem. The problem is that, based on recent events, Malaysia simply does not appreciate its creative and talented citizens.

Calling back talented citizens who have made a name for themselves overseas, to a stiffling, suffocating environment for creativity is, at best counter-productive. Unless, of course, we really want to live out the adage "misery loves company".

Just ask Amir Muhammad and Yasmin Ahmad how Malaysia simply loves their talentend citizens. Especially the Malay-Muslim ones.

Unless, of course, one is willing to continually lick the boots of the Malaysian entertainment press. To be more specific, the Malay entertainment press. They don't, of course, give a rat's ass for the bangsa asing artistic people - to the Malay entertainment press, these talents aren't really Malaysians, so why bother? Right?

But when it comes to Malay talents - whoa... a whole different story. And boot-licking and ass-kissing the Malay press is the only way these talents can hope to survive in what can only be described as shark-infested waters. Or an environment filled with Culture Vultures.
(more creative cynicism in the full post)

You see, the Malay media only cares about making sure Malay artistes toe the line - otherwise, be ready to feel the wrath of an unrelenting entertainment press firing squad.

Image hosting by PhotobucketIt doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that for the Malay artiste to be "acceptable", talent and creativity aren't really the criteria that's important. Ok, maybe a certain amount of talent. But certainly not creativity.

Oh, no. It's mostly glamour, in a gilded cage under the watchful eyes of a holier-than-thou, 24/7 prying entertainment press. And as soon as a Malay artistic talent gets some level of notoriety, they instantly have to become role models for society. How stifling... and say goodbye to any creativity you may have.

No, it's glamor, glamor and, did Walski mention, glamor?

And the forefront of this cultural fascism front media witchhunt is usually Berita Harian, led by none other than Jabba the Newsman himself. And they'll resort to anything when wanting to black-ball Malaysian films they don't like. Including creating controversy, and lying.

If you recall, Jabba wrote in his weekly column about why Gubra won the FFM19 "Best Film" award (download the pdf here) - it was them damn foreign panel judges, that's why. It turns out, however, that this was later refuted by the lead judge, Panshah (in pdf).

Speaking of Jabba, the grand fat f*ck has mysteriously been silent on "Remp-It" - but Walski supposes blatant displays of breast-groping, illicit sexual encounters and generally bad behaving Malays is okay in his book, as long as the film has an obvious 'moral' lesson, and doesn't make one have to ponder and think too much. Or maybe it's just plain 'ol double standards...

Perhaps "Remp-It" may also explains why a certain Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim came out of the blue in support of the Mat Rempit Cemerlang - maybe he watched the film and wants some of the action, too? Who knows, really....

So, Walski supposes that if you're a creative Malaysian who's successful overseas, and you're not Malay, it may be okay to come home.

Be creative as much as you want - provided you don't have kids, that is. Because then, the sham of an education system we have at home may just make you say, "thanks, Malaysia, but I'm more than happy where I am". Or maybe something more rude...