Side Views

Putting ‘Tanda Putera’ in its place — The Malaysian Insider

August 17, 2012

AUG 17 — Freedom of expression. That really is the right of all people. Be it the “Tanda Putera” movie producers or the public, the ones who will eventually watch the controversial film this November.

So, all Malaysians who feel that “Tanda Putera” is a) a political gimmick b) a potentially divisive movie funded by the government c) a skewed take on an event owned by all Malaysians should boycott the movie.

Just as the movie producers say that it is their right to make the movie, it is the right of every Malaysian to rebuff what they feel is politics masquerading as arts.

Yet, if there is anyone at fault, it must be those who financed the RM4.8 million movie, i.e. the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC).

One wonders if Finas and MDeC will finance other movies that have alternate takes on the May 13 riots.

After all, it is in the interest of freedom of expression and the right to make a movie.

But that is not likely to happen. Instead movies that promote the official narrative will be produced, ignoring historical facts and reality.

“Tanda Putera” is a work of fiction, not history. And as a work of fiction, it is a divisive take on our collective history.

See it if you must, but best dumped in the rubbish bin of history for its political fiction.