Tanda Putera’s “urination” episode – downright lie and dangerous falsehood

Despite his 1Malaysia signature slogan, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is continuing to allow his UMNO/Barisan Nasional election campaign machineries to disseminate downright lies and dangerous falsehoods calculated to incite racial hatred and undermine national unity with the approach of the 55th National Day and 49th Malaysia Day celebrations.

One of these “downright lies and dangerous falsehoods” flooding the UMNO/BN social media and exploited by the 10,000 UMNO/BN cybertroopers is that I had caused the May 13 riots in 1969 through shouting the most racist slogans in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969.

Despite my firm denial of these wild and reckless allegations in my speech in Parliament on March 22, 2012, declaring that I was never in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969, these “downright lies and dangerous falsehoods” have continued to make their rounds in leaps and bounds in the cyberspace.

On 20th July 2012, Malaysiakini carried the following report “New May 13 movie courts controversy”:

New May 13 movie courts controversy

Tanda Putera, the latest offering from local director Shuhaimi Baba, has received flak over what some say is a skewed re-telling of what happened during the 1969 race riots.

A few film critics have accused the RM4.8 million movie of demonising early leftist movements and more hero-worship than tribute to former premier Abdul Razak Hussein, who is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s father.

The trailer for the movie – fully funded by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) and the Multimedia Development Corporation (Mdec) – showed scenes of Chinese mobs marching through the streets of Kuala Lumpur after the success of the opposition parties in municipal elections.

One group was depicted bearing the Labour Party flag, while that scene and others also showed Chinese Malaysians bearing banners proclaiming anti-Malay slogans.

The banners written in Chinese characters depicted slogans that translated into ‘Malays go back to the village’, ‘Malays go die’ and ‘Take revenge’.

Garnering more serious brickbats are snippets from the movie’s official Facebook page which detailed scenes apparently slated to be included in the final cut of the movie.

One apparent scene was that of DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang purportedly urinating on a flagpole in front of the then-Selangor menteri besar’s residence.

“Lim Kit Siang telah kencing di bawah tiang bendera Selangor yang terpacak di rumah menteri besar Selangor ketika itu, Harun Idris, (Lim Kit Siang had urinated at the foot of the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Selangor MB’s Harun Idris’ house)” read the caption of a photo of the actor portraying Lim being manhandled.

The photo was posted in the album titled ‘Peristiwa-peristiwa yang dimuatkan di dalam filem ini’ (Events depicted in this movie).

However, the photo and caption has since been removed from the movie’s official page, though Malaysiakini had captured a screenshot of the earlier posting.

Those in the industry who have watched the movie in a special preview on Wednesday to focus groups also said that no urinating scene was included in the preview cut.

There was also no mention of the scene in the movie’s script, a copy of which was obtained by Malaysiakini.

Lim had vehemently denied that the DAP was involved in instigating the race riots of 1969, and had said that he was not in Kuala Lumpur on May 13 when the initial violence took place.

Director: Better for people to watch it first

When contacted, Tanda Putera’s director refused comment on the matter, arguing that the movie should be screened to the public first before it can be reviewed.

“I am loath to answer that question as people have not watched the film yet. It is better for them to have watched it first,” said Shuhaimi.

Scheduled for release two months from now on Sept 13, Finas has however had put off the release of the movie until a later date, yet to be announced.

While earlier it was reported that the postponement was because of the impending general election, Finas later clarified that it was because they wanted to prolong promotional activities.

Some netizens has also attacked the movie’s storyline for apparently being an attempt at brown-nosing to the powers-that-be and a propaganda piece to drum up support for the ruling coalition.

The movie has been screened to focus groups since last week, gaining brickbats from some and praise from others such as Umno-linked blogger Papagomo, who posted a glowing review of the movie after watching it with fellow bloggers.

“We who have watched the movie shed tears several times and truly I feel that the film shall touch the hearts of not only the Malays about May 13, but also all races in Malaysia,” wrote the blogger in a posting.

Shuhaimi told the media that the movie focused on what she claimed is a special relationship between Razak and his then deputy Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, both aristocrats who sacrificed a lot to work together to save Malaysia from radicals and communists.

Hence, she said, that was the message behind the title of the movie, Tanda Putera, or signs of the greatness of princes or the legacy of princes.

Speaking to the media, Shuhaimi has defended her depiction of the scenes as being from the official version of history and from interviews with personalities who were present then.

I was in Sabah on July 20 on a three-day visit with DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng. On the very same night at the DAP Inaman Sepanggar ceramah, I referred to the Malaysiakini report on the May 13 film and denied in the strongest possible terms that I had “urinated at the foot of the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Selangor MB’s Harun Idris’ house” as earlier claimed by the movie earlier Facebook page, and sparking the May 13 riots as I was simply not in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13 of 1969!

Even the photograph that was used in the movie’s earlier Facebook page was not a photograph taken in 1969 but was from a different incident in Sabah 15 years later in1984!

In the past fortnight, the legion of UMNO/BN cybertroopers have escalated their campaign of downright lies and dangerous falsehoods based on the movie’s “urination” episode to incite racial hatred and undermine national unity – completely oblivious that this is the month when all Malaysians should make a special effort to come together as Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region to emphasise and underline their common identity as Malaysians.

The spokepersons of the movie have said that the film was based on a lot of research, such as studying documented materials and photographs, to make sure the scenes were backed by historical facts.

Where were the documented materials and photographs that I had urinated “at the foot of the flagpole…at the Selangor MB Harun Idris’ house” on May 11, 12 or 13, 1969 when I was never in Kuala Lumpur? For that matter, where are the documented materials or photographs to show that there was such an incident and that it was not a mere figment of the imagination?

The White Paper issued by the National Operations Council in 9th October 1969 entitled “The May 13 Tragedy” made no reference to any such urination incident.

If the movie Tanda Putraja gives a biased and unbalanced account of the May 13 tragedy in 1969, it will be the cause of grave national misunderstanding and discord on the occasion of the 55th National Day/49th Malaysia Day, making a total mockery of the 1Malaysia objective to build a united Malaysian nation!

  1. #1 by ekompute on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 4:08 pm

    Mr Lim Kit Siang, instead of merely denying that you urinated on a flagpole in front of the then-Selangor menteri besar’s residence, why don’t you ask them for the date of the incident. And if it is not true, just sue them.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 4:31 pm

    Najib is really desperate now! I believe he has great fear of going to jail if BN loses in GE13.

  3. #3 by sotong on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 5:25 pm

    There are numerous versions of May 13 incident.

    With factual errors, this film has no credibility, fairness and independent to educate the people of this dark and shameful history.

    For a very small minority of ignorant and misguided people in a particular area to offend some people, it does not justify violence and killing of innocent people….and threatened the whole community of similar incident for decades, if they don’t vote certain way.

    To justify violence and killing of innocent people because someone is ” offended “…..these people are really sick in their minds – criminals will always be criminals!

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 6:08 pm

    O, my darling datuk, your number 1 fan is going 2 London 2 watch U play
    Thank you 4 d excuse 2 fly 2 London 2 shop, shop, shop until drop dead
    [Overheard a voice in P’jaya]

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 6:23 pm

    If CW won d Olympic Gold, he will be paraded, exhibited n fully exploited by UmnoB n MCA in d coming GE

  6. #6 by Winston on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 6:31 pm

    These scums have gone stark raving mad.
    They keep harking on such lies as well as the Hudud issue to try to discredit the PR.
    First, since many Malays, especially the more educated ones, are aware of the truth of the matter, why not get them to spearhead a movement to disseminate the truth to their kin, including those in the rural areas.
    Do this for both West & East Malaysia.
    If there are grounds to take legal action against these scums, go ahead.
    In addition, let Malaysians who are overseas know the action these scums are taking and also have them inform their kin about the truth of the matter.
    In fact, in any propaganda war, PR should be way ahead of them.
    What with all the documented material of their scams and scandals.
    Go right ahead and use them!!!!

  7. #7 by yhsiew on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 7:01 pm

    ///There was a poll conducted by a mainstream paper, the very same one Rais mentioned, and 99% of the votes were cast for Pakat’s “Sebangsa, Senegara, Sejiwa”. Only 1% voted for Rais’ nauseating “Janji Ditepati”.///

    It is not difficult to understand why BN has to resort to lies and falsehood as the party’s end is near.

  8. #8 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 7:05 pm

    We know they are lies and I would even bet the most Malays know they are lies. BUT why would so many many even if its a minority WANT to believe they are lies? – Because they have been handsomely rewarded for 40+ years for it.

    You have to admit, its a very compelling reason to do it even if it offends a lot of us greatly..

    The issue is what is the interest of most Malays for these lies to be debunk, for them to stand up for? The answer is simply that if they don’t that the worst off people will not be in the ones of which these lies have been unjust to – the worst off people will ultimately be they themselves. For if they can continue to tell these lies, they will tell more lies and ultimately they will lie to each other to their very own destruction..

  9. #9 by undertaker888 on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 7:51 pm

    When you let the utusan Malaysia scoundrels version in utusan movie, everything smells like taik.

  10. #10 by bumiborn on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 7:59 pm

    It’s a blessing that LKY is not in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 or 13, 1969 which is an indisputable alibi.
    Mr Lim Kit Siang, you should just SUE them and let the lies be exposed wide open so that even the kampong folks will know. Please SUE them!

  11. #11 by PoliticoKat on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 11:17 pm

    We all know that May13 was staged event that went out of control. BN was gathering weapon to be used by the malay brownshirts (Perkasa equivalent) of that time.

    PM Abdul Razak Hussein, used a little chinaman bashing (~2000 dead), as a pretense to get rid of Tunku Abdul Rahman and start the NEP policies (which eventually yielded lotsa money for UMNOputras).

    Rewrite history, PM Najib!

    Can’t have daddy be remembered as a man that played real politic.

  12. #12 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 11:33 pm

    In this film, is Harun Idris one of the ‘heroes’ ? Who is playing him, Jins Shamsuddin or Ibrahim Ali ?

    Is there a case for an injunction ?

  13. #13 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 11:41 pm

    Those phaarkers do not who they are dealing with. When lks said he was not in kl during those days he surely has the evidence to support his statement. Dont forget. A busy politician like lks always keeps a diary. Lks never discards them. I believe lks will just destroy these idiots and smash them to bits.

    Again, it will be another shot aimed their own foot.

  14. #14 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 11:43 pm

    It is clear that UMNO / BN is throwing everything into arena. True or false is not the issue but anything that will cause maximum damage to the Opposition is now fair game to them. If they win the elections, what have the culprits got to fear ?

    UMNO and BN is now back against the wall like that mouse deer and they want to emulate the deer. Will they succeed ?

    Maybe those in the East, who were cut-off and not involved in the happenings in the West and marching to their own tunes will now determine what will happen to all of us, our future direction.

  15. #15 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 4 August 2012 - 11:55 pm

    ‘….fully funded by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) and the Multimedia Development Corporation (Mdec)..’.

    So essentially funded by the government, public money. Was the relevant Minister the consultant historian and artistic director ?

    Maybe our ‘famous’ historian that Professor fellow might want to say a few words. So too that recently dropped, retired and still fuming ex-politician who says he stands for truth, integrity, accountability, ethics and so on.

  16. #16 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 12:02 am

    Be careful Mr Lim. They are focusing their attention on you, to provoke you so that they will have an excuse to put you away in cold storage again and to neutralise you before the elections.

    Stay cool and don’t give them an excuse.

  17. #17 by raven77 on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 1:09 am

    LKS should not even react to this dumb film…..for it will increase their sales…….

    But having said that UMNO is just itching for a fight…..hope everyone is prepared……

  18. #18 by tak tahan on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 3:16 am

    LKS,be steady and cool and not react too much to those scumbag’ nonsensical cheap production film.Only silly one will buy those story!!!

  19. #19 by k1980 on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 3:17 am

    YB LKS had urinated “at the foot of the flagpole…at the Selangor MB Harun Idris’ house” on May 11, 12 or 13, 1969?

    They will next claim that YB LGE had berak-ed “at the foot of the flagpole…at the Selangor MB Harun Idris’ house” on May 11, 12 or 13, 1969 !

  20. #20 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 4:51 am

    This is what really happened in that ‘urinating’ case…..to the MB’s car. Shuhaimi Baba, UMNO and their cyber-troopers are stretching the truth a bit too much.


    Sorry, boss.

  21. #21 by boh-liao on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 7:06 am

    Lies, more lies, more big fat lies fr UmnoB/BN: Janji ditepati lor

  22. #22 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 8:42 am

    There’s so much hype by govt to unite Malaysians and reconcile national differences by its policies – 1 Malaysia, vision schools, enforcement of laws punishing those who incite and cause disaffection of one racial/religious group against others and yet it allows such a film on May 13 aimed at skewing facts and opening new wounds to make them fresh??? How inconsistent! The fact is power – and need to perpetuate and fear of losing it- makes it throw caution to the winds. To win GE the incumbent is all out to influence its constituency and larger vote bank against the opposing rival coalition. It plays on race, leaves out PAS/PKR, and concentrates its aim on DAP/LKS, most vulnerable to the play of race card. The calculation here is that people are fundamentally intuitive/emotional, not rational; they respond to an appeal and provocation of their sentiments. It is not that they don’t reason or think – they do but their reasoning is inclined towards supporting their conclusions based on sentiments/emotions. So every effort at political propaganda is now focused on galvanising their primeval sentiments of group (racial) loyalty/safety and the sense of shared fate/culture/religion against others outside, never mind it will in that process, weaken the larger national multiracial social fabric and cohesiveness.

  23. #23 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 8:45 am

    National service is compulsory to unite but its ok to have film to disunite: that’s how illogical and inconsistent this whole drama is!

  24. #24 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 8:56 am

    I just want to add one more thing – THIS is political terrorism – the idea of these kinds of material is to terrorise. to ransom the fears for their gains..There is no bombs, death, mayhem etc,- yet, but its still terrorism..

    I would also like to remind everyone terrorism has a 100% failure rate. Check the facts – terrorism has NEVER succeed..In fact, they only strengthen the resolve of those that they are targetted at..And there is no doubt it will do the same here but more importantly those that it seek to ‘trick’, will not fall for it..

  25. #25 by negarawan on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 9:46 am

    Basically, UMNO/BN has caused Malaysia to be what it is today – a failed state. Just compare Malaysia and Singapore. In Singapore, race and religion have not been an election issue for decades. In Malaysia under UMNO/BN, race and religion issues are becoming worse by the day! The lack of unity among Malaysia’s multiracial and multireligious society has affected and retarded socio-economic progress in the last 50 years relative to what Singapore has been able to achieve with a united society. What is shocking and deplorable is that the ruling government UMNO/BN is the main cause of the rapid deterioration in inter-racial and inter-religious harmony. UMNO/BN continually play up race and religion issues to try to divide and rule the country for political expediency. UMNO/BN selectively persecutes and prosecutes its opponents, whether members of the opposition party or ordinary citizens highlighting UMNO/BN’s corruption and crimes, and applies unlawful and cruel enforcement through its cronies in the major enforcement agencies e.g. PDRM, the judiciary, and MACC. UMNO/BN uses media under its control e.g. Utusan Malaysia and RTM, and UMNO/BN-linked NGOs e.g. Perkasa and Pembela, to spread false, malicious and racist reports calculated to discredit and politically assasinate its opponents. UMNO/BN has a myopic view and basically has no idea and plans to unite the country, although it tries to portray a different but false image of Malaysia in international forums. World leaders and the international community are becoming aware of UMNO’s lies and distorted portrayal of Malaysia’s religious freedom and minority race rights, and hopefully they will take serious action and sanctions against UMNO. UMNO is a corrupted and incompetent party and UMNO has never been sincere about building true and lasting inter-racial and inter-religious unity in Malaysia. All UMNO wants is to maintain its grip on power and continue plundering the country’s wealth for the selfish gain of its corrupt and criminal politicians. Over the last 50 years, Malaysia could have developed into an advanced country like Singapore, perhaps even better as our resources are abundant compared to Singapore, but UMNO/BN has failed miserably. Singapore has overtaken Malaysia by leaps and bounds within less than 50 years. Is this the type of government we want to continue in our beloved country? Vote wisely in the coming GE. Vote UMNO/BN out forever and give Pakatan Rakyat a chance to bring back the shine and glory of our beloved country!

  26. #26 by Loh on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 11:26 am

    ///One group was depicted bearing the Labour Party flag, while that scene and others also showed Chinese Malaysians bearing banners proclaiming anti-Malay slogans.
    The banners written in Chinese characters depicted slogans that translated into ‘Malays go back to the village’, ‘Malays go die’ and ‘Take revenge’.///–

    If these are the reasons for May 13, then the government should not use the excuse of income disparity between Malays and non-Malays to justify NEP. Having implemented NEP for 40 years, twice the duration Tun Abdul Razak promised the people especially political parties like Gerakan, UMNO would not keep its promise. Now Najib’s administration has the nerve to declare Janji Ditepati. Has the 40 year old Janji made by his late father been honoured? If May 13 was not due to economic reasons, why should the 30% share capital be a target? Having set the target, why does not the UMNO government keep the promise to evaluate honestly the current situation? Najib has allowed his administration to lie with statistics. If Najib believes in Janji, would he declare that once the 30% target has been achieved, NEP stops. Najib should also keep the promise that government funds should be utilized to effect the achievement of the 30% target, and all other race-based regulations originated from NEP until now should be removed. But can we trust that Najib would do what he preaches?

  27. #27 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Sunday, 5 August 2012 - 7:13 pm

    One idiot like kerismuddin was more than enoughnto cause damage to umno. What more when they hv a whloe cabinetful of such idiots. Now worse. Jig got 10,000 such fools together to do a really massive collective self destruction.


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