Kit Siang to sue ‘Tanda Putera’ makers for defamation
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 ― DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang will sue the makers of a film based on the May 13 race riots for defamation after they labelled him as “defensive” over a picture used on a promotional site for the movie.
Earlier this year, an administrator of filmmakers Pesona Pictures’s Facebook fan page had posted a photograph of Lim being “manhandled”, with a caption asserting it was taken after the opposition leader allegedly urinated on the flagpole in the then-Selangor mentri besar’s residential compound in Kuala Lumpur before the May 13, 1969 riots.
The picture was removed last month after personal attacks and threats were allegedly made against the cast and crew of the film “Tanda Putera”.
Earlier today, executive producer Aida Fitri Buyong had told The Malaysian Insider that the picture and caption published on the “Tanda Putera” Facebook fan page were submitted by netizens and were already widely available before being posted on the site. She then described Lim as being “defensive” over the matter.
In response, Lim issued a statement today saying that the accusations by Aida over the publication of the photograph on the film’s official promotional page on the social network was “most scandalous, outrageous and offensive”.
“In view of the reckless accusation by ‘Tanda Putera’s’ executive producer, compounding the earlier defamation against me on the film’s official Facebook page, I am instructing my lawyers to institute legal proceedings relating to the defamation,” he said.
Lim added that he was unaware of any website apart from “Tanda Putera’s” official Facebook page that had used the caption: “Lim Kit Siang urinated at the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Mentri Besar Harun Idris’ residence”,
“[Such] a caption which is based on a wild and reckless lie had [never] been posted anywhere on cyberspace,” he added.
Lim has repeatedly pointed out that he was only a young politician in 1969 and had not been in the federal capital during the riots.
“Do the creators of the May 13 film expect me to keep silent while they concoct lies about the May 13, 1969 riots, like the total fiction about my urination at the then Selangor mentri besar’s residence provoking May 13, 1969 riots when I was never in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969?” he said.
“Tanda Putera” is scheduled for general screening on November 17, but a 90-second 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.
The film was made at a cost of RM4.8 million and was fully funded by the government’s National Film Development Corporation (Finas) and the Multimedia Development Corporation (Mdec).