Malaysia

Kit Siang dares Tsu Koon to call for Tanda Putera ban

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30  ―  Lim Kit Siang has challenged Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon to demand a total suspension of the controversial film “Tanda Putera”, saying today the Gerakan president should otherwise resign from the Cabinet. 

Koh (picture), who is also the minister in the Prime Minister’s department in charge of unity and performance management, reportedly said last Thursday that people could make judgements at private screenings of the film, as the Cabinet had only postponed public screenings. 

“Tsu Koon still has a last opportunity. He should demand the total suspension of the May 13 film “Tanda Putera” on Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting or to submit his resignation as Cabinet Minister,” Lim said in a statement today. 

“Is Tsu Koon capable of such a last honest and honourable stand?” added the Ipoh Timur MP. 

The DAP stalwart questioned Koh if it was permissible to show private screenings of pornography. 

The public screening of “Tanda Putera” ? which has scenes depicting the country’s May 13, 1969 racial riots ? has been postponed a few times, with its director Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba recently telling The Malaysian Insider that it would be shown after Election 2013. 

“Tanda Putera” was shown to over 3,000 FELDA settlers this February and was viewed at a private screening by over 600 “invited’ students of the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIA)’s Gombak campus on March 9. 

The film was also scheduled to be shown privately in UIA’s Kuantan campus on March 21, news portal Malaysiakini had then reported. 

Shuhaimi defended the movie earlier this month, telling The Malaysian Insider: “Tanda Putera is not a racist film.” 

She had also stressed that “Tanda Putera” was not a documentary, but a movie “with dramatic elements and creative licence responsibly exercised in its making”, having pointed out that it is an interpretation of history based on official records, published documents and interviews. 

“Tanda Putera” also depicts the second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and his deputy, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, during the post-May 13 period. Abdul Razak’s eldest son, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is the current prime minister. 

The RM4.8 million film was produced by Pesona Pictures Sdn Bhd in collaboration with the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS), which provided the financing together with the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC).

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