Film producer calls Kit Siang ‘defensive’ over May 13 picture
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — The producer of the controversial film “Tanda Putera” has defended the posting on its Facebook promotions page of a picture of Lim Kit Siang with a caption accusing him of urinating on a flagpole in the house of then Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Harun Idris in what some Umno blogs have claimed was what started the May 13, 1969 race riots.
The movie’s director Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba was forced on Wednesday to deny reports that the re-telling of the riots in her film features a scene showing Lim desecrating the Malaysian flag.
“Tanda Putera” has not yet been released for general release to the public, but a trailer of the film available on the Internet has already sparked some controversy because it appears to suggest the Chinese community was to blame for the riots.
Pesona Pictures Sdn Bhd, the producer of the movie, is now accusing Lim of being defensive over the publication of his photograph which had sparked widespread condemnation from the DAP parliamentary leader and his political colleagues.
Lim has repeatedly pointed out that he was only a young politician in 1969 and was not even in the federal capital during the riots.
But Umno blogs have gone on overdrive, and have been pushing the message to voters that it was Lim who had sparked the riots.
Earlier this year, an administrator of the “Tanda Putera” social network fan page had posted a photograph of Lim being “manhandled”, with a caption alleging it was taken after he urinated on the flagpole in the Selangor mentri besar’s residential compound in Kuala Lumpur before the May 13 riots.
The picture was removed last month after personal attacks and threats were allegedly made against the cast and crew of the film.
Lim said yesterday that he reserved the right to take legal action against such defamatory references featuring him in the “Tanda Putera” official Facebook page.
“Why is he so defensive?
“All those photographs were already widely available on the Internet,” said Aida Fitri Buyong, Pesona Pictures executive producer.
She told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that the pictures and captions published on the “Tanda Putera” Facebook fan page were submitted by netizens and were already widely available before being posted on the site.
“We went through those photos to research on the wardrobe, the scenery, the cars used and such just to make the scenes in the film authentic,” she said.
She added that Lim was free to make his own statements while the production team stood by theirs.