FELDA screening of ‘Tanda Putera’ proves movie racist, Ambiga says

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 23, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 – Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan questioned today the motive behind the recent private screening of “Tanda Putera” to Malay FELDA settlers here, saying this meant the movie was likely racist portrayal of the bloody May 1969 riots.

On February 18, over 3,000 settlers from the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) programme were shown a surprise preview of the controversial film in what the opposition has alleged was an attempt to “brainwash” them against voting for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Election 2013.

“My issue with Tanda Putera is why did they want to show it only to FELDA settlers.

“Show it to all of us. Let us all judge and believe me we will judge it… why only let a select few of people watch it? That shows what the issue is about,” the former Bar Council president said at a forum on racism held at the Civil Servants Golf Club here.

“Tanda Putera” depicts second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and his deputy, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, during the post-May 13 period.

It 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).

Abdul Razak’s eldest son, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is the current prime minister.

Putrajaya had decided last October to put off the public release of the film indefinitely due to its controversial depiction of the events surrounding the bloody racial riots in 1969.

PR leaders, especially those from the Chinese-based the DAP, claimed the film was intended to stoke racial hatred among the Malay majority in a bid to mitigate the growing support for the opposition.

Observers noted that the possibility for the opposition bloc to form the new federal government at Election 2013, which must be held by June, is high.

Ambiga said such tactic reflects what she described as “institutionalised” racism.

The lawyer, who also co-chairs polls watchdog group Bersih 2.0, added that the roots of racial problems in the country could be attributed to a political system that promotes segregation through the existence of race-based parties.

“It permits everything that happens in this country,” said the Bersih leader, referring to the various racial-charged incidents that have cropped up throughout the years.

She cited as example the alleged racism instilled through the education system in the form of the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) programmes where instructors had been reported to have told participants that the non-Malays are unwelcome immigrants.

Ambiga added that among the major factors behind the problem is the existence of political interference in the education system – where politicians, instead of educationists, are in charge of the learning institutions.

“What they are doing to our children is a crime,” she said, adding that her schooling children have also experienced the very same system that she claims has caused communal strife in Malaysia.

The former Bar Council president said combating these problems should be one the chief issues political parties must address in Election 2013 but pointed out that the leadership have remained silent on the matter.

She claimed politicians refrain from tackling racism out of the fear that it would alienate support from their respective races.

Ambiga said the best way to deal with them is to vote them out at the coming polls which must be held by June.

“I want a statesman, not a politician,” she said.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Saturday, 23 February 2013 - 8:20 pm

    Najib is desperate and has to resort to playing the race card in hope of whipping up Malay support in GE13.

  2. #2 by rjbeee on Saturday, 23 February 2013 - 9:23 pm

    The earler we get rid of this dogs it will be better for the country…Bumis apa lagi mana ..semua sudah ada…lagi mahu……Like mamak kutty…rats

  3. #3 by limkamput on Saturday, 23 February 2013 - 9:26 pm

    Tunda Putra Tunda Putra,
    A piece of excretion they called it an art.
    BTN, Jasa, Rela and Perkasa,
    They are the daily version of Tunda Putra.
    Selective viewing of Tunda Putra,
    Of course is to meet their evil racist agenda.

  4. #4 by limkamput on Saturday, 23 February 2013 - 9:31 pm

    Longing for change is now the national agenda,
    I wish more leaders of calibre will come forward like S. Ambiga.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Saturday, 23 February 2013 - 10:08 pm

    Brain washing is and always has been…for decades.
    History has shown Dictators do that to stay in power.

  6. #6 by yhsiew on Saturday, 23 February 2013 - 11:34 pm

    FELDA screening of ‘Tanda Putera’ proves Najib a chameleon wizard. Barely weeks after wishing the Chinese a Happy Chinese New Year, he then turned his back on them and screened “Tanda Putera” to Malay FELDA settlers to make them hate the Chinese.

  7. #7 by yhsiew on Saturday, 23 February 2013 - 11:47 pm

    Najib preach LOVE, not HATE!!!

  8. #8 by Loh on Sunday, 24 February 2013 - 12:50 am

    Mahathir’s words

    Feb22nd 2013 Written by chedet

    ///1. We have now abolished the ISA on the grounds that it is not right to detain a person without trial. This is an injustice and a violation of human rights.

    2. The opposition is particularly strong on this issue. They are very concerned that we respect human rights and principles of justice. They believe that we should accept the liberal views of the great western civilisations particularly the United States of America. .///–Mamakthir

    The ISA was introduced to ensure security of the country. But UMNO-led government beginning from Mamakthir made use of the act to lock up opposition leaders to ensure the security of their tenure in PutraJaya. The people of Malaysia believe that the government should practice rule of law rather than making use of the law to advance party interest. Should the views of the opposition parties agree with the views of western civilizations, it only proves that the opposition leaders are civilized.

    ///3. In war of course you can kill anyone you designate as the enemy. The war against terrorism which many countries led by the US is fighting is not a war against any country. It is a war against terrorists.

    4. But who are the terrorists. Generally in the eyes of the US they are the Muslims, but specifically the Al Qaeda, led initially by Osama bin Laden. Who determined who is a member of the Al Qaeda? Not Al Qaeda but the CIA and the US Government.///–Mamakthir

    The US government considers members of organizations, based on their own investigations, which had a hand in the attack against USA on 11 September 2011 as terrorists. Whatever the US government calls those who attacked them, US government wants to prevent a repeat of the attack. Leaders of a country have a duty to protect their fellow citizens. One can argue whether the country made the right classification of persons whom they considered terrorists, but their rights to take retaliatory actions cannot be denied.

    ///5. If the US says a person is an Al Qaeda terrorist then no one should dispute this identification. The US Government categorisation cannot be questioned in a court of law.///–Mamakthir

    The court of law cannot identify the enemies and then asks the government to take action. That is not done in Malaysia, too.

    ///6. Once the US classifies the person to be a terrorist, then he is the enemy and he can be considered as an imminent threat to the US. He is considered as planning to kill Americans. As an imminent threat it is justified to kill him.///–Mamakthir

    At least the government kills terrorists to protect the citizens of the country. In Malaysia, the government used ISA to keep politicians in jail to protect the security of tenure of the ruling government. It might be possible that a person was wrongly classified as terrorist in the USA. But a dozen terrorists caused the death of more than three thousands innocent persons in New York on 11 September 2011. That is why US thinks that it could not afford to make the mistake of allowing a terrorist to get away when a dozen of them caused the death of thousands.

    ///7. According to the US the person need not be told of his classification as a terrorist. He need not be charged in a court of law. He can be taken out i.e. executed by the agents of the US.///–Mamakthir

    The Malaysian police shoot to kill dangerous armed robbers. There were thousands of custody deaths in Malaysia, and these people were never charged in court. That started in the days of Mamakthir as PM. Mamakthir has not the moral right to ask such question when he could not stop custody death during his term. Mamakthir emasculated the judiciary system in Malaysia and now he talks about the function of court of law, how strange?

    ///8. And so today, even as the US condemns detention without trial, it executes just about anyone without trial. It considers executing individuals who do not even know they are classified as terrorist or that they constitute imminent threats to the US as right and proper. The US Government need not explain why the person is a terrorist and what kind of imminent threat he poses the US.///–Mamakthir

    The people classified as terrorists are removed by the US government to ensure security for its 300 million citizens, not just a handful of politicians. The US government is liable to make mistakes, in good faith. It is just like innocent persons might be wrongly convicted of murder by the court in good faith. No one would claim that the court went around killing people as it likes.

    ///9. In 2011 an American citizen of Yemeni origin was killed with weapons mounted on a drone flying in Yemeni airspace. Many other US citizens have been similarly assassinated using drones. Of course there are any number of foreign citizens who have been assassinated in foreign countries without trial.///–Mamakthir

    The US government is actively doing its best to protect its citizens. Surely it costs a lot of money and resources to kill persons by the drone. The US President claimed that terrorists can run, but they cannot hide. US has the capability to substantiate their threat to terrorists. Malaysia cannot even protect its borders; 400 armed persons just got into Sabah, and Kerismuddin said that they were not terrorists; they only came in to claim the territory.

    ///10. The Governments of these countries may or may not be informed. Their permission is not needed. They may be deemed unable or unwilling to kill the designated terrorists. Then the US has the right to violate their air space, their sovereignty and send their drones or unmanned aerial vehicles to kill the person concerned. In the process other people, innocent people, will also be killed. That’s too bad. They are collaterals. ///–Mamakthir

    Mamakthir obviously considers the persons whom USA classified as terrorists have a right to court hearing, more than the persons who exercise their citizenship right to democracy, in Malaysia.

    ///11. I wonder what Malaysians who object to detention without trial think of execution without trial. So far, they have not commented on this issue.

    12. Maybe they think killing without trial is not as bad as detention without trial. Maybe this is what they would do if they govern this country.

    13. I wonder.///–Mamakthir

    Malaysian police kill armed robbers when they are threatened. They will certainly kill terrorists if they are unable to get them to surrender. Would Mamakthir say that the police officers should approach those whom Malaysian police classify as terrorists, and tell them that the police suspect that they are terrorists and wish to have them appear in court?

    The government institutions are not independent and they are partial to political parties, so Malaysians do not believe that they perform their functions professionally. Thus Malaysians generally do not trust the court and they suspect custody deaths as killing without trail. That is why Pornthip had been requested to perform a second post mortem for the victim of custody death in Malaysia recently. Malaysians do not trust the government. Killing terrorists to protect the country and its citizens by USA is different from custody death in Malaysia because the government does not politicize its government agencies.

  9. #9 by chengho on Sunday, 24 February 2013 - 1:17 am

    ambiga should team up with vell pari , howmany vote you can carry , even indian do not listen to you

  10. #10 by Noble House on Sunday, 24 February 2013 - 2:09 am

    Najib could not possibly the sole decision behind the screening of this controversial film. Your guess is as good as mine. In any case, Najib is not the one getting the credit for even if it worked, only the blame if it failed. A smart move to kill off someone with a borrowed knife without him even knowing it!

  11. #11 by NotBN on Sunday, 24 February 2013 - 7:21 am

    It is the familiar tactic of using fear. In Sabah, the protracted LD standoff would either persuade them to retain a BN UMNO field force for ‘protection’ or stoke their patriotic emotion to vote for an autonomous local STAR party which would kill the only chance DAP-PKR coalition to be alternative federal government . In both instances, it is also an effective diversion from their mismanagement & abuses.

  12. #12 by cseng on Sunday, 24 February 2013 - 10:13 am

    This is a very primitive way of racial politic, the melay dilemma style.

    How many generations more this father of racism going to hold felda folks to pay the debts they dont owe?

  13. #13 by undertaker888 on Sunday, 24 February 2013 - 12:06 pm

    Sounds like Tons of da Poo Treat

  14. #14 by sotong on Sunday, 24 February 2013 - 4:10 pm

    Inciting racial hatred or violence is a serious crime.

    Some politicians believe racism and racist policies will benefit the majority of Malays.

    Institutionalised racism had done a lot of damage to social cohesion and eventually, destroy the economy and country.

  15. #15 by bennylohstocks on Sunday, 24 February 2013 - 6:36 pm

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